Patiala printers visit Karnal Print & Pack Cluster

A common facilitator for printers

Printers at the Karnal Print & Pack Cluster.

A visit was arranged for the printers of Patiala on 6 May 2023 to Karnal Print & Pack Cluster, which specializes in paper and paper products. Amit Arora, MD, greeted the visiting delegation and Kamal Mohan Chopra, president, World Print and Communication Forum (WPCF). 

Giving details of the project, Arora said Karnal Print & Pack Cluster, developed under the Cluster Development Program of the Ministry of MSME, Government of India, came into being in 2011. Arora said there are seven directors who are taking care of all the facilities. The common facility center (CFC), which the printers visited, was established in 2015 in Sector-37, Industrial Estate, Karnal. 

“Presently we have full-fledged facilities such as five automatic plyboard lines, CtP, flexo-based label press, and complete book printing and binding units to cater to the needs of more than 350 printers from Karnal and neighboring areas. The service of the CFC is provided at the most economical rates so that even the smallest printer can benefit from it. The main purpose of the CFC is to prompt young generations and enthusiasts engaged in the printing and packaging industry to brainstorm for a working platform common to all.” 

Speaking to the delegation from Patiala during a one-on-one meeting after visiting the CFC, Kamal Mohan Chopra highlighted the latest guidelines for the Cluster Development Program. As per the latest guidelines issued by the ministry, the government grant will be restricted to 70% of the cost for projects worth Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore and 60% for a project from Rs 10 crore to Rs 30 crore. The state government will contribute 20% and the remaining 10-20% is to be contributed by the SPV.

“It is the time for networking, because due to the internet and digitization, the demand for commercial printing is decreasing, and we must work in close cooperation to remain competitive, to avoid the ever-increasing competition,” he said. 

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

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here