We wrapped up 2022, and have entered into a new year. In this Sunday Column, PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? look at how the print and packaging industry see 2023 developing. Optimism remains despite headwinds.
Sumanth Volety of Sukee Print Pack in Bengaluru, said, “First and foremost, I don’t want the pandemic to return. I don’t think anyone in the industry wants a repeat of 2020-21.” Atul Goel of Amar Ujala newspaper concurred and added, “This is the best time for India to develop as a production hub as most countries are facing hard times.”
Meeta Shah of A&M Enterprise, Ahmedabad, said, “The fluctuating raw material prices and strict government regulations regarding the plastic ban and its disposal have impacted the market growth.” She added that “the installation of rigid packaging kits in Ahmedabad in the last few months provides a great opportunity.”
Iqbal Kherodawala of Printline in Mumbai, said, “The first thing I am looking forward to is stability in the raw material pricing. The downward trend is as worrying as the upward trend, and neither the customer nor us, as providers are at ease with the shifting benchmarks.”
The paper market resonates with Kherodawala’s concerns. There was stagnation pre-Covid, and then a huge decline. But post-Covid saw a huge rebound creating demand-supply chaos and a price surge. The trading community benefited from this and made never-before profits. A paper trader in Hyderabad during an FPTA webinar called this period “the amritkaal of paper trading”. Paper demand is expected to return to pre-Covid times and pricing to be 10-15% above pre-Covid times because of inflation.
Krish Chatwal of Kwality Offset in New Delhi expressed concern. He said, “The industry must adopt the correct pricing model.” Chatwal pointed out to the pressure due to the increase in key RM rates, logistics issues and exchange rates. “Correct pricing models will help everyone to achieve a better bottom line. This will help the Indian industry reinvest more money in advanced technologies which are better, faster and unique.”
Akshay Kanoria, executive director at TCPL Packaging, said, “I’m looking forward to a normal year with no surprises and disruptions, where Indian consumer demand can have an opportunity for revival.” He added, “The settling down of inflation and no more negative demand shocks will help revive the bottom of the pyramid which has been hit by shock after shock, starting with the demonetisation and GST and continuing with Covid, Delta and finally inflation.”
Kherodawala and Aditya Kashyap of Marks Emballage spoke about “the print and packaging industry benefitting from a synergy between co-collaborators for manufacturing, investments as well as technology”. Kashyap said, “We need to pool our resources to work on some new initiatives on innovation and sustainability.”
Priyank Virmani of Toph Packaging in Haridwar added that “in 2023, clients are looking for solution providers. The industry needs to deliver tailor-made solutions plus create robust feedback mechanisms”. Vikas Gulati of Galaxy in New Delhi said, “We need to have our eyes and ears on the ground. Alcobev companies are good contributors to the printing and packaging industry. Last year, some companies took a decision to do away with cartons, which is an integral part of their product. I hope and wish that they revoke their decision. This will benefit our industry and boost sales.”
Surender Baniwal of Impact spoke about a new factory in Kharkhoda in Haryana. Similarly, Mukul Luthra of Artize is looking forward to boosting sales in the West because of its new plant in Vapi; and KG Sharma of Miraj Multicolour has planned huge investments in packaging at its factory in Udaipur. Sharma expects “the growth to increase from the second quarter onwards”. Harish Gupta of Sai Com Codes in Sonipat said, watch out for acquisitions, mergers and consolidations.
Akash Chandak of Vel-Vin Packaging and Paper Products in Mumbai, said, “Big projects and automatic plants have come up or are coming up in North and West India. All of this will uplift the service and packaging standards across the country.”
In addition to quality, sustainability is a theme that resonated with everyone. Volety of Sukee as well as Aarjav Hansoti of SK Multi Products in Ahmedabad and Antriksh Agarwal of SB Packaging spoke about the importance of 3Rs. Plus the importance of re-design and re-think.
Sumanth Volety, Sukee Print Pack, Bengaluru
First and foremost I don’t want the pandemic to return and we don’t want a repeat of 2021 again. Print and packaging will do well if we stay put in our endeavour for passion for print and packaging by bringing in our ideas which will make a difference by using our skills, technology and expertise to create innovative, out-of-the-box concepts, user friendly and eco-friendly packaging, thus helping the brands to win in the market. This will make us win in the year 2023
Increasingly we seem to be more interdependent on the performance of the brands in the market and we as packaging partners play a major role in shaping that for the industry. Hence I see a very major role for our industry in the coming years.
Iqbal Kherodawala, Printline, Mumbai
The first thing that I am looking forward to is stability in the raw material pricing. The downward trend is as worrying as the upward trend and neither the customer nor us, as providers are at ease with the constantly shifting benchmarks.
