The PrintWeek India Awards 2016, held at Grand Hyatt Mumbai on 4 November, saw several new players from tier-II cities like Surat and Sivakasi take the centre stage, edging out more established players in their respective categories. This underscores how print firms across the country are becoming more and more quality conscious.
And more competitive too! This year, there were 17 Quality Awards categories, which were picked up by 25 companies. The qualities of the samples PrintWeek India received for the Awards were such that for several categories, the Jury had to declare joint winners. Two firms received special jury mentions.
For the eighth edition of the Awards this year, PrintWeek India received samples from 132 print firms, of which 85 were shortlisted. Twenty-eight Jury members comprising of print buyers and print specialists painstakingly selected these from more than 1,100 samples. Many of the 85 print firms were first-time print firms.
Talking about cities, Mumbai ruled the roost, Besides Parksons Packaging picking up the top honour, Mumbai firms picked up trophies in nine Quality categories. Delhi followed closely by winning six categories. Both Ahmedabad and Surat had two trophies each. Other cities include Sivakasi, Hyderabad, Mysuru, Chennai, Manipal and Bangalore.
The highlights of the annual PrintWeek India Awards are the Performance categories. This year, there were six Performance categories, including PrintWeek India Printing Company of the Year and the Student of the Year Awards. Noida’s Creative Graphics was named Pre-Press Company of the Year, and Sivakasi’s Lovely Offset won the Post-Press Company of the Year title. Bengaluru’s Brilliant Printers is the PrintWeek India SME Printing Company of the Year while the PrintWeek India Green Printing Company of the Year honour went to ITC Limited - Packaging and Printing Division in Chennai.
The Awards evening started with Hormazd Sorabjee, managing director, Haymarket, welcoming the print delegates. “In line with the general economic mood in the country which looks positive, our survey of the industry has many encouraging indicators,” Sorabjee said, “We are looking at demand for better quality packaging of FMCG products. At present, this is only 11 kg, and is expected to trigger a mammoth Rs 90,000 crore investment by the country’s paper industry. Indian paper mills will produce 20 million tonnes in 2020 and 27 million tonnes by 2030.”
The evening also saw a panel discussion, ‘Stone, Paper, Scissor: Are marketers turning stone to paper and cutting off innovation?’ moderated by Geetanjali Bhattacharji of Spatial Access. The panelists included Hemal Vadera of Bajaj Electricals, Sudip Ghose of VIP Industries and Sunil Gadgil of Nivea India.
Sanjiv Gupta, chief operating officer, Penguin Random House India, was the chief guest for the evening. During his speech, Gupta highlighted the country’s positive business outlook. “India’s economy has shown signs of gaining momentum; business confidence has picked up; GST will be a game-changer and will bring in some challenges on compliance,” he said, adding, “Overall, it will be good for the economy; households are benefiting from favourable pay rises and a near-normal monsoon. In addition, the current account came close to balancing in Q2 FY 2016 due to a lower oil bill and subdued gold imports highlighting the country’s vulnerability to external risks.”
Talking about Penguin Random House, Gupta said, the company partners with its print companies. “We have a review mechanism wherein we share what worked and what did not on a quarterly basis. Our print partners have taken our feedback positively and implemented the suggestions. I think in this day and age where we think the specialist cannot be challenged; a non-specialist can think out-of-the-box and instigate a thought-provoking idea. We have promoted a culture of trust with our print partners, and both teams work in tandem,” he said.
On winning the PrintWeek India Printing Company of the Year trophy, Ramesh Kejriwal, chairman, Parksons Packaging, said, “The PrintWeek India Awards is one of the greatest recognition of our good work in the printing and packaging industry. It sets a benchmark for us to improve ourselves in the future.”
Parksons Packaging started in 1996 from a small gala admeasuring 1,500 sq/ft in Daman. It housed a manual punching, a manual film lamination machine, and an Indian-made gluer.
On asked about an advice to an SME firm that wants to become like Parksons Packaging, Kejriwal said, “Focus on quality without relying on shortcuts and practice business with ethical values.”