Indian Printers Summit Kochi – Challenges and opportunities

14 to 15 September 2023

A file photo of the Wan-Ifra Indian Printers Summit 2021 in Chennai. The previous summit was held in Delhi in 2022. Photo: Wan-Ifra

The Indian Printers Summit 2023, the 31st annual conference of Wan-Ifra in India, to be held at the Kochi Marriott Hotel from 14 to 15 September 2023, is ready to commemorate the achievement of print in the region and bring together the best minds in the newspaper printing and publishing business to discuss the future for the longevity of print.

The event, co-sponsored by the Indian Newspaper Society, will have print industry experts from India and abroad discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the newspaper industry today. It will offer a combination of learning conference sessions, and a mini expo at the same place.

The target audience is CEOs, managing directors, technical directors, business directors, production heads, plant managers, prepress managers, print business managers, and other senior news publishing leaders.

The program includes a keynote on Reviving Print: Charting a Sustainable Path Amid Changing Demand and the Future of the Print Industry; sessions on Print business trends and current demands of the industry in India; Shared responsibilities of publishers in terms of sustainable production; Sustainable consumables and manufacturing of newspaper; AI in newspaper printing workflow, and technology; Newsprint costs; Distribution challenges and future roadmap.

Side by side, an Advertising Summit & Study Tour will provide first-hand insights into marketing strategies and advertising practices that clicked in the post-pandemic revival. The tour includes visits to the advertising offices of leading publishers in Kerala on 13 September. The Advertising Summit will be held on 14 and 15 September.

The winners of Best in Print Asia Awards 2023 will be presented ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’ trophies during the welcome dinner on 14 September 2023.

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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