IPAMA’s president Dayakar Reddy: Sailing into headwinds - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Introduction of demonetisation plus the impending introduction of GST late last year threatened to take the wind out of PrintPack 2017’s sail. The print industry’s worst fears, a collapse of Asia’s largest print show, proved to be wrong. The IPAMA team led by the late HV Sheth put in place a plan that saw PrintPack 2017 visitor footfall cross the 85,000 mark, the highest in its history.

Dayakar Reddy, the man who took charge as president of IPAMA after the said demise of HV Sheth, is

22 Sep 2017 | By Noel D'Cunha

PrintWeek India (PWI): Congratulations on the new role. Big boots to fill?
Dayakar Reddy (DR): Thank you. It is indeed a gigantic task to head such a huge and prestigious association. The print business community is at a very crucial stage now, and that we will be at the forefront to serve them is one of the most satisfying aspects of being at the helm. I am confident that our team will leave no stone unturned in furthering the objectives and goals of IPAMA.

PWI: Will you be replicating the HV Sheth model? Or creating a fresh blueprint?
DR: Yes definitely. It’s a model I have worked very closely with Sheth ji. However, given the changing nature of doing business, we expect to give the model a few tweaks here and there as we go along with the plan.

PWI: In 2017, IPAMA had covered a total gross area of 56,000 sq/m. You are looking at an additional 10,000 sq/m for PrintPack 2019. What else - other than a bigger show?
DR: You are all aware that IPAMA’s PrintPack exhibitions have been recognised as a prime exhibition both in India and abroad. PrintPack 2017 was a grand success. The next edition will be a much bigger event with 65,000 sq/mtrs area and an additional day to make it a six-day show, commencing 1 February 2019.
The expectations are very high and we certainly take this challenge and come up with better facilities both for the exhibitors as well as visitors. 

PWI: The late HV Sheth said there is going to be a drive-by IPAMA to include the ink manufacturers, paper manufacturers as well as flexible packaging players into the umbrella body? What is the status?
DR: Yes. There is definitely a drive to include all those players also into our organisation as they are very much a part of our whole body. We are working out the modalities and soon we will start assimilating the process in right earnest.

PWI: Regarding Goods and Services Tax (GST) one of the complaints we heard from some of your members is, they are not ready. Has the situation improved?
DR:Yes, I think it has. There were a few hiccups when the process was set in motion, some confusion regarding applicable rates, but the dust seems to have settled down.

PWI: We know the Telangana Offset Printers Association (TOPA) has been making representations in Telangana. What’s the update?
DR:TOPA has been following the directives of AIFMP and they could get some concessions. On behalf of TOPA, we too have made representation requesting the government to bring uniformity among the industries.

PWI: Seven months into 2017, rising costs, shrinking margins, do they trigger fear among the manufacturers?
DR: They are the sine qua non of any rapidly growing economy like our country India is. There is no cause for fear but certainly a need to adapt and adjust. Change is the law of nature and an integral part of development.

PWI: You said, you have to be the change you want to see. What do you mean?
DR: We must improve our working to increase the margins by cutting the costs and exploring new revenue yielding streams. Our manufacturers are seasoned businessmen and they have come a long way and have always risen to such testing occasions. Our association will always stand by them and together we march towards brighter tomorrow.

PWI: You’re actively involved with your print school in Hyderabad. How do we motivate young people to enter the print and packaging industry?
DR: I am an alumnus of Government Institute of Printing Technology (GIPT) Secunderabad. And I am the founder president of the GIPT alumni association.
I like going back to my roots. We have initiated various measures to bring the industry, the Institute and its students closer. There’s a need for better interaction and rapport among the fraternity to bridge the information gap. The students should know about the industry, and the employment opportunities available to them to willingly join the course and pursue it with all seriousness. GIPT and TOPA have plans to join hands in extending some financial assistance to the economically backward students and some scholarships to merit students to sustain their interest.

PWI: The first IPAMA president from Hyderabad? Any specific plan for AP and Telangana?
DR: Yes. I am the first IPAMA president from Hyderabad and also the youngest. I am humbled by this honour but at the same time will feel happy if the younger generation realises that nothing is impossible if one works hard with dedication, sincerity and application.
My top priority is going to be to extend all possible help and assistance to our GIPT. It will be our sincere endeavour to ensure that graduate courses like B.E, and B. Tech, in printing technology are introduced. Not only that. We will go a step ahead and promote higher courses be introduced in the Universities set up in Telangana, including some leading private engineering colleges in the State.
I also will strive to talk to the govt of Andhra Pradesh (AP) for starting an Institute in AP, an initiative of the AP State Offset Printers Association, who are looking to start Diploma courses in printing technology.

Five personal questions

What has been your proudest print achievement?
The spectacular success of PrintPack 2017 with which I was very closely associated.

A book you read which has benefited you? (One book on print)
As I am a regular reader of both national and international print and packaging magazines, I am immensely benefitted by very illuminating, inspiring and informative articles on new trends and techniques in print and packaging, particularly a book in Telugu – Amma, Nanna, O Genius by Venu Bhagwan. The other is a management book by Shiv Khera – You can win.

Hobbies, if any?
I like to indulge in music, travelling, and of course spending time with family.

One print or packaging job you saw in recent times, which made you say WOW
The life-size drivable cardboard Lexus---by D. S. Smith, London, a leading packaging company.

A word about Sai Enterprises in terms of new installations and interesting new customers
Our proudest moments continue to pile up as we install same machines in multiplied numbers to the same customers, whose number is growing fast.