Sriraam Selvam (SS): Congratulations on this development. Can you explain this arrangement? What is pressman's and Idealliance's role in this?
Panthala Selvan (PS): Idealliance South Asia was created in order to serve India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan. Our industry knowledge, implementation expertise is aligned with not just the services and to serve the world approach of Idealliance, but the quality of character of the personnel is an absolute match of our value system.
PS: To work as a global organisation which is graciousness, humility, integrity, ethics and leadership.
SS: Kudos on the certification too. Why is it such a big deal?
PS: Idealliance is the largest certifying body in the world for printing, packaging and publishing with the most sought-after and recognised global certifications. The organisation has 11 strategically located global offices. Idealliance created some of the foremost utilised ISO standards, specifications, datasets, profiles, and targets in the world such as: GRACOL, SWOP, G7, ISO/PAS 15339, ISO 20654, IT8/7.4, among many others.
SS: When an Indian firm starts with certifications practices then there is a requirement to start from scratch. What are the three things a firm should be vigilant about?
PS: This is a great question and I am not certain anyone has ever asked such as question before, so thank you.
SS: Please respond.
PS: I would say, never stop being a continuous learner in order to propel your business, organisation and yourself to the greatest heights possible. Never get trapped in the “we don’t need to change” mode. So often through certification, for example facility certification or audit, it is easy to get away from staying on top of practices, but the value of doing good work is putting into practice each and every day the specifications, methodologies, standards and measurements that are critical for quality without cutting corners, even though that might be easier at times. Share knowledge in order to connect the future generations to our incredible industry and continuously build and automate, informed and sustainable industry, knowledge must never be coveted but shared. The benefit of sharing knowledge changing lives, generations and industries.
SS: An overwhelming majority of employees want to learn new skills, to make their jobs more stimulating and improve their career prospects. But India has an Ustadji approach and not a process approach. How can we change it?
PS: Ustadji approach will not work out in the world of standardisation.
The aim of standardisation is to provide a consistent print result. Many printers started moving away from Ustadji approach to a process approach for moving to next level.
SS: Time and resource are the main challenges faced by companies. These are obviously amplified if you are a small business where taking one person out of the office for a day can have a real impact on production. Do you have a simple system that can benefit an SME firm?
PS: Standardisation of men, machine, material, method, measurement are the basic pillars of every company. The company should give time, resource and tools. Standardisation is very helpful for everyone irrespective of the size of the factory.
SS: Which is better? In-house training? On-the-job training? External training?
PS: It is a combination of both. Without education, there can be no innovation. If this is done internally or externally, learning must never cease in any part of one’s life or career.
SS: There is an industry perception that if you train workers then they will leave for a better job. "What if you don't train them and they stay!"
PS: Companies that invest in their employees show them a number of things through their actions, first that they care about them as individuals and want to invest in the ability to grow in order to help them not only in their position but overall as an organisation. Companies that take action on investing in people’s careers often make a larger statement to them of gratitude than one might believe. Happy employees do not leave organisations, especially when they are looked after.
SS: Getting the actual certification is a nice little cherry on top but what are the working practices required?
PS: When you help brands, print service providers, suppliers, creatives and everyone in the eco-system of printing and packaging learn the same language, a common language of standards, specifications, implementation and practices, you not only create much more efficient, effective and aligned supply chains, but you create more profitable entities. Also, you reduce downtime, waste, and increasing speed to market by showing people the how, where, what, when and why ISO standards and other global specifications need to be implemented. What gets measured, gets managed and if an entire supply chain is communicating the same language and understanding you drive incredible efficiency. The Idealliance training, certification and audits and facility qualifications provide just the resources for the global markets and as a global non-profit making these programs accessible, affordable and attainable to people and organisations wherever they may be in the world is our overall global goal. We are all about global collaboration and serving.
SS: Final question. How do your heading Idealliance’s South Asian operations benefit Pressman and indeed the Indian graphic arts industry?
PS: This benefits Pressman Solutions / Pressman Academy for print education and resource by bringing it under a global umbrella of Idealliance South Asia. This augments an established base of programmes and people we serve, but also adding to our offerings of services, providing deeper value in the burgeoning region of India, with relationships of Idealliance that cover printing and packaging, every print medium, brands, print service providers, suppliers and OEMs in the region.