The Print and packaging industry of India will benefit greatly from the current acceptance of a common synergy between co-collaborators for manufacturing, investments as well as technology. It is high time that converters share infrastructure and product portfolios in order to be competitive as well as present a common front to the customer. We are simply too many to be efficient and lean.
Akshay Kanoria, executive director at TCPL Packaging
I’m looking forward to a normal year with no surprises and disruptions, where Indian consumer demand can finally have an opportunity for revival
The settling down of inflation and no more negative demand shocks will help revive the bottom of the pyramid which has been hit by shock after shock, starting with demonetisation and GST and continuing with Covid, Delta and finally inflation.
Aarjav Hansoti, SK Multi Products, Ahmedabad
One thing looking forward in 2023 is sustainability becoming mainstream.
According to me, collaboration between print and packaging companies will benefit the industry in 2023 considering the heavy capital cost of equipments. This will also give maximum utilisation of machineries and reduce price wars.
Aditya Kashyap, Marks Emballage, Baddi
I am looking forward to collaboration within the print industry in India. We have always been taught “United we stand and divided we fall” from time immemorial but this is something we practice very less in our sector.
We all need to come together as a fraternity and jointly work on developing technical skill sets of our people and also attracting the new generation to take print as an attractive career option. We need to pool our resources to work on some new initiatives on innovation and sustainability.
Also supporting upcoming Indian enterprises that are now making good machines, tooling and materials. We all need to reassure the brands of the world those who are looking at India as their next manufacturing base that the Indian print and packaging industry is well equipped to handle their global business needs.
Niral Patel, Art O Print, Ahmedabad
As we are into pharma, we are looking for new designs and innovative ideas for pharma packaging. Since inception, we are making the same kind of cartons and labels. As we have invested in security features in all kinds of products, now we are looking for cost-effective solutions. As the rates of raw materials is fluctuating for the last two years, it's time to settle down with the original rates. It is very difficult to run a business with old rates and for new products and inquiries, it is getting difficult to quote. In 2023 we look forward to all kinds of possible packaging under one roof.
Meeta Shah, A & M Enterprise, Ahmedabad
The print and packaging sector will definitely see a major growth in 2023 bringing new opportunities for small and medium enterprises.
But fluctuating raw material prices and some strict government regulations regarding the plastic ban and its disposal may affect the market growth.
There have been many installations of rigid packaging machines in Ahmedabad in the last few months. So, we do have good opportunities in future. It will develop as a trending business within some time. In our finishing house, we see tremendous scope for 2023 and onwards related to packaging and regular print jobs.
Krish Chatwal, Kwality Offset, New Delhi
Adopting the correct pricing model. The industry has been facing a lot of pressure due to an increase in key RM rates, logistics issues and exchange rates.
Correct pricing models will help everyone to achieve a better bottom line. This will help the Indian industry reinvest more money in advanced technologies which are better, faster and unique.
Unfair trade practices by reducing prices for short-term gain of business and volumes will not benefit anyone in the long run.
Priyank Virmani of Toph Packaging, Haridwar
We, at Toph Packaging, believe in delivering quality products which are designed as a service. Today in 2023, clients are looking for solution providers. Printers need to work backwards by understanding the needs of their clients and delivering tailor-made solutions. Solutions will come from delivering high-quality service. A robust feedback mechanism and openness to try new technologies are the need of the hour.
Surender Baniwal of Impact, Haryana
This year, we will establish our own factory in Kharkhoda, Haryana and install a new CTP.
Vikas Gulati of Galaxy, New Delhi
Alcobev companies are good contributors to the printing and packaging industry. Last year a few companies took a decision to do away with cartons, which is an integral part of their product. I hope and wish that they revoke their decision. This will benefit our industry and boost sales.
Mukul Luthra of Artize, Vapi
We, at Artize, are looking forward to growing sales in the western region, as we have started a new plant in Vapi, Gujrat. The increase in demand for packaged goods in the rural part of our country will benefit the printing and packaging industry the most.
Atul Goel of Amar Ujala
This is the best time for India to develop as a production hub as most countries are facing hard times. We need to focus on quality as our quality. We can get better margins too through it.
KG Shmara of Miraj Multicolour, Udaipur
We plan 2023 for huge investments in the packaging industry for better future growth. The growth will increase from the second quarter onwards.
Antriksh Agarwal of SB Packaging, Delhi NCR
I hope 2023 will be the year of recycled packaging.
Harish Gupta of Sai Com Codes, Sonipat, Haryana
The New Year will see more acquisitions, mergers and consolidations.