AMSG Ashokan, IPP – AIFMP, chairman – PAMEX and Tushar Dhote, co-chairman – PAMEX share their views on the printing industry and the ongoing PAMEX 2015 show!
What is the future of the printing industry in general and Indian printing industry in particular?
Ashokan: Beyond doubt, the future is bright for the global printing industry. Believe me, for Indian printing industry also, the future is safe and bright. Growing economy, 65 percent youth population, strong fundamentals, new-gen aspirations – all these shall contribute in overall growth in coming years. Though, pattern, format and methods will evolve as per market needs.
Tushar: Future is always bright for whatever industry we may be in, it is the way we look at it and the perspective makes all the difference. Printing is no different. We need to evolve ourselves and change with the times. Technology is changing rapidly and so we need to adopt it by constantly training and updating our knowledge in business. The quick learner with equally good management skills will be the winner. I believe there is a huge amount of potential in print business. Though digital is growing, offset print
too is growing.
What according to you are the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian printing industry?
Ashokan: The Indian printing industry is thriving on following strengths: quick learners, overall flexible approach and urge to grow. But, there are a few weaknesses as well, which include lack of patience, lack of skilled man-power and low or no risk options by printers.
Tushar: The Indian printer is very smart and intelligent. The new generation of contemporary printers is on the rise; they are focused and decision makers and this is what will change the future of our printing industry. The strength of the Indian printers is innovation, though there is limitation in terms of infrastructure and manpower.
The weakness of the Indian printer is that he is not well trained, lacks motivation and financial ability to study technology or adopt it in his business. I truly understand that there is a serious gap in the funding available to the SME sector, but a good project with a proper study in terms of ROI and technology change, keeping a futuristic view, is necessary for investment. A proper business development plan is necessary. There can be small group clusters formed with the help of friends and like-minded players in this industry to attract bigger investment for newer technologies. I believe it can be done.
What is the total expanse of the fair? Are these sync with your targets? Why/Why not?
Ashokan: From the day we started, our motto was ‘Think big – dream big’. Six months prior to D-day of 9th December we were not up to the mark. Rethinking, brainstorming and suitable actions yielded results.
Tushar: We have sold 7500+ sq m and over 250 exhibitors at Pamex 2015. Our target though was 8000 sq m but because of some last minute cancellations for equipment not reaching or in high sea and of course the deluge in Chennai, meant a lot of cancellation at the last moment.
What new can the exhibitors/visitors expect at the fair?
Ashokan: Refreshing venue, hi-tech systems in place, perfect floor plan, attractive stall designs and above all, world class exhibitors, shall open the gates to ‘future of print’. Every visitor will return home with some degree of satisfaction and I mean it.
Tushar: We do foresee a good growth in the packaging, converting and labels in the coming years, so this time we have a theme of four verticals: Commercial and Digital printing; Package converting; Narrow web; and Corrugation packaging. There are a lot of live demos of machineries at the exhibition. HP is displaying the Indigo 10000 and Insight Communications will be running Komori 37 live. Autoprint,
Line O Matic, Canon, Ricoh and Xerox – all of them have new launches. There is a lot of activity in the software section with EFI and Bodhi, etc having new launches. There are exhibitors for all levels i.e. the micro, medium and large printers.
How many visitors are you expecting at the show and from which areas?
Ashokan: The efforts put in by PAMEX Team have already assured first six digit. It will be interesting to see how further we can go. Am optimistic, it will be an all time high footfall among all print exhibitions held so far in India. We are expecting pan India attendance dominated by Western and Southern part of India. Maximum city, the dream city – Mumbai, the host city, has its own charm which is boon in disguise for us as far as attracting footfall.
Tushar: We are expecting visitors from all over India. We have specially done 14 roadshows at the Grassroot level in Maharashtra and around six roadshows in Tamil Nadu and South India. We are also expecting a good crowd from the tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
What other efforts are taken by the organisers to make it a best-in-class show?
Ashokan: Nothing has been left to chance. Presence on social media, mobile app, maximum possible use of technology, signage and other aspects which are important from the point of view of a common visitor all have been taken care of.
Tushar: Pamex brand never had a problem. On becoming the co-chairman of Pamex 2015, one thing which I did was, not to negotiate the rate and offerings and tried to build back the confidence among the exhibitors, quoting them the success of the Pamex 2006 held in Mumbai. Both MMS and BMPA are offering their local support to the Pamex.
Moreover, we created core teams among the distributors and manufacturers and held meetings in Mumbai and Delhi to understand what they needed differently this time. Pamex promotions through roadshows at the Grassroot level in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have been very well accepted and media promotions such as bus panels, jingles and hoardings, etc have been done at strategic positions.
Any message for printing fraternity….
Ashokan: A must visit event to witness, experience, feel and be a part of the vision of our honourable prime minister Narendra Modi
‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’, ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’.
Tushar: My message for my friends in the print fraternity is very simple – we need to stick to the basics and develop a long term plan which will be based on a sound research on technology and a proper ROI for the investment. I believe there is a big scope for print in packaging and digital in newer forms of printing. Please do not compete on rate alone, as it is a killing factor. A proper business development plan is very much necessary to remain profitable.