Asmitha Ashokan Reddy: How did you start your print journey?
Prakash Bhat: After I graduated from the media technology department of MIT, I got selected as GTE in The Times of India, Bangalore. I spent two years there and like every engineer, I looked for a bigger opportunity. I wanted to work abroad. So I tried Saudi Arabia and got an opening at the Arabian Printing & Publishing House as production engineer. It was a great experience and I spent six years there. Then I shifted to British Industries, Kuwait in 2012. It is the number one packaging and commercial printing company in Kuwait. After I joined, the company decided to start its web division and we started newspaper printing. Currently, we print two major newspapers of Kuwait — Alrai and Aljalitha.
Asmitha Ashokan Reddy: I’ve heard from my teachers that you were a very active student…
Prakash Bhat: Whatever I am today is because of this department. My teachers were very supportive in curricular, co-curricular and in personality development. I was the class representative in second, third and fourth years. I was an active member of Rotract Club of MIT. When the department started the Media Engineers & Graphic Technologists Association (MEGA), I became the founder president. We used to conduct several programmes which helped me as well as other MEGA members in personality development.
Pranav BA: Can you tell us about the print market in GCC?
Prakash Bhat: The print market is wide and active everywhere. Packaging is booming in GCC. It’s a major factor in sales. Every item in GCC is well packed. This is not possible without print. The development of malls, supermarkets and hyper-markets has helped print, especially the packaging industry.
Asmitha Ashokan Reddy: Your advice to young print aspirants?
Prakash Bhat: First of all, I would advise young print aspirants to study well. By the time you reach third year, you would develop an interest for certain subjects. There are wide options available. You can choose packaging, newspaper production, commercial print or even electronic media. This will help you to focus on your area of interest which helps develop your career. Now, you have two domains, print media and electronic media, and opportunities in both the verticals are abundant.
Pranav BA: What would you have been doing by this time if you were not in the printing industry?
Prakash Bhat: It’s a good question. Had I not studied printing, may be, I would be looking after my agriculture land in my native place Kasaragod. We have lots of cultivation there which are taken care of my relatives. I am also interested in social services.