Kai Buentemeyer joins board of Impel Services/Impet-Bindwel-Stelda

German domain expert’s experience and counsel for Indian manufacturer

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Kai Buentemeyer joins board of Impel Services/Impet-Bindwel-Stelda
Stelda AR 500GT is a state of the art fully automated case sealing machine that can accept any random sized box, coming in from multiple production lines, are centralized and sealed using hot melt glue or multiple gluing solutions.
Kai Buentemeyer, the erstwhile CEO and managing partner of Kolbus and chairman of the board of the Printing and Paper Technology Association within the VDMA, is set to join the board of Impel Services, the holding company of the Impel-Bindwel-Stelda group as a non-executive director.
Buentemeyer will bring his substantial experience in the evolution of bookbinding and packaging technologies across the globe, where he played an active part during the last few decades, to the India-based Impel group. The Impel group, with investments and production of equipment in both bookbinding and end-of-line packaging, stands to benefit greatly from his counsel.
The Impel-Bindwel group, built on the foundation of service and quality products, has collaborative and long-standing partnerships with Henkel, Nordson, GUK (G&K VIJUK), SIPM, and other domain expert organizations. In the last two decades, the group has co-creating a strong perfect binding industry in India and for book printing exports. It has ventured further to end-of-line packaging with its Stelda brand and is ready to grow into newer international markets as well as adjacent businesses. The addition of Kai Buentemeyer to its board is an impactful move in this direction.
Buentemeyer joined the Rahden-based engineering major Kolbus as a young engineer and worked his way up, becoming its sole managing director in 2003. He is credited with leading the revival of the group by introducing newer bookbinding equipment for the larger book printers and trade binders – two of its core customer segments. When market forces diminished the opportunity for two European suppliers of large binding systems, Büntemeyer took the lead in the consolidation and merger of the Kolbus bookbinding equipment with Muller Martini.
His vision had led the Kolbus group into the fast-growing industry of luxury packaging niche even before the merger of the bookbinding business with Muller Martini. The pivot to packaging technology was accelerated by the acquisitions of HyCorr in the USA and Autobox in the UK.
In his role as the chairman of the board of the Printing and Paper Technology Association of the German Engineering Association VDMA, he helped set up Global Print, which is an International Federation of print and paper technology associations created to further the common interests and mutual understanding of manufacturers of printing, paper-making and converting machinery, equipment and consumables. Büntemeyer served as president of Global Print from 2012 to 2014. He is known as a passionate advocate of the benefits of paper, print, and packaging.

Since leaving Kolbus in 2019, he worked as the interim CEO of EOL packaging experts, who manufacture high-performance end-of-line packaging machines. He has served on the board of the flexible packaging technology giant Windmoeller & Hoelscher and is an angel investor in ETIQ AI, a UK-based artificial intelligence start-up.

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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