OPA organizes Conference with Ministry of MSME support and under the aegis of AIFMP – A Report.
The International Conference on ‘Future Printing and Scope for India’ was organized by OPA (Offset Printers Association) with the support of the Government of India, Ministry of MSME on 25-28 March. The conference was organized at the CUH, Mahendergarh (Haryana) under the aegis of AIFMP.
Mr.Parveen Aggarwal, President OPA, speaking about the event being held at the Central University of Haryana, states, “We are talking about the future printing. Therefore, it was felt necessary that besides the present printers, the future printers of the country may also be vigilant and understand how to manage the changes.” The Central University of Haryana (CUH), Mahendergarh trains the future printers.
The conference aimed to expand the scope of Indian printing and packaging market. “India is a bigger market and we have the capacity to supply the quality material at most competitive rates, especially to surrounding countries, like Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal etc.,” says Mr. Parveen Aggarwal. Print leaders of these countries were part of this hybrid conference – with the international speakers being present virtually and Indian speakers and audience gracing the event by being personally present. A huge digital display facilitated the international speakers participating virtually.
The conference remained a huge success with the presence of 6 international speakers, 18 Indian resource persons, 30 Print Professionals and 255 Print Entrepreneurs. The Ministry of MSME, Government of India, provided its support to the conference under the international cooperation scheme.
With Dr.Lakshmi Priya, moderator, welcoming the guests, the event began on the morning of 26th March. Prof.Rajiv Kumar, Member Secretary, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), was the Chief Guest and Prof.Tankeshwar Kumar, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Haryana joined as the Guest of Honour for the inaugural session.
Prof. Kamal Mohan Chopra spoke about the achievements of OPA while Mr. P Chander, President of AIFMP portrayed the current state of affairs of the Indian printing and packaging industry. Participant printers discussed the industry’s needs and challenges and shared ideas for the apex body of printers to take up and facilitate.
AICTE: promoting industry-institute collaboration
“Conferences like this where Industry persons from National and International levels participate in an academic institution, are very rare. Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Kamal Chopra for spearheading such a remarkable event, the students are getting opportunity to benefit greatly from this enormously,” remarks Prof. Tankeshwar Kumar.
Chief Guest, Prof.Rajiv Kumar was just overwhelmed to see the audience consisting of printers from various parts of North India seated along with the pool of students and faculty members. “This is exactly what AICTE is insisting all institutions to do,” acknowledges Prof.Rajiv Kumar. He listed out the schemes and facilities that AICTE has rolled out over the years, which promote industry-institute collaboration. He spoke about YUVAK, LILAVATI and PRAGATI, schemes that fund students to participate in international events, to travel abroad, Smart India Hackathon, Internship supports, Faculty Development Programme (FDP), Quality Improvement Program with foreign universities and over 40 more. Today an extensive set of technical education courses is being provided in regional languages and technical books have been translated in regional languages for the purpose.
Packaging industry to reach USD1.05 trillion by 2024
Mr. Narendra Paruchuri Pragati Offset, Hyderabad in his keynote address gave a technical presentation on ‘Current Scenario of Printing in India – Technology and Scope’. He gave an excellent statistical view about the prevailing scenario in commercial printing and the booming packaging industry.
By 2025, India is expected to become the fifth largest consumer market in the world, according to CII. The inception of new technologies along with a rise in e-commerce, changing lifestyles, urbanisation and increased personal health awareness has boosted the growth of the print and packaging markets. Globally, the packaging industry sector has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing industries across all countries. The industry is worth over USD917 billion (in 2019), growing at a CAGR 2.8% to reach USD1.05 trillion by 2024. Packaging is the world’s third largest industry following the food industry (1st) and energy (2nd) and the only industry that has to do with every single product produced in an economy. Packaging is the fifth largest sector in India and is one of the highest growth sectors in the country. According to the Packaging Industry Association of India (PIAI), the sector is growing at CAGR 22% to 25%. Even with this steep rise in the last decade, there is significant headroom for growth in this sector when compared to other developed regions across the globe. Mr.Narendra emphasized the need for innovation and specialty products with high quality, excellence holding the highest position. There is immense opportunity in Photo books, inline finishing operations and digital VDP operations. He advised students to explore and learn every day and grab the opportunity since manpower is scarce in the printing industry.
The importance of networking and collaboration in industry
Mr. Ahmed Mughira Nurhani, President of Indonesian Print Media Association speaking on the occasion, emphasized on ‘Future Printing Scope for India and Indonesia’. He said there can be ample of opportunities in networking, because they produce paper in Indonesia whereas use the post press machinery manufactured in India. Growth of printing is almost similar on both the countries, but there are just one or two institutions offering education in printing technology that too don’t offer advanced courses in Indonesia. He pressed for the need of collaboration for educational purposes between his country and Indian bodies like AIFMP and OPA.
