Over 400 people attend a highly focused technological and knowledge sharing seminar by AIFMP in association with OPA (Ludhiana) & MPA (Ambala) and supported by industry leaders HP and Heidelberg.
The twin city of Ambala has its own historical significance for its large cantonment, British era structures, scientific equipments industry, cloth market and education etc. to name a few. But on 17th September it became a centre of focus for the Printing Industry which was all enthusiastic to deliberate over what Romancing Print ’18 had to offer to all participating in the event. The participants list included many eminent personalities of the industry and the proceedings marked the hectic full-house event with back-to-back presentations by experts from various printing fields.
The greatest surprise for all, at what was otherwise deemed a small city event, was representation from various cities – people from as much as 36 cities participated – across the country. So were the number of participants which crossed well over 400 and we had a packed hall at Romancing Print ’18 at Ambala. The visitors’ response to the event sponsored by industry leaders Heidelberg India and HP India was overwhelming – with all the chairs occupied and still keen listeners were observed standing at the side alleys.
The Master Printers’ Association, Ambala (Haryana) hosted an event which was akin to the exuberant members that we saw on their toes all through the busy hall of Romancing Print ‘18. The event was well supported by the Offset Printers’ Association (OPA Ludhiana) under the aegis and guidance of the world’s largest printers’ association – All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP). Many associations from across the country had their representation at the event – Delhi, Hoshiarpur, Telangana, Dehradun, J&K, Jagraon and Jalandhar, just to name a few.
What added to the verve of the event was the presence of young leaders of the future of Printing Industry. About 50 students from Universities pursuing undergraduate courses in Printing and Packaging technologies were the soul of the event. They were there to learn from the experts more about the industry and they made the best of the event to learn the latest.
Padma Shree Vijay Kumar Chopra, CMD, Punjab Kesari Group and former AIFMP President graced the event as the Chief Guest of Romancing Print ‘18. He lit the Celebratory Lamp inaugurating the event and guided the gathering with his highly experienced words and life as a printer. Taking all on a long smooth journey of his own printing life, he shared his rich experience and efforts of key associations in bringing the fraternity together to address and serve their best interests. Mr. Chopra’s contribution in the growth of Indian Printing fraternity is well known. He was one personality that everyone looked forward to meet and hear.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Sunil Chopra expressed thanks to all supporting organisations and technology providers Heidelberg and HP to serve Ambala with a great event.
He was followed by Mr. Arvind Mardikar, HGS, AIFMP who shared the achievements of AIFMP and its collaborations with regional associations to address their concerns and interests through a common national and international forum.
Recognising the Invisible Gorilla – Heidelberg solutions enable smooth adaptation to change
Mr. Ganesh Kumar V, Product Manager, Sheetfed and Digital, Heidelberg India kept the audience spellbound with his interactive ‘Invisible Gorilla’ presentation. He asserted the need to recognize the ‘gorilla’ of ‘invisible change’ in our day to day business and adapt to the change as quick as possible. He shared data on product’s ‘phase out’ period – which has now come from around 2-3 years just a few years ago to almost ‘uncertain’ short period today. “This makes it all the more important for us to recognize the ‘opportunity’ and not the ‘challenge’ in changing times,” he emphasised. He gave lively examples of magazines diversifying into many editions; the famous brand Colgate – from just being Colgate to now a multi-product diversified toothpaste brand; and the famous Coca Cola ‘Share A Coke’ campaign on personalisation.
“The days of ‘10 jobs per day’ are over and the days of ‘10 jobs per hour’ have come. The challenge can be addressed by opportunities provided by digital technology’s capabilities,” says Ganesh. He also drew attention towards the paradox that though demands for quality are increasing by the day yet costs of printing are coming down. He termed it as another opportunity to diversify and offer end-to-end solutions under one roof. He presented the audience with the complete portfolio of Heidelberg solutions that extend throughout the printing process – right from prepress to press to postpress, labels, digital and consumables etc.
Finally, he shared the capabilities of today’s technology to help printers reduce manpower dependence in production to bring efficiencies of automation and streamlined production.
He presented Heidelberg Omnifire as the technology of the future. The highly capable future technology can print on any 3D object. Popularly known as Multidimensional Printing, the new concept of 4D printing presents a huge road to success to printers of tomorrow.
Work for money & Print for love – Print big with HP Indigo
The presentation by HP India highlighted the millennial customers of present day and the need of Print Service Providers (PSPs) to transform themselves as millennial too. Shifting focus from yesterday’s loyal customer, the present day printer must focus on providing ever innovative solutions to the customers. HP team highlighted digital capabilities of HP Indigo presses and the innovative possibilities of Digital, Short-Run and Variable Data Printing. They drew audience attention towards the fast growing capabilities of Indigo presses and the shift of industry towards Indigo prints. “The Digital Technology printing up to A3 size prints is the talk of the bygone days. Indigo presses today are enabling printers to print larger size B2 prints and also B1 size,” says Abhishek Bhatnagar, Marketing Development Manager – Indigo Graphics Solutions Business India.
