Print CEOs and how they view Covid-19

By 03 Aug 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns are changing the way the printing world operates. Aaditya Kashyap, Akshay Kanoria, Amitava Ray, Dhaval Dalal and Manish Desai describe what they are going through and try to rescue ideas for the future

Aaditya Kashyap, managing director, Marks Group

Any print that can begin and end with with just a phone in your hand, is the revolutionary move that will change the way print happens today.

Q: A favourite webinar that you attended in the lockdown
Apart from print related webinars, I also spend a lot of my time in understanding investments. One of the good webinars that I did attend was an exclusive webinar with Raamdeo Agrawal – chairman, Motilal Oswal. One thing I gained from this webinar has been a very solid reassurance that printing and packaging is going to see massive growth in the coming years, as global companies look at shifting their investment and manufacturing base from China to India.

With India enjoying good relations with USA and all major global economies, India has a bright future. I see no reason that India cannot achieve its USD five-trillion economy target. I am very positive that print industry shall also see huge growth in direct proportion to the growth of India.

Q: One maintenance tip you are following
We have put together stringent SOPs with industry best practices to ensure that man and machine both are well maintained. We clean the machines daily with disinfectant and we are ensuring that all machines are switched on every day for at least 15 minutes.

Q: Your advice during lockdown to your team
Jaan hai toh jahaan hai. Health is the most important thing, stay healthy, eat right, exercise right, follow lockdown guidelines, and take good care of hygiene.

Q: Your healthcare mantra for Covid-19
I follow Sadhguru of the Isha Foundaton, so have learnt a few yoga asanas for inner health and peace of mind. I perform the asanas every morning to ensure health is taken care of.

Q: One skill you have acquired during the lockdown
I have always been a good cook. During the lockdown, I learned a few new recipes and experimented with some.  Just FYI, not all went that well … LOL.

Q: One print technology which could be revolutionary in the post-Covid world
Any print that can begin and end with just a phone in your hand is the revolutionary move that will change the way print happens today. That will be the new normal soon.

Q: One packaging innovation that could be the new normal
I think the use of antimicrobial coatings on all surfaces where possible including cartons and flexible packagingcould be the new normal. Safe, virus- and tamper-evident packaging will be key to many industries including eCommerce and food delivery.

Q: One lesson from the pandemic for the industry
We all prepare for the growth and expansions but what we have to do differently is, prepare for a loss or a shut down for a minimum of six months. Situations like these should not lead to loss of jobs or pay-cuts. All companies should maintain emergency cash reserves as we do in our personal lives to hedge against any unwanted situations. Your people are the company, you have. Without people there is no company.

Q: One tip on man-management
Always be nice to everyone, be patient and be a good listener..

Q: An assistance that you seek on behalf of the industry from the government
To waive all electricity bills, rentals and reimburse 50% of the salaries paid to employees.

Q: One headline you want to see by the end of 2020
India is gearing up to be the next super power.


Akshay Kanoria, executive director, TCPL

Always be prepared for the proverbial Black Swan events

Q: A favourite webinar that you attended in the lockdown
To be honest, I’m pretty tired of webinars now.

Q: One maintenance tip you are following
Keep one of all critical spares to ensure that you are never stuck and dependent on suppliers.

Q: Your advice during lockdown to your team
Look at it as an opportunity to learn new skills and improve the present way of working.

Q: Your healthcare mantra for Covid-19
Exercise and stay fit, don’t become a couch potato.

Q: One skill you have acquired during the lockdown
Been re-learning Mandarin Chinese, which I had completely forgotten.

Q: One print technology, which could be revolutionary in the post-Covid world
Nothing particular comes to mind.

Q: One packaging innovation that could be the new normal
Greater automation in all the areas of the process – whether it is in printing, sorting, or gluing and packing. More developments and new approvals will be done through email and video chat rather than through physical meetings. So visualising software should get a boost as well.

Q: One lesson from the pandemic for the industry
Always be prepared for the proverbial Black Swan events. Can’t sacrifice stability and sustainability for growth. 

Q: One tip on man-management
Communicate and explain your decisions as much as possible to ensure higher trust and more effective implementation of decisions.

Q: An assistance that you seek on behalf of the industry from the government
Spend, spend, and spend. Government needs to spend on giving basic income support to industrial workers and allow firms to hire and fire at will, or they should give direct cash support to industrial units to maintain their present manpower strength. If you saddle firms with salary outflows that they can’t afford in this environment, they will become uncompetitive zombies, harming the recovery.

Q: One headline you want to see by the end of 2020
The return of big bang reforms, defeat of not only coronavirus but also the communal virus.


Amitava Ray, executive director, Uflex

I think most would like to switch to touch-less technologies to mitigate transmission risk, and so post-Covid, we could see hi-tech work starting on facial or voice recognition technologies for printing jobs

Q: A favourite webinar that you attended in the lockdown
I recently participated in a webinar organised by Propak that focused on Covid-19 crisis and addressed the challenges and solutions for food and beverage industry. This webinar was aimed at highlighting the challenges and solutions of food and beverage industry and I was invited to give my insights on current packaging industry issues. The webinar helped me understand what challenges our customers and those in the supply chain are facing and how they are tackling this situation.

Q: One maintenance tip you are following
We need to give our workforce and employees the top priority — keep them safe and secured from any health threats. At Uflex, we have escalated the sanitisation frequency at our facilities with increased house-keeping strength, disinfecting all commonly touched surfaces and installation of a walk-through chamber for full body sanitisation of all employees coming to our facilities. All have been told to wear face masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing.

