Thoughts and ideas at Mumbai Print Summit 2023

One of the biggest Print Summits draws nearly 1,000 attendees

Thoughts and ideas at Mumbai Print Summit 2023
Audience at Print Summit 2023

The 2023 edition of Print Summit, or PS23, held in the Tata Theater at Mumbai’s NCPA on 16 February, was said to be one of the biggest ever. Organized by the Bombay Master Printers’ Association (BMPA), the PS23 was attended by 1,000 delegates from the print industry comprising industry veterans, young professionals, and print technology students.

Amit Shah, president BMPA
Amit Shah, president BMPA

The event was inaugurated with a lamp-lighting ceremony with BMPA president Amit Shah welcoming the delegates and acknowledging the contribution of the members, office-bearers of the association, and the PS23 organizing team.

The keynote address of PS23 was delivered by Kedar Lele of Hindustan Unilever, followed by an inspirational talk by Sudhanshu Mani, former-general manager of ICF, Chennai. Mani talked about how he undertook the Vande Bharat project and the challenges he faced while working in the government-owned organization. The underlying message of his talk was that the most important thing for an organization is to treat its human resources well. If companies and organizations take care of their employees, then they will surely succeed, he argued.

Shasha Fischer of Koenig & Bauer gave a lowdown of his company’s solutions to the print and packaging industry. He talked about the Rapida 105 and 106 sheetfed presses and the VariJET 106 press, which integrates inkjet technology into the platform of the high-performance Rapida 106 offset press. He spoke about Koenig & Bauer’s sustainable solutions.

Audience at Print Summit 2023
 Lamp lighting ceremony at Print Summit 2023

After Fischer’s presentation, Ankul Nanavaty of Unik Printers did a Q&A session with Ranesh Bajaj of Vinsak, who spoke at Print Summit for the first time. Bajaj said India’s infrastructure had improved a lot in the last few years and would continue to improve further. This should help Indian entrepreneurs, he said. Bajaj encouraged Indian printers to expand both product-wise and geographically in order to grow. He, however, said that beyond a point, a printer cannot stretch in terms of products, and expanding geographically makes better sense.

After the Q&A session, Shreyan Daga, who is a manifestation mentor and breathwork coach, talked about mediation and how it can help a person change for good. In the post-lunch session, Pujya Gnanavatsai Swami of gave a motivational talk, which was highly appreciated by the audience.

ITC PSPD’s Shailendra Singh gave a presentation on how ITC’s paperboards and specialty papers division (PSPD) managed to bring in greater manufacturing efficiencies over the last two decades by smoothening internal processes. ITC PSPD has four world-class manufacturing facilities at Bhadrachalam, Bollaram, Kovai, and Tribeni.

A new series titled ‘Lead the Change Series’ was introduced at PS23. Iqbal Kherodawala, founder and CEO of Print Line Reproductions, said this new series will feature leaders who have blazed the trail, set their own rules, and become successful.

The first leader to be featured in this series was Prashant Maheshwari of Meeples India, which is a board games event company. He talked about how he helped board game enthusiasts come together through Meeplecon, India’s only board game convention. While in conversation with Ashutosh Agarwal of Poornima Printers, he said that it was extremely difficult to find a suitable print partner for board games in India. Most of the developers in India have to work with Chinese printers to get the board games manufactured. He said that this is a big area of opportunity for Indian printers.

Ramaiah Muthusubramanian, CEO of Packfora – a global packaging consulting company, talked about the trends in the packaging industry. He said sustainability and cost reduction are and will be the hottest issues for the packaging industry.

Another leader featured in the ‘Lead the Change Series’ was Jinesh Mehta, president, and CEO of UT Pack and CEO, Unitrade FZE. Mehta, who started off at his family-owned commercial print business in Mumbai, talked about how he got out of his comfort zone and ventured into the field of packaging. UT Pack now has a modern manufacturing unit in Dubai and services top brands from the fashion industry.

The final segment of PS23 saw Indraneel Chitale of Chitale Group talk about the evolution and growth of his company from being a small milk distributor to becoming one of the biggest daily product suppliers in the country.

After Chitale’s talk, the concluding session was by Arunachalam Muruganthanam, popularly known as the padmanen. of India. He talked about his journey to provide affordable sanitary solutions to wom

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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