Ramu Ramanathan highlights "few things they don't tell us about printing"

By 18 Oct 2010

The past few days, I've been attending seminars, conferences, closed-door briefings - and a pattern is emerging. Let me try to give you a flavour, with some of the comments:

  • That there is no such thing as fair trade and healthy competition.
  • Good print firms are not only about the personality of the CEOs, but it sure does help.
  • Salaries for personnel in rich countries are more than they should be.
  • The Blackberry has changed the printer's world more than any kit on the shopfloor.
  • Assume the worst about your customers and inevitably you get the worst.
  • When the cabinet secretary talks about macroeconomic stability; it does not make the price of print more stable.
  • Government can pick winners in the print industry, but as a rule it doesn't.
  • Laissez faire policies rarely make a poor print firm richer.
  • Is print global? Does print have a nationality?
  • We do not, as yet, live in a post-printing age.
  • India (and China) and even Indonesia are galloping at a fair clip, but the USA – in spite of all its problems – has the highest print output in the world.
  • Packaging is not destined for underdevelopment; likewise labels, books and ideas.
  • Making a few print firms productive doesn't make the rest of the industry more productive.
  • Print consultants are over-priced.
  • And print products are under-priced.
  • Print firms in Karur or Morbi are more entrepreneurial than print firms in other parts of the country.
  • Are we smart enough to leave things to the free market; and the print buyer.
  • Will more literacy make a country richer? Or merely more educated?
  • Perhaps today's offset presses need to become less, not more efficient.
  • Curiously enough, a solid print policy does not require a good technologist.

Ramu Ramanathan is editor of PrintWeek India.

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