India ripe for 15% growth in labels

The third edition of Labelexpo India 2012 has over 200 exhibitors who hope to showcase label technologies from 29 October to 1 November, at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. Mihir Joshi reports

02 Oct 2012 | By Mihir Joshi

Labelexpo India Factfile
Started in 2008 by Tarsus,organisers of LabelExpo Global Series
Location of 2012 show Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Dates 29,30,31 October and 1 November
Labelexpo India 2012 is the third edition

The third edition of the Labelexpo 2012 will be hosted at an opportune time. The embattled government of India has recently announced the opening of market for foreign retailers. The cabinet has approved for 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector and 100% in single brand. While some politicians are opposing the move, the printing fraternity in an interaction last year when the proposal was mooted, were definite in their opinion that FDI will drive the demand for packaging not only in volumes but also in quality. These print-packagers included Ramesh Kejriwal, managing director of Parksons Packaging, Priyata Raghavan of Sai Security Printers and Suresh Gupta, chairman and managing director of Paper Products, among others.

Since the last show, India’s label industry has continued to grow at around 15%, while globally it’s 7%. Roger Pellow, managing director of Tarsus (organiser of Labelexpo) says that the business has become more commercialised with international brands such as Carrefour and Walmart entering the Indian retail market and driving opportunities for label converters. “While the change in the retail sector is shaping growth, it remains to be seen how much impact these international retailers will have if they can sell directly and if this will be adopted regionally or nationwide.”
The last Labelexpo India held in December 2010 was rated as a “solid success” with the organiser stating that there were 6,054 visitors (this included some of the top label converters from all over India, which PrintWeek India met) in attendance – a figure that was up by 27% from the show in 2008.
The success prompted the likes of Gallus, HP, Mark Andy, Nilpeter, Omet, Kodak, Rotatek and Xeikon to announce their presence in 2012.
All, except HP will be there at the Labelexpo India 2012, which according to the organisers is set to be the largest in its ten-year history with more than 200 press and material manufacturers exhibiting to cater to the Indian packaging industry, which is estimated to be close to USD 19-billion, and an industry which continues to grow at a healthy rate. With the expected inflow of FDI in retail, this growth is set to get a further boost.
“As well as the established market leaders such as Avery Dennison, Mark Andy and Nilpeter, there are many exciting first time exhibitors including: Color-Dec, Fujifilm Sericol, Heraeus Amba, Jung Chang Machinery, Mastercorp, Mimaki, Rheintacho and Webtech,” says Roger Pellow, managing director of Labelexpo India. “There has also been a huge increase in international exhibitors with more manufacturers than ever before from the Far and Middle East including Anoop Plastic and Taghleef Industries.”
Trends driving the market
“Digital printing is exciting all,” says Harveer Sahni, managing director of Weldon Celloplast, which will among the diverse range of products, also showcase EFI Jetrion. “We will present information on their plateless and toolless computer to print UV digital label press,” he says.
Primera, the US-based developer and manufacturer of optical disc duplication and printing equipment as well as specialty label printers will be for the first time showcasing two of its products, the digital label press CX1200 and FX1200 digital finishing station, together in India.
With confidence of the printers growing, and an event that is accessible to most, now is a great time to take a look at this technology, applications and companies that can help provide your business with the springboard to make a company successful.
Labelexpo India is characterised by “more products, more launches and more live demonstrations”, claims Pellow. 
The show will have over 20 live working presses being demonstrated at the show by companies including Gallus, Mimaki and Omet. “Our key message for all those in the label print market and those that are looking to enter into this important growth market is that Labelexpo India 2012 is well placed to make informed choices, says Pellow. “Being able to see first-hand the many features these presses offer such as rapid change over time, rapid tension control and resulting print quality will be invaluable when it comes to making purchasing decisions.”
The other important trend driving the market appears to be the rise in the number of variations converters are having to process. Brand owners are steering demand with more stock-keeping units and personalisation in response to a growing population with increasing personal wealth. 
“Printers will need to adapt their business models and look at how shorter runs can be more profitable when the margins on volume are shifting. Adding value through higher end finishes, interactive labels and brand protection solutions also need to be taken into account particularly as they offer big growth opportunities,” says Pellow.
More generally, digital is gaining some ground but not as quickly as it has in the Chinese market, says Pellow. “Quality has become more of a pressing issue as more converters seem to be investing in their plants and high-end presses despite the high inflation and interest rates. Wet glue remains a favourite, but shrink and pressure sensitive labels plus in-mould are all showing healthy growth.”
Great Opportunity
As in the previous instance, Labelexpo India 2012 will cover the full gamut of label sector, although visitors can expect a aabigger focus on digital and the increasing importance of digital label printing technology.
Gidue will also introduce the new Gidue India service point operated by Reifenhauser India, the exclusive distributor for Gidue technologies.It is also a great opportunity for the Indian label press and allied machine manufacturers to showcase their products.
Webtech Engineering, the Indian manufacturer of printing and packaging machines will launch the upgraded Flexomaster S-10, a new generation flexo machine. Faridabad-based narrow web flexo printing press manufacturer, Multitec will unveil an upgraded version of Ecoflex, a model with small length and new technologies.
The New Delhi-based Convertech, which launched its Sureprint Excel line of doctor blades at Labelexpo Europe 2011 and also showcased it at Drupa 2012, will unveil a new line of high performance doctor blades, the Bonus HST. 
Jesons Industries, one of India’s largest manufacturers of industrial adhesives and emulsions, will be highlighting its new adhesive Bondex 2006H.
Presses at the show
Besides Gallus, Gidue, Webtech, there will be Edale, UK-based manufacturing giants of specialist web printing and converting machinery represented by Kolkata-based Printers Supply Company will not physically display any machine, but will show a wide-range of printed samples and literation, as well as video footage of the machines.
Nilpeter India will launch their gravure unit for its FB range of printing presses and will provide hands on experience of its printing machines. There will be some other add-ons like the SMED unit (single-minute-exchange of die) and the FP4 unit (inline high speed flat bed foil stamping and embossing unit). 
Flexo Image Graphics will showcase a range of Mark Andy, Comco, Rotoflex and Xeikon presses it represents in India; Monotech will showcase its own inkjet solutions for large-format and narrow format printing under own brand Pixeljet and Jetsci; Genius Flexo will present the MPS range of presses, while Apsom Infotex with Roland wide-format presses, which it represents and Creed Engineers will showcase a range a range of products from Omega, Schneider, Vacuumatic and its own brand Vinsak including the new Brava series unveiled at Labelexpo Europe 2012.
These are some of the companies (see the exhibitor preview on the next page) at Labelexpo India 2012, which is shaping up to be a comprehensive overview of where the label market is heading for. So for many companies the show is important because this is where they will get to meet a large number of machine users/potential buyers. 
For the machine user/potential buyer, who is looking to be part of the label industry’s growth, New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan is definitely a good place to start.
“Being able to see first-hand a broad range of production and services being demonstrated, to ask experts for advice, to make informed decisions, and to be able to interact with other in the industry are valid reasons why a visit to Labelexpo India 2012 is essential,” concludes Pellow.