Arun Mehta of Vakil and Sons passes away on 7 July 2022

A quiet and humble printer – doer, giver, leader

Arun Mehta
Arun Mehta of Vakil and Sons. Photo: Vakil and Sons

Arun Mehta, born in September 1933, passed away on 7 July 2022 in Mumbai. Mehta is fondly remembered by the entire printing industry as a doer in the family printing and publishing business and as an industry builder. Together with his uncle GU Mehta, he was one of the key early members of the Bombay Master Printers Association and the All India Federation of Master Printers in the early sixties. He was, at times, reluctantly thrust into leadership roles of the industry associations – the BMPA and then the AIFMP, for which he thought he was too young and inexperienced.

Those who had the good fortune to know Mehta have many excellent stories about him and his family legacy. Amongst his major contributions to the Indian print industry was the conception of the Pamex printing equipment and technology exhibition which he envisioned as taking place around the country. Without knowing where he could hold it in Bombay, he undertook to bring the event to the city and convinced the Nehru Centre to hold it there, together with an amazing technical conference fully supported by his colleagues.

Arun Mehta was the first and for many years, practically the only Indian printer who saw the importance of investing in research about the widespread and diverse Indian printing industry, inducing the BMPA to invest in two research surveys. Although he saw the importance of this work requiring continuous updating, he was unable to renew it after the second survey and said, “It died a natural death.”

Another of Arun Mehta’s legacies was his encouragement of art, ideas, and culture, which is part and parcel of the traditions of Vakils as a printer and publisher. This tradition continues and is embodied by his wife Sudha and children Bimal Mehta and Sangeeta Bhansali. What better legacy than to have a family that believes in tolerance, straight-forward business, and the ideals of nation-building

And to leave a liberally educated next generation – able to understand technology to evolve the print and publishing businesses – and contribute to industry and society. All this – quietly, humbly, like Arun Mehta.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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