India is likely to remain the fastest growing Brics economy

Looking back and ahead to 2024 and the next quarter century

Print and packaging continue to mirror the positive economic growth of the country. Excellence, efficiency, sustainability, and compliance are being seen as opportunities – as are exports and globalization as essential components of growth and scale. Photo Bank Phrom on Unsplash

In his Business Standard column on 30 December 2023, TN Ninan ruminates on the past quarter century and the next quarter century. His context is the Goldman Sachs forecast at the beginning of the century, “That [the] four emerging ‘Brics’ economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) would grow to eventually match and overtake what at the time were the world’s six biggest economies, namely, the US, Japan, Germany, France, and Italy (the G6). That forecast has proved right on the broad direction of change, but little else.”

Goldman identified four factors underpinning the performance of the Brics – macroeconomic stability, openness to global trade and investment, strong institutions, and education. Ninan writes that India performed closest to the forecast – its economy has almost trebled relative to the combined G6 economies from 2.4% to 8.4%. He says India has delivered on all four categories with room for improvement on a couple, but it has scored the best in terms of political stability. While both China and India have done well with China moving into a league of its own, it is approaching maturity and its growth rate is slowing although still better than the global growth rate. “Looking ahead to the second quarter of the century, expect broadly more of the same, with India gaining prominence,” he adds.

As one of the most outspoken and balanced observers and business columnists in the country, Ninan has frequently discussed immediate and nearby events as well as long-term perspectives. It behooves us to look not just at the quarter-century prospects of the economy but also at what we are facing and can expect in the next year or couple of years. Our interactions with the printing, packaging, and consumer product industry reveal that they are focused on their current challenges and optimistic about overcoming them.

Vinay Kaushal of printing and packaging machinery distributor Provin Technos, says, “Following the years of Covid-19, the second half of 2023 came as a big relief with a great upsurge in the Indian printing industry. This led to the influx of a good number of new machine installations, although the capacity increase requirements were dampened by the still hampered global supply chain that led to price increases and longer shipment times. Nevertheless, we made significant gains this year in both the sheetfed offset and digital segments.

Moreover, the upsurge continues, and at this moment we are looking at 2024 very positively. If there is no extraordinary disturbance on the external front, we expect growth in the book publishing segment to continue for some years to come. We also expect significant investments in the packaging and label segments. As we add two new verticals in the coming year, our expansion plans are in place and expected to add to our bottom line.”

Priyatosh Kumar, head of Fujifilm India’s Graphic Communications and Device Technology business states, “The Fujifilm Graphics business has seen significant traction in CY 2023. All lines of products, analog as well as digital, have seen consistent high growth. Commensurate with the growing Indian economy, there is an increase in the overall demand for printing services. Changing customer behavior in some segments of printing is leading towards more digitalization. With our unique cross-section of digital and analog products that can holistically cater to market requirements, we strongly feel the current momentum shall continue.”

Jagdeep Hira, Business head at Pakka says, “In 2023, global governments addressed plastic packaging concerns through regulations, impacting India’s food and beverage packaging industry.

Throughout 2023, Global governments have proactively addressed public apprehensions regarding plastic packaging waste by enacting regulations aimed at curbing environmental impact and enhancing waste management practices. This shift towards stringent regulations is poised to significantly impact the food and beverage packaging industry in India. Consequently, there is a growing emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable packaging solutions, reflecting a broader trend towards environmental responsibility.

Looking ahead, 2024 is poised to be characterized by innovation and research spearheading the industry’s evolution, particularly with the integration of bio-materials derived from renewable resources. Pakka is strategically placing research and innovation at the core of its product development initiatives, fostering the creation of an array of sustainable and compostable packaging products. The company’s global expansion into Guatemala reflects its commitment to serve diverse audiences worldwide with excellence.”

Thus, print and packaging continue to mirror the positive economic growth of the country. Excellence, efficiency, sustainability, and compliance are being seen as opportunities – as are exports and globalization as essential components of growth and scale. As Ninan writes in his column, India is likely to remain the fastest growing of the four Brics countries in the next quarter century!

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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