There are already 12 B2-size HP Indigo machines installed and running at various customer locations in the country. One more is going to install soon in Punjab. As of B1 size, there are 6 HP Indigo machines installed and churning large size prints globally.
Speaking on Indigo technology, Mr. Kulraj Singh comments, “What makes the Indigo different is that it’s built on Offset principle and uses liquid ink. This less than 1 micron ink (as opposed to 6-7 microns of toners) finely penetrates the pores of the page to produce extremely fine Indigo prints.” He further says that as opposed to earlier just full-colour printing, these presses are being used to meet diverse market demands of single, double or three-colour jobs.
The presentation further emphasised the importance of data, particularly customer data and providing innovative and friendlier solutions to them based on this vital information. The Romancing Print ’18 audience knew more about the concept of EPID – Every Print Is Different. They learnt further about Personalisation and how end-to-end solutions from Indigo can meet various market demands under one roof. They learnt Indigo capabilities to print a diverse range of substrates apart from paper for both Web-fed and Sheet-fed applications. The video presentation by HP emphasised the need of latest technology to provide innovative solutions and keep business profitable to spell growth with the punch-line – Work for money & Print for love.
Join hands to bring costs down
Guest of Honour Mr. AK Sinha, Former Director of Printing, Government of India, spoke on the need of collaboration among printers to beat competition and bring growth. With a rich experience spanning over four decades, AK Sinha was one eminent speaker whom the audience admired for his practical suggestions. “Indian industry is offered technology by foreign providers which they have developed; and not what we need,” he opines. “Foreign printers have less cost of production than what we have. We can beat cost and price pressures by creating clusters. We must join hands to bring cost down,” he adds. Sinha also emphasised wastage reduction – in addition to the need for innovation – as the need of the hour for our industry. He declared that he didn’t believe in competition but in cooperation.
Addressing the change from ‘manufacturing age’ to ‘service age’
Prof. (Dr.) Anjan Kumar Baral had a zealous lecture on ‘The Art of Possible in Packaging’. He emphasised Mass Versioning and Mass Customisation in a detailed topic highly admired by the students’ fraternity attending the event. “Times have changed from the Manufacturing Age to the Service Age,” he stated. He enumerated scores of services as example to enhance consumer experience – innovative designs, prints, colours, packages and many more such embellishments. He cited many products and brands that transformed through versioning over the years. “In a campaign by Oreo, you could design your own Oreo with an innovative concept by the manufacturer. Not only did it create a personalised product for the customer but also the package sold for $10, which means more revenue for the producer as well,” he underlined. Further in his discourse, he highlighted the value of packaging in purchase decision. This he termed as ’15 second pitch’ (the time vital in purchase decision by a customer before a shop shelf). With multinational brands fast invading the food, beverage and other products catching up the needs of growing income group in Indian middle class, he put CAGR of 13-15 percent for the packaging sector in coming 4-5 years. What spurs this growth is the potential in low per capita consumption of packaging in India which has 4.3 kg per capita consumption of packaging as against 20 kg in China and 42 kg in Germany. He also marked that Flexible packaging and PET bottle are the highest growth areas though paper and board still remain the most preferred packaging material. The key area of packaging is driven by mobile-engaged packaging what he termed as ‘mobil-ution’.
Prof. Anjan marked two key challenges before the industry –
Follow your dreams
Prof. (Dr.) Rajendrakumar Anayath is a personality that needs no introduction in Indian Printing fraternity and is a favourite among students’ of different generations. The humble Prof. Rajendrakumar Anayath, in his speech, took all on a journey from his humble beginning as a barefooted pupil of government school to a sought after speaker at educative forums, institutes and events world over. His story is a story of a young Printing Technology Engineer who faced the hurdle of expressing himself in any language other than his mother tongue Malayalam (he knows 7 languages today). His story is a story of a Printer who fell in love with the ‘steam engine like sound of letterpress’. His story is a story of being called lazy because he chose Printing as his engineering stream. Today, not only his detractors are proved wrong but also we all are proud that the Vice Chancellor of one of the top technological universities of the North has travelled over 50 countries and delivered expert lectures in close to 80 universities world over. His was a motivation speech for the young students and his was the motivational speech for the business fraternity to follow their dreams i.e., by believing 100 percent in themselves.
