Debate over the new venue for PrintPack India continues

The eleventh edition of the PrintPack India, the tradeshow to be held at the India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, from 23-28 February, 2013 is perhaps one of the biggest in Asia, and the fourth largest in the world, according to Indian Printing and allied manufacturers Association (IPAMA).

19 Jan 2013 | By Supreeth Sudhakaran

Held for the first time out of New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, the show is expected to see more than 300 exhibitors occupy five halls and three hangars of the exhibition venue.

The new venue, which can accommodate up to 5,000 people, was inaugurated in 2006 by the Prime Minister of India. This venue is spread across an area of two-million sq/ft with modern facilities such as automatic motorised fire dampers confirming to US standards and 16 world class escalators, eight passenger elevators and 11 freight lifts for efficient handling of goods; making it among the top event venues in Asia.

While, the last edition held in 2011, saw more than 50000 visitors and generated enquiries worth Rs 1200-cr, the decision to change the venue has been receiving mixed response from exhibitors.

Yashpal Taneja, CEO, Precision Graphic Engineers feels that Pragati Maidan is the right place for holding a pan-India show like PrintPack India 2013. “With the shift in venue, it now seems like a regional exhibition. However, we have faith on organisers and hope that the show will not disappoint exhibitors,” he says.

Mohan KT of UV Printers seems unconvinced about the show this year. “The organisers are getting space at lesser amount but the exhibitors are paying rent similar to what they used to pay in Pragati Maidan. We have been participating in other exhibitions like Media Expo and Glass Tech where payments were much less. In addition, commuting to the venue and accommodation will put an extra burden of 75,000 on the exhibitors and visitors.”

George Kuriakose, assistant general manager-sales of The Printers House, one of the leading web offset press manufacturers based out of India, feels contradictory to the claims of the organisers. "This time as the venue is slightly away from Delhi we feel that only serious decision makers will visit the exhibition as logistics to the venue are limited. The location of the new venue in Greater Noida is certainly out of sync with the trends abroad. To elaborate, you would find that most of the major show venues in Germany, UK, Dubai, Singapore etc. are located close to the airport for easy access. A few which are not so close to the airport are always conducted at venues where connectivity for the exhibitors and visitors is good. This might impact the number of footfalls to the exhibition.”

Vaidy of Suba Solutions adds, “We are not sure if PrintPack India could have as much an impact. We need to see the response in Greater Noida. Secondly, there are so many exhibitions these, and the event is almost in the last week of February - and in the fag-end of the financial year. This could also in a way impact the decision making process.”

There are also a section of exhibitors who still feel that PrintPack India as a brand will be enough to pull-in quality customers.

CP Paul, director at APL Machinery, who is also general secretary of IPAMA, organisers of PrintPack India, while justifying the decision to move PrintPack from Pragati Maidan to India Exposition Centre in Greater Noida, says, “Facilities in Greater Noida are world-class as compare to Pragati Maidan, which is almost an historical structure now. In our opinion, when you upload the face of PrintPack India, distance will not be a deterring factor for a serious visitor.”

N Srinivasa Reddy, managing director, Megabound, in fact compares PrintPack India as the Indian Drupa. “We are expecting more and more growth. The key trends which we are seeing today are quality and quantity in less time schedule. Drupa provided enormous amount of new technologies and also showed new world to the printing industry. We expect the same from PrintPack India.”

Anuj Mehta, CEO, First Paper Idea who is gearing up his team for its biggest ever PrinPack India exhibition, is quite confident and adds, “ A shift of venue will mostly attract potential buyer and not long term suspects; provided the transportation for visitors are eased out.”

Pankaj Kalra of Xerox India feels that whether the venue change will work or not is yet to be seen. However, he sounds rather optimistic about the quality of the visitors at the show this year. “Change always faces friction; that is the norm. Will the new venue work for the industry can only be ascertained after we hold a major exhibition like PrintPack India at the India Expo Centre.”