Nilesh Dhankani, CEO of Quarterfold Printabilities is a busy man. He is boarding a flight to the Africa continent. Speaking to PrintWeek, he said, “There is no denying the fact that this pandemic has disrupted businesses worldwide." He added, "Print as an industry has had a major impact." Most Quarterfold customers are predominantly from the education sector - and there has been a huge shrinkage in demand that has never been experienced by the industry.
Dhankani said, "The education sector which contributes to 60% of the demand has swiftly moved towards the online learning model. Newspaper and magazine distributions have dropped drastically as consumers have embraced digital distribution of content."
Manoj Mehta, former president at the AIFMP and BMPA said, "Printers who are engaged in packaging business have not been affected." However, he agreed that "commercial printing has gone for a toss."
Like Dhankani, Mehta stated, "Customers are getting accustomed to virtual events, e-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines. One reason is, the pandemic has created a fear psychosis in the mind of all human beings across the print planet. People want to minimise risk and therefore refrain from touching printed articles."
Dhankani said, " Clearly the situation is grim for the print industry, with demand for print at an all-time low, blocked cash flows resulting in lack of investments and finance and a tough forecast till things normalise."
Manoj Mehta is bullish. He said, "If you study the stock market trends, it is booming. This shows all the major blue chip companies results are on a high even during the pandemic." Mehta added, "This is a golden opportunity for printers to work with AR and AI plus other technology innovations in order to tap new customers. Innovation is going to be the future."
Nilesh Dhankani concurs with Mehta. "Market segments have been seeing steady signs of growth and this gives us reasons to be optimistic. There is a real-life digital transformation that has taken place, so as an organisation we need to embrace it and get ready for the change. The crisis presents an opportunity to drive innovation to our products and services thereby presenting a wide window of opportunity to capture newer markets."
Final words from Manoj Mehta: Print is alive and cannot be replaced ... but we need a bit of time to bounce back!
Final words from Nilesh Dhankani: We will bounce back stronger!
Also read: Industry combats Covid crisis through efficiency - Printer’s Day message
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