The 42nd Annual General Body Meeting of Kerala Master Printers Association was held on 23 August 2020 at KMPA Hall in Kochi. However, only the office bearers were present at the hall this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept across the globe.
Dr Rajendrakumar Anayath, vice chancellor, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology (DCRUST), Haryana, was the chief guest of the meeting, which was presided over by the outgoing president R Gopakumar.
Rajesh G, vice president - central, KMPA told PrintWeek that the meeting was held in line with the Covid-19 protocol. He said the selection of office bearers was approved by the members of the association and a few committee members were present at the function.
"The meeting was held in KMPA Hall in Kaloor, whereas the web meeting was conducted over Zoom platform. Of our over 200 members, 140 of them attended the event," he said.
In conversation with PrintWeek, the new president of KMPA Manmohan Shenoy listed out the vision of the new generation office bearers for 2020 to 2022.
"One of our first aims is to introduce programmes to support our members in resolving issues pertaining to machineries and consumables," Shenoy said. "The response to issues will be much faster when issues are taken up and approached by associations. "
Another aim of KMPA that Shenoy highlighted was to conduct training courses for students and apprentices to address the shortage of trained manpower in the industry. "We've been conducting such training programmes for the last eight years and we'll continue to do so. Most of the courses are approved by the National Skill Development Corporation under apprenticeship courses, where basic and hands-on training is provided in the printing units of our members."
Another major vision that Shenoy highlighted was to introduce group life insurance policy for members. "Printers are always concerned about their printing units and do not take enough care of their own health. We are currently in talks with some insurance providers and the vision will materialise in some time."
He also said the association was keen to conduct seminars and webinars to educate its members about the latest technology and government policies.
Speaking about the future plans of KMPA, Shenoy said it is planning to increase the area chapters to cover the 14 districts in Kerala and cater to more printers in the state. At present, it has three area chapters in Thrissur, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram. However, he said that the creation of a chapter will depend on the number of members in each area, which should be more than 5-10 members.
Meanwhile, R Haridas, general secretary of KMPA told PrintWeek that the new office bearers will concentrate more on building the association and bringing together the printers and the supply chain. He also stressed upon the importance of training and seminars for students to address the shortage of manpower that the print industry has been facing for long.
"We have been striving for many years to introduce a printing college in Kerala. I hope we are able to open one in the next couple of years with the help of the government," Haridas said.
Stressing on the importance of training the students, he said, "Many are not really aware of the print industry. Through training, we provide students a better understanding about the print industry with the help of hands-on training on state-of-the-art machines at our members' units and providing stipends, unlike other institutions that take fees and teach on relatively old machines."
"Students should consider themselves lucky to get such a training," Haridas rightly explained.
Shenoy, however, said, "Some of the units in Kerala have the second and third generation entrepreneurs heading the firms. We need to encourage them as well."
In a suggestion to the printers affected due to the pandemic, Shenoy said, "Print companies should keep afloat by cutting down on unnecessary expenses, but without compromising on customer support until the situation improves."
The new office bearers of KMPA
- D Manmohan Shenoy, Vidya Offset Printers, Ernakulam: President
- R Haridas, Hytek Offset Printers, Ernakulam: General Secretary
- BK Rajan, Business Screens, Ernakulam: Treasurer
- Gerard T Chandy, Jerry's Printshop, Ernakulam: Joint Secretary
- CK Shoukathali, Oruma Printers & Publishers, Thrissur: Vice President – North
- Rajesh G, Rajsree Industrial Printer, Aluva: Vice President – Central
- Sony George, S&S Associates Offset Printers, Kottayam: Vice President – East
- Roy Thomas, Orange Printers, Thiruvananthapuram: Vice President – South
Vision and mission of KMPA 2020-22
- To support members in resolving issues arising from the part of machinery manufacturers or other suppliers.
- Creating awareness among members on latest technology trends through seminars and industry visits.
- To conduct training courses for students/apprentices and bridge the shortage of trained manpower faced by the printing industry.
- To conduct frequent technology upgradation training seminars to staff of members.
- Planning for online seminars and workshops to educate the members and their staff in this present Covid-19 pandemic.
- To introduce group life insurance policy for members.
- To explore new avenues to generate revenue to the association
- To closely coordinate with all area chapters (Thrissur, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram) and to keep these chapters active.
- To encourage members to attend exhibitions held at major venues such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai to acquaint themselves with new technologies and machineries.
- Represent the industry by presenting requests and petitions of printers to government agencies.
- Bring awareness amongst members about any new norms and regulations implemented by the government.
- To encourage environmental conservation among member units and make them capable to be ready to face future challenges.
- To maintain cordial relations with suppliers and help to sort out mutual issues.
- To encourage the second or third generation members of the industry to attend various functions of KMPA and also to involve them actively.