In conversation with Mr. Narendra Paruchuri, Managing Director, Pragati Offset & Pragati Pack, who shares his thoughts on the present and post Covid-19 situation!
Q. How is Covid-19 going to affect the Indian Printing & Packaging Industry as a whole? Will Pragati Pack also see any changes?
A. CoVid-19 will affect almost everyone in the world. The print industry is a service industry dependent on other industries. So, in general things do not look good at this point. In winter everyone are bound to feel ‘cold’. In these circumstances, Pragati is also in the same boat.
Q. Pragati Pack has a commercial printing unit in Hyderabad, how is Covid-19 affecting the commercial business?
A. The effect on commercial printing will be much more than Packaging. It will take time for everyone to come into the right frame of mind. Demand has to pick up! How and when the question! If it picks before festival season, at least the second half of the year will be better.
Q. Will the market be more price sensitive post Covid-19?
A. I would say that the market will always be price sensitive.
Q. Will Covid-19 affect the availability of skilled labour?
A. The low-end jobs filled by migrant labour might be an issue. We will be able to know the depth of the damage only after we open up fully.
Q. Will automation see a boom in industries post Covid-19?
A. I am doubtful, as automation comes at a price and if it cannot be amortized soon, its investment might not be justified. However, people will start looking into this and will adopt automation in the times ahead.
Q. What are your suggestions for the new players/start-ups from printing & Packaging segment in these challenging times?
A. Please study the market and see how you can break-even, and in which sectors. Be sure of the markets and then venture into it.
Q. PM has declared a package of 20 Lac cores to the industry and that he is implying made in India products and services. How can it benefit your business?
A. I am not sure what benefits it will bring to the industry. We still need to understand the packages. All said and done we cannot expect much from the Government as we are not financially as strong as countries like Germany.
Q. Will Covid-19 affect Indian business relations with China?
A. China is a powerful and a rich country. It is embedded in the supply chain all over the world. You cannot wish away China even though sentiment is against it. Make in India will go forward as India has 1.3 billion people and that is a huge market.
Q. In your opinion to what extent can Indian industries be “Atmanirbhar”?
A. If the industry did not stretch itself a lot and cash management is reasonable, then we can get back to our feet slowly. Government can do little to help. The going is going to be tough.
Q. Where do we see the trade exhibitions going from here?
A. The next Drupa will be no different from the previous. We must understand that this corona virus will be gone and things will get back to normal. We should not worry unnecessarily about future being dark or uncertain.
Q. Anything else you would like to add on…
A. We look forward to good days ahead. Soon!