Mr. Zulkor Shahin represents the Printing industries association of Bangladesh to “Asia Print federation” gave a talk on ‘Future of printing in Bangladesh and Scope of network with Indian Printing and Packaging Industry’. The Managing Director of Book Printing Company says, “In Bangladesh we celebrate the Book Day on the 1st of January when over 3 million books are distributed to children from Pre-KG to Higher Secondary classes. Presses in the country are being modernized now and that brings in the need for young people’s education in this field. He recognized the need for support for his country in print education, quality printing and post press machinery. The AIFMP president responded with a positive note on supporting the cause.
At the North Zone Printers Meet, the organizers introduced and felicitated the Presidents and other members of participating printers’ associations of North India. The printers expressed that with networking, any challenge can be met.
The printers were happy to see the students of printing getting professionally equipped at CUH. The printers insisted towards the need for research oriented training, so that the qualified students beat the common challenges the industry faces in day to day routine. The north zone printers expressed their gratitude towards OPA for the conference and providing a great opportunity to the print professionals and future printers to learn from print entrepreneurs. The students of PPT presented a gala cultural show that greatly enthused the audience and they enjoyed dancing and singing along.
The day two
On day two, Mr.Peter Deckker, President of Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP) talked on ‘Future Outlook of Printing in Sri Lanka and Opportunities for Collaboration’. He stressed upon the need of cross-country collaboration and invited the printers to make a business trip to Sri Lanka and the students to their print lab.
Speaker Ms.Thiemjai Jorgensen, the 80 year old Chief Editor of Thai Printer Magazine, spoke on ‘Printing Industry of Thailand and Scope for Collaboration’. She acknowledged the dearth of man power and sought support from the platform in this regard. “There are about 100 printing houses in Thailand and they celebrate Thailand printers Day every year. There is a dearth of man power in print houses,” she said. While discussing networking, she extended an open invitation to the PackPrint International Exhibition to be held in Oct 2022 where the Thailand association of printers can discuss possible areas of cooperation with Indian printers.
Mr. Satish Malhotra, former President of AIFMP spoke about the opportunities of print export especially to the Middle East and African countries. He emphasized the importance of networking possibilities among the printers of neighboring countries to be more competitive in the global print market. He explored such possibilities by discussing the topic with the audience from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Bangladesh etc.
Mr.Pema Gelay, Leader of the Bhutan Printers Association, gave a slide show presentation on ‘Printing Industry of Bhutan and Scope for Collaboration’. Traversing through the history of printing in Bhutan, mentioning the first Heidelberg bought in 1977, he walked the audience through the primary challenges of decline in printing industry, technology shift, issues in raw materials, and lack of human resources. Looking for strategic partners in Indian printers, he said India is the major supplier for all kind of machines and material for the printing industry. “There is tremendous scope for networking and possible cooperation with Indian printers in various sectors,” concludes Mr.Pema Gelay.
Lauding the efforts of OPA for the international conference, Mr. Subhash Chander, former President of AIFMP said, “Printing and packaging in India is growing and we have the capacity and capability to supply quality equipment to many countries. It is noticed that presently these countries are highly dependent on China for the supply of printing services and equipment etc. Today these countries are looking at India and with possible collaboration and networking it may be beneficial for both of us, where India can get new customers and these countries can benefit with quality services and machines at economical rates.”
Mr. Khom Kanta Regmi, President of the Federation of Nepal printers’ Association (FNPA) addressed the gathering in Hindi and emphasized that India has been the source for their printing industry – raw materials, machines and even some job orders. He sought AIFMP support in many areas to which the AIFMP president suggested upon support in the areas of collective material purchase, twining programmes, skill development and scholarships for Nepali students coming to India for Print education.
The Chief Guest, Prof. (Dr.) Rajenderakumar Anayath, Vice-Chancellor Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology and an eminent printing technologist, spoke about the perspective that is needed for an engineering student. “Students must observe the environment where they are, identify challenges in the society and give engineering solutions for it,” he emphasized. He connected the contents of ancient scriptures, and the current environment sustainability challenges. He listed the various words in Sanskrit for representing water and described the subtle differences in them and what kind of water each represents.
OPA, through a survey identified the Oldest Surviving Printing Press of Northern region. During this conference the owner/management of the oldest surviving printing press of the northern region – ‘Gita Press, Gorakhpur’ (estd. 1923) and the 2nd oldest Press ‘Narain Printing Works, Hoshiarpur’ (estd. 1925) were also felicitated.
Presenting the vote of thanks Mr. Ashwani Gupta, Jalandhar Printers’ Association appreciated the efforts of OPA. He thanked the ministry of MSME for providing the opportunities to learn the future printing. He appreciated the international speakers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal for their time and guidance. It was a wonderful occasion; it was for the first time ever that such a conference was organized at Mahendergarh. The event’s organizing team successfully conducted the event. The printers gained invaluable knowledge, explored new avenues, shared novel ideas and agreed upon the magnificence of networking and working together.