Print & Beyond, a seminar about the future of book printing was our first experience to interact with the legends in the printing industry. We feel it was a great opportunity to meet the dignitaries and boost our knowledge plus understand the latest trends in the book print domain.
All the KMPA and AIFMP dignitaries plus the seminar speakers during the inaugural ceremony
It was a pleasure to listen to Dr Rajendra Kumar Anayath, a pioneer in printing. In his brief address, he explained the genesis of the print seminar plus what to expect during the course of the day. We were inspired by Akihiro Komori’s speech and the growth numbers he shared about our industry. We were dazzled by the keynote address in Malayalam by Thomas Jacob, the 56-year newspaper man from Malayala Manorama. He spoke about the history of the newspaper industry and about the first newspapers in Kerala.
The Komori and Insight team at the Kochi seminar
Bhuvnesh Seth of Replika Press shared a video which demonstrated the clout of his book factory in Kundli in Haryana. After which he spoke about the strengths and weaknesses of book production in India and the threat to the Indian book print firms from China and even countries like Poland and Vietnam. Through the Replika case study, Bhuvnesh Seth highlighted how the book industry in India has evolved. He also spoke about book exports and how to set up an EOU unit; plus the negative impact of GST on the trade.
We became aware of a book tester which was introduced by Suresh Nair of Welbound through a live demo. In his presentation, Suresh Nair touched upon key aspects about how to manufacture a book. These included the standard operating procedures and the mechanism that a book binder should adhere to. We particularly liked his tips on what to do and not do on the shopfloor in order to achieve consistency in book production. Suresh Nair has promised to visit our university in Coimbatore and conduct a day-long workshop for all the girl students in our college.
We were blessed to meet the Best National Award Printer in India, Khushru Patel of Jak Printers. Through an hour-long Q&A session with Khushru Patel, we realised that that one should train the next generation to focus on the business. The focus should not be “only” on the product.
We applauded with joy when we saw the images of his press. We had never seen such a pretty printing plant in our entire life.
Khushru Patel (l) of Jak Printers and Ramu Ramanathan of PrintWeek India
The highlight of his interaction with Ramu Ramanathan of PrintWeek India was how Khushru Patel learnt the most from “the failures and falls and the lesson that was learnt from the Taj job. And how the team at Jak handled failure.” Later Ramanathan and Patel travelled to Byculla via Navi Mumbai. And we got a glimpse into an extraordinary multi-acre plant in the centre of Mumbai with greens, a mini print museum with the antique kit, an ancient well with its own water system. Besides being pretty and beautiful, the entire press is on one level and totally functional. It was enthralling to hear Khushru Patel talk about how they managed “the Beauty and Beast - under one roof.”
The autoplate case-study was an important point and proved how machine management is an important aspect at Jak when the firm opted for the autoplate system in 2002 in spite of Khusru Patel’s contemporaries in the industry warning him against the investment. Another gain was the raft of guillotines, perfect binders plus the Kolbus system. Jak invested in this kit in spite of the volumes for hard-case books “not justifying the investment”.
After which, Vijay Menon, a corporate trainer, delivered a talk about human values and ethics. This was based on his experiences when he met people from different walks of life like President Kalam. The Print and Beyond seminar concluded with a panel discussion with the main speakers.
After the seminar concluded we tried to meet all the dignitaries and speakers. We thank the KMPA members who visited our department for a roadshow about this seminar. The KMPA has promised to share the video recordings of the talks by Bhuvnesh Seth, Suresh Nair and the Q&A with Khushru Patel; so that it can be screened for the benefit of our classmates.
We (and indeed many more classmates and colleagues in our class) wish to participate in similar events in the future too. Like the president of KMPA, S Saji, We are proud to be a printer!