Q: Your advice during lockdown to your team
I advise my team to stay connected virtually, and refrain from moving from their workstation unless it is unavoidable. I have also requested them to stay connected with all customers and suppliers regularly to keep checking on their wellbeing besides engaging with them for our/ their requirements.

Q: Your healthcare mantra for Covid-19
We all have grown up hearing that ‘health is wealth’ and in the current crisis, people with low immunity are more prone to get infected by Covid-19. The mantra I can give in such a situation is ‘your immunity is your new currency’, so keep yourself sanitised at all times, do workout at home, and follow a nutritious diet. Strong mental health is equally important so I ask them to stay calm and positive. This, too, shall pass.

Q: One skill you have acquired during the lockdown
Being a people’s manager requires a lot of patience, but the current pandemic has really got me to empathise more with the people and also think even more patiently in this disrupted situation, which helps a lot in overcoming critical situations.

Q: One print technology, which could be revolutionary in post-Covid world
I think most would like to switch to touch-less technologies to mitigate transmission risk, and so post-Covid, we could see hi-tech work starting on facial or voice recognition technologies for printing jobs.

Q: One packaging innovation that could be the new normal
Covid-19 has given a push to the packaging innovators to develop better packaging solutions that take care of hygiene and safety of the content of the pack, and in the current state. I foresee innovation of anti-bacterial packaging solutions the next big yet normal thing, something that doesn’t serve as a carrier to bacteria or virus but keeps the contents safe.

Q: One lesson from the pandemic for the industry
This pandemic has proved how indispensable plastic is to our lives. Although rising plastic consumption shall give way to more plastic waste, sustainability focus can’t be ignored just because people become more accepting of plastic now. We don’t want one problem to give rise to another! Thus, packaging manufacturers need to work hand-in-hand with the society to ensure that with sustainable practices and technology, plastic remains an integral part of packaging, yet it is reused and recycled or biodegraded so that it doesn’t harm the environment.

Q: One tip on man-management
Most manufacturing companies will continue facing shortage of manpower for some time due to lockdown and reverse migration. Companies should work on increasing productivity per man. They should use their manpower efficiently and optimally by upskilling the existing pool of talent and multi-skilling. Of course, they should be assured that health and safety checklist is always fulfilled.

Q: One assistance you seek on behalf of the industry from the government
While the government is trying to ease the supply chain movement as much as possible, the details are not trickling down to personnel on road who are still stalling transport movement thereby affecting ours and every other industry. So, the government should make sure that the clarity on prohibitions and permission should be pushed down to lower level with as much intensity so that everyone is in the know of latest rules.

Q: One headline you want to see by the end of 2020
The world defeats Corona.


Dhaval Dalal, CEO, Ruby Print N Pack

Box-pasting machines will help automate the process of manufacturing of boxes of all sorts, which is required for essential commodities, which is going to be most important in a post-Covid world

Q: A favourite webinar that you attended in the lockdown
‘Navigating through the Covid challenge’, done by PrintWeek, was worth it.

Q: One maintenance tip you are following
Sanitisation of the entire unit daily.

Q: Your advice during lockdown to your team
Keep safe distance and maintain Covid -19 guidelines as prescribed.

Q: Your healthcare mantra for Covid-19
Drink lots of fluids and keeping yourself hydrated, and also build immunity by eating proper food and on timely basis.

Q: One skill you have acquired during the lockdown
Working with lower workforce, and working with people who cannot travel or are working from home. 

Q: One print technology, which could be revolutionary in the post-Covid world
Box-pasting machines will help automate the process of manufacturing of boxes of all sorts, which is required for essential commodities, which is going to be most important in a post-Covid world.

Q: One packaging innovation that could be the new normal
Packaging, which is totally sanitised end-to-end.

Q: One lesson from the pandemic for the industry
Implementation of safety and health of the entire unit and employees.

Q: One tip on man-management
Working with least staff and giving most output.

Q: One assistance you seek on behalf of the industry from the government?
Few norms should be implemented for salary of employees, and some relief in taxes so as to help in recovery post-Covid-19.

Q: One headline you want to see by the end of 2020
Economy is back and India is the new centre for supply chain to the entire world.


Manish Desai, director, Mudrika Labels

Smart labels will play an important role from now on

Q: A favourite webinar that you attended in the lockdown
Unfortunately, I have not attended any webinar.

Q: One maintenance tip you are following
Follow the guidelines provided by the machine manufacturers.

Q: Your advice during lockdown to your team
Stay busy with some activity, spend time with family, and do social work, wherever possible.

Q: Your healthcare mantra for Covid-19
Exercise regularly and drink lots of hot water with turmeric powder.

Q: One skill that you have acquired during the lockdown
Cooking.

Q: One print technology, which could be revolutionary in the post-Covid-19 world
Technology that will make labels intelligent – real time detection.

Q: One packaging innovation that could be the new normal
Smart labels will play an important role from now on.

Q: One lesson from the pandemic for the industry
Many, but the most important is to attain financial security to sustain in crisis.

Q: One tip on man-management
Empower your employees with timely training.

Q: An assistance that you seek on behalf of the industry from the government
Share the burden of salary payment during the lockdown period. The government can change the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) policy such that the burden of the salary can be shared by ESIC and the company.

Q: One headline you want to see by the end of 2020
Go, going, gone... Corona gone.

Events

Dec
08

ProPak India 2020 NEW!

Dec 08 - 10 Dec 2020
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Latest Poll

What will be the impact of the recent GoI memo which says no print activities for all ministries and departments?