Hand-in-hand, KMPA was able to counter the disaster

The images of the Kerala floods were horrifying, and remain unforgettable. While the rest of the country watched with fear as the rising waters made news headlines across India, the KMPA members worked on the ground. R Gopakumar, president of the Kerala Master Printers Association (KMPA) recounts the team spirit plus he provides a glimpse into what else is happening in God’s Own Country.

25 Mar 2019 | By PrintWeek India

R Gopakumar

Tough 12 months due to the Kerala floods and macro-economic headwinds. How did you perform?

I think the KMPA team did an incredible job. All the members invested their time in the rescue and recovery activities as per their threshold. I think, the results were evident in the end. The team received great appreciation from all and sundry.

The industry in Kerala stood shoulder-to-shoulder and salvaged a grim situation during the floods in the past few months…

I’m proud about the fact that KMPA was able to bring unity among all its members; and hand-in-hand we were able to counter the disaster.

How did you achieve this?

We were able to form four teams to handle finance, negotiate with the machine manufacturers for immediate service, co-ordinate talks with the insurance companies for immediate release of funds and smooth workflow in all the affected presses through efficient outsourcing.

One project you executed which was a feather in your cap?

I’m of the opinion that flood relief was one project which was executed with utmost satisfaction. We were able to lend a hand to each and every entity of the print industry, bottom up.

Is there a print collateral produced by someone else in Kerala that you wish you’d created?


What will the Kerala print industry look like twenty-five years from now?

Twenty-five years from now, what I believe, digital technology will flourish in all forms of print. Moreover, those industries with all facilities, be it post-press or pre-press, in-house, will excel while there is a probability of smaller players getting hammered.

One thing about Kerala print industry which is most underrated?

The advancements that have come about in Kerala, especially in the packaging sector, is one thing that I believe is the most underrated. For example, there are industries in Kerala equipped with machines which has UV technology incorporated in them. Still, they have not been able to put it into production at full capacity. I think this aspect of print in Kerala is underrated.

Why so?

I can attribute it to inadequate marketing.

If you could make a change to anything you’ve done over the years, what would it be?

The key phenomenon about which the association functions is unity among its members. Over the years, sadly, there have been a few members who quit the association for some or the other reason. Though we have more members each year, and the association is opening new chapters at multiple locations, it is always good to have everyone return to KMPA.

Which is your least favourite part of print?

There is no such thing in print which hasn’t mesmerised me. Print is a passion which was developed deep within me at a very young age. I’m in love with each and everything about it.

The Kerala government is vigilant about green and waste management. How has the print industry responded?

There are a number of companies that work on efficient waste management.

What’s the one waste process you are keen to know more about but you haven’t read or seen?

The concept of smart dustbins is something that caught my eye. Countries have been implementing it and is already a hit.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Talent is never meant to be hidden. The bearer ought to express it at some or other point in life.

How do you boost the talent of your team at GK Printers?

Vis-a-vis my team, ever since I took charge as the President of KMPA, I have not been very attentive about the business affairs in my plant, GK Printers. However, they have rendered an outstanding job even in my absence.

Your highlight from the Print and Beyond 2019 seminar, which was hosted on 16 March in Kochi?

What I found the most significant about the Print and Beyond 2019 was the wise words in his keynote address by Gautham Pai about the diversity he has brought about in Manipal Technologies ever since he took charge. Furthermore, the successful operation at Bizongo has triggered everyone’s imagination.

Quick Questions with R Gopakumar

Sheetfed or web offset?


Gutenberg or Senefelder?


Drupa or PrintPack?


Kochi Bienalle or Allapuzha Boat Race?

Kochi Biennale

German metallurgy or Japanese electronics?

Japanese electronics

Dot gain or pH Levels?

Dot gain

Pre-owned or brand new?

Brand new

Inline or offline?


Inkjet or UV?


MT Vasudevan Nair or Vaikom Basheer?

MT Vasudevan Nair