Right from the time the first book was printed in Tamil Nadu, at Tranquebar during the 17th century, the industry has been on the move. In 1952, the printers formed the Madras Printers’ and Lithographers’ Association (MPLA). Starting with 15 members, the Association boasts of more than thousand members.
According to P Chander, who served as the past president of MPLA, and president of the All India Federation of Master Printers, “Chennai’s print clout is not diminishing. We have to have clear cut boundaries within which competition should exist.”
Putting on his MPLA and AIFMP hat, he feels, “Perhaps an advisory board is necessary to bring to the table critical expertise and experience that may support and strengthen the management team and also the capital value of the print business.”
The mutations that Chander has witnessed in the past three decades while Madras has become Chennai are: The price of raw material has tripled, print rate has drastically declined, the technological advancement of multi-colour jobs has been a force multiplier.
Chander feels, “We have failed to adopt a uniform quote policy. Chennai printers should possess entry-level print management system to quote and manage the press with greater efficiency and ease.”
A lesson for Chennai is: “Case-studies of each printer plus a thorough analysis of individual cases should be made available for all the members of MPLA so that they can introspect about their own future.”
P Chander’s mantras for the Chennai print industry
ERP and MIS softwares should be specially developed for print.
Streamline the jobs and automate the plant.
Focus on the realities of business development.
Have multiple job input channel
Hybrid production facility that includes digital and offset
Build the future, while you are printing, today.