How Tushar Dhote is spreading the Pamex message - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

11 November 2017

Tushar Dhote, chairman of Pamex has been a busy man. The All India Federation of Master Printers has organised roadshows in 50 grassroots towns in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. At the regional level, promotional events have been planned in Pathankot, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. Dhote has been the backbone of these roadshows.

Organised by AIFMP, Pamex 2017 is scheduled from 18-21 December 2017 at Bombay Exhibition Centre.

“The most interesting learning in these centres is, the small printer is very inquisitive to learn and experiment” says Tushar Dhote in this Sunday Column

latur2 Dhote at Latur event for Pamex

What has been your greatest learning from the Pamex roadshow in Maharashtra?
I have mostly traveled in the two and three-tier towns of Maharashtra, starting from Jalgaon, Ichalkaranji, Kudal, Pandharpur, Bakshi, Usmanabad, Solapur, Latur and so on. The most interesting learning in these centres is, the small printer is very inquisitive to learn and experiment. 

What is the hurdle?
The dearth of knowledge is the only restricting factor. They are afraid to ask questions. But when I interacted with them in a one to one meeting, they would come out of their shell and are open to guidance and suggestions.

One print city you most admire?
Nanded was one town which amazed me the most.

Why Nanded?
Oh, young entrepreneurs are eager to try out different options for growth. One such youngster was working on a cluster formation for setting up a press to print in colour. Earlier, print jobs were going out to Hyderabad due to non-availability of a four colour press. This youngster's report was ready and with a little guidance and a proper selection of print equipment, he could manage to start the first cluster in Nanded with a four colour press and other printing equipment this year.

Pamex event at Latur

You have spoken about your interaction with the print delegates in these cities and how their requirement is basic and simple.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue about printing in a big city like Mumbai? Have we over-complicated things in our imbalanced obsession with the balance sheet?
In big cities like Mumbai, we try to compete instead of being focused. We try to be jack of all trades. We should stick to specialty printing rather than doing everything in print. I believe such an effort will bear more fruits and make the business model more profitable.

Which machines or print technology did you come across most during your roadshow?Based on your roadshow experience which print technology, according to you, is the future? Why?
Digital printing is what has been accepted as the game changer in future of printing. Also, more and more firms add value by screen and UV effects and embellishments are going to set you apart from the rat race, so focus should be to experiment these technologies. Today, labels are being tried on digital and flexography for short run and variability.

The smaller towns are on the path of development. Even the small SMEs through smaller investments in digital print technology is what they try their hands on. A lot of them have the latest autoplate offset presses and CTP. This is to assist in faster turnarounds. Coupons, tickets and ballot papers are mostly produced through a combination of offset and digital presses to ensure variability through printing numbers and barcodes.

If you could try change one thing about printing in Maharashtra, what would it be?
Availability of proper training and trained personnel is the one thing that needs to change rapidly in smaller towns. Plus a proper workflow knowledge and simple ERP solutions can certainly make these print units more productive and profitable.

Dhote interacting with printers of Barshi

GST has disrupted the print economy. Are SME print firms across Maharashtra who form the backbone of our industry prepared for GST?
There is a lot of confusion still in the minds of the smaller printers in composition schemes and being GST compliant. GST according to me has bridged the gap between the competitive print firms with a single tax.

But what were their grievances?
Lack of proper knowledge. But I feel knowledge about GST will definite build in more confidence in these printers. They have to be guided properly by the GST structure and will require a few sessions by GST experts. I am sure by the financial year-end everything will fall in line.

A thought process you think is old-fashioned for print but still prevalent in the smaller towns?
Hard to say as a lot has changed and I have not come across printers who are still doing letterpress or small screen printed jobs anymore. Digital printing has replaced these processes for run jobs. In fact, few printers use these only for adding value such as UV by screen and foil by letterpress.

Will there be a Pamex roadshow in other neighbouring states?
Yes, there are grassroot level regional and international roadshows which are being organised all over the nation. We are looking at 52 cities to be precise in India and two in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We are covering Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Dhote engaging with the Pandarpur printers

What is the Print Yatra concept?
The Print Yatra in North will cover the state in a van and shall visit cities like Meerut and Gorakhpur etc. This will end in Lucknow on 18 November for a mega event.

What about East India?
East India is still not covered but we will do some in the interiors of Bengal and Assam.

Your favourite Pamex roadshow moment thusfar?
I do not have a favourite moment in my roadshows across as the experience at each of these places has been different and enriching. Yes, you get to meet different people and each having a special moment, so it would not be fair to describe any particular one. The only thing I value is engaging with print people and their belief in us.

From the Solpaur Pamex event

What is your favourite Make in India print brand at Pamex?
Autoprint or Suba Solutions have taken an initiative to lead in the India print brand. Suba has started its own indigenous manufacturing plant for window patching for folded cartons. Autoprint with its die-punching machine and print quality control equipment is endeavouring to establish top-end solutions in India. Even Lineomatic has come out with its total line with round cutting of notebooks in a single pass, is a world class manufacturer.

What should rest of India expect from Pamex?
India should expect an international show of equipment this year at Pamex with a proper coverage in all four verticals of print. That is commercial, digital, pre-press, post-press, labels, packaging and converting. A lot of software and ERP solutions with high-end equipment is expected to add value to print.

What next for Tushar Dhote?
Tomorrow is a Pamex roadshow in Bhopal. Day after is Hyderabad and the next day is Vijaywada.

Top exhibitors at Pamex 2017

Presses Digital  Post-press  Pre-press Consumables UV solutions
Insight - Komori Canon AS Print Aids  AGS Chemline 3S Graphic Solutions 
Provin Technos Konica Minolta ePrint Machinery  Farb Technologies Empowera Alpna Visual Packaging 
Rotoffset Corporation Xerox Megabound  Bodhi-Pro Kanan Graphics APL
NBG Printographic Machinery Epson  Autoprint RSG Solutions Zeb Group Dizario Machinery
Grafica Flextronica Ricoh  Pratham Modular Infotech Sangeeta Polypack Pinnacle Technocrats
Line O Matic Graphic Industries Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Suba Solutions aNiman Graphic Supplies Reprographics Systems and Supplies  Pal Associates
Pressline India FujiFilm India Sheth Printograph  Reprographics India Cosmo Films Pinnacle Technocrats
Duratech Automation Monotech Systems Herzog+Heymann Crystal Digital Solutions Pressman Solutions Techno Graphic Services (TGS)


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