Asit Ghosh enthrals audience
The after Lunch session was for the event’s key attraction – the motivational session by famous author and motivational trainer Asit Ghosh. In an engaging interactive session he enthralled the audience playing with their minds and thoughts to shake them into new leaders. He kept spurring the audience to recognize true education – which is not necessarily academics – but can be personal experience and trial and error as well. In his own words he was playing with the minds of the audience and audience enjoyed being played too. He received a standing ovation from the Romancing Print ’18 audience.
The meet concluded with the speech from the industry veteran Chief Guest Padma Shree Vijay Kumar Chopra. Among many things he discussed, the key was the need for discipline to succeed. He cited an incident that happened years ago in his young age when he went to Germany to get training on a German machine. “It was I who was a couple of minutes late a few times but I never saw a single German person coming to work late ever,” he said. He emphasised the need for printers of every region to come together and take forward matters concerning industry’s growth themselves. He was all praises for Prof. Kamal Chopra, the man behind the event and many such initiatives within and outside the country. He is the man behind ‘Print Yatra’ campaign throughout the country. He has been instrumental in bringing the Printing fraternity together and taking their causes forward through industry bodies and to the government.
Young Minds Speak
We met the students that came from various institutes of the region and tried to explore the young minds. Sumer Singh and his friends came from Mahendragarh, almost 300 kms from Ambala. They are students of Printing & Packaging Technology (B.Tech). Sumer Singh is a 3rd year student and has yet one year left for his degree. It is a small batch of 4 students in this faculty. They would be the first batch coming out as Printing & Technology graduates from CUH (The Central University of Haryana). They have already been offered placement in a packaging company based in Sonipat. We could see the young energy in them, enthusiasm to learn and dreams to excel. “We are the first batch of this relatively less known Engineering branch. We have faced questions like – what is this field all about, what are the recruitment chances, what’s the earning capacity of a graduate etc. We have seen many friends changing over to other engineering branches (which are) more popular with the masses. But, now we meet highly successful people from the industry at such events (as Romancing Print ’18) and feel proud to have joined this exciting industry,” shares Sumer. “With all in our batch having secured industry placements, which is not so in other popular streams, we are very happy,” adds Mukul, another 3rd year student from CUH.
Romancing Print ’18 welcomed many students from KUK, Kurukshetra, which has been producing Printing, Graphics and Packaging Engineering for many years now. Sagar Kamboj, a Final Year student of KUK shares, “We have as good a strength as any other engineering field in our institute. Students of all batches have come here to learn from the experts of the industry. Our institute offers training in the best companies. We already have many senior students in the industry who guide us. We remain in regular touch with them. We have already trained at leading companies like Uflex, ITC etc.” The students strongly emphasised the need for institutes to keep updating syllabus as per the latest technologies. “Our institutes must collaborate with the industry and top technology providers to train students at the academic stage itself so that they don’t have to hunt their own ways to get trained to be market fit,” adds Sagar.
“It is a good initiative by AIFMP and other associations to bring the focus of industry towards tier-2, tier-3 cities. The need was long overdue. The concerns of small printers remain unanswered at events that take place in metros and big cities. It is good that the latest technologies that suit small city printers and also meet the growing demands there are being discussed now. We hope our various issues like – small market size, raw material availability, increasing cost of paper, labour and long payback periods are soon addressed.” – Sanjiv Sood, President DHPA (District Hoshiarpur Printers’ Association) and owner Sood Stationers & Printers.
In conversation with Abhishek Bhatnagar and Kulraj Singh
“India is a big country and lot of future potential lies in Tier 2 cities,” says Abhishek Bhatnagar, HP. “We find it our core responsibility to bring to the printing community here all the innovative trends and possibilities. Adopting digital technology is the future. Printers today need to think of ways to support brands, to educate them on the possibilities enabled by today’s technology in their efforts to gain consumers’ attention and save time and money,” he adds.
“Digital printing technology is quickly becoming the number one enabler of consumer engagement. However, the consumer engagement is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reaping the benefits of digital printing,” says Kulraj Singh, HP. “Today Digital printing plays a very important role and knowledge sharing seminars like Romancing Print ’18 not only discuss the current problems but also share possible solutions with the Printers.”
“It was a wonderful event organized by AIFMP and we are happy to share all the new applications & insights with the printers, convertors and students from printing industry. We met many printers enquiring about packaging applications & new innovations,” continues Abhishek.
Today Packaging is the fastest growing segment in digital printing, expected to be worth $19 billion by 2019, according to a report published by Smithers Pira. As consumers continue to demand more engaging packaging from brands, this trend is only expected to continue. “Digital printing enabled by the Indigo’s great capabilities offers many possibilities in this highly promising and growing segment,” concludes Abhishek.
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