You have been a regular participant at PrintPack. What is your review of 2019 edition?
I am really impressed with the quality, scale of the show and the professionalism with which the show has been organised. Perhaps, this is the largest Indian printing exhibition I have ever been to.
How have the Indian manufacturers performed at this edition of PrintPack?
During the initial editions of PrintPack, one could hardly see any Indian manufacturers of post-press machinery exhibiting machines at the show. Today, more than 70% of the show is about post-press and finishing. The Indian post-press machinery manufacturers have done an impressive job in fine-tuning their machines. For example, I could see a lot of perfection happen in the stationery equipment at Redlands Ashlyn stand.
You have seen the printing industry evolve over the past three decades, what, according to you, will be a major transformation in printing in the next 10 years?
My presumption is that there will be no pre-press skills required in years to come. The machines have become so intelligent these days that they can directly communicate to the cloud. It will be a coupling of hardware and software working in tandem without the need of a skilled manpower. The beginning waves of the same can be seen even at the show as many activities which were done by the pre-press department earlier are being done by the machine.
One advice to the Indian print fraternity…
Efficiency and value addition is the mantra. One must focus on how to add value in an efficient and cost effective way. This will be a differentiator especially in the commercial printing space.
Something like Industry 4.0?
Yes. In 2015, when Industry 4.0 was introduced, nobody thought that it will evolve so fast. In just four years, you can see technologies like IoT, cloud computing, cyber physical system impacting the printing industry.
What are the takeaways for the Indian print industry from the announcements made in the interim budget?
From the first look of it, the budget looks very positive and I believe it will certainly boost the print industry. It’s a populist budget favouring the middle class and therefore it will indirectly boost the print industry. This is because the middle class is the real decision maker and this budget really supports the middle class and lower middle class of the Indian population.