Manroland Sheetfed India – Deepak Walia takes over as managing director

Manroland Sheetfed India's orderly change in leadership

Deepak Walia has joined as new managing director of Manroland Sheetfed India. Photo: Manroland Sheetfed India
Deepak Walia has joined as new managing director of Manroland Sheetfed India. Photo: Manroland Sheetfed India

As of 1 September 2022, Deepak Walia joins Manroland Sheetfed India as its new managing director based in the New Delhi. Manroland Sheetfed India is the wholly owned subsidiary of Manroland Sheetfed, the German manufacturer of offset presses based in Offenbach Germany and owned by the UK based Langley Holdings.

According to a press release, Deepak Walia takes over from “Neeraj Dargan who is moving on to his next chapter with sincere thanks and best wishes from the Manroland family.” Dargan established the India subsidiary in 2014 to start Manroland’s own operations in the territory. Manroland Sheetfed India recently announced the sales of two highly configured multicolor sheetfed packaging to Sain Packaging and Galaxy Offset.

Deepak Walia holds various printing qualifications with a management education behind him for the role, having spent more than 24 years in the field of sales, marketing, technical and operations in capital goods and consumables for the print and graphic arts sector for Heidelberg India. He is expected to continue to strengthen Manroland Sheetfed sales efforts in the fast-growing printing market. Walia said, “I am excited to be heading the Manroland Sheetfed subsidiary to expand the company’s operations. My local-market experience will enable us to better serve the group’s existing client base, and with the objective of year-on-year growth in India’s printing industry, I am looking forward to drive sheetfed machines and consumables market in the fast lane for Manroland with new ideas.”

Manroland Sheetfed is one of the three German producers of sheetfed offset printing presses. Founded in 1871, the company is one of the oldest producers of printing presses in the world. After the insolvency of the Manroland group and its split into web offset and sheetfed offset press manufacturing companies, the sheetfed operation was acquired by the Langley Holdings group, while the web operations were acquired by a German group. Today the company has its own subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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