Kamal Chopra: It is becoming hard to run a printing unit now, especially the packaging

As per a representation by a printer body, there’s a 25% hike in the cost of input materials. Since January 2018, the cost of US dollar has risen to Rs 68.

In conversation with Kamal Chopra, director, Foil Printers, we find out what print desires under the rising dollar In conversation with Hemal Mehta, director, Satyam Scan. we find out what print desires under the rising dollar

23 Jun 2018 | By Noel D'Cunha

70-80% of input material in the print process is produced using imported raw material. How will this affect your business, plus the pricing negotiations with your customers?
It is becoming hard to run a printing unit now, especially the packaging. We have received orders on the basis of prevailing rates three months back for the supplies to be made later. With the increase in the prices of raw material how can we supply the goods on the rates committed three-four months back? On the other hand customers want the supplies as per purchase order (PO) issued few months ago. It is a complicated situation and affecting our business badly.

How will your company absorb this price increase? What is your strategy?
We have issued circular to the members and issued press statements persuading the printers to raise the prices. During a meeting with some leading customers our association requested them to reconsider revising the rates of supply.

Will this raw material inflation temper your company’s outlook for the year? What is the percentage you are looking at?
Because we are the commercial printer, and charging the price of paper separately it is easy for us to convenience the customer. At the same time as per policy in our company, we do increase our prices annually taking into consideration the overall increase in the salaries etc. As far as this unexpected increase is concerned, for the time being we are trying to absorb about 50% and requesting the customer to bear at least half the increase.

From an export point of view, a strong dollar will boost turnover. Your comments?
Now due to trade war between India and US it is not possible to estimate the outcome, but it is certain that with the strong dollar export will boost especially when US has already imposed 25% special duty on Chinese import to their country.

When the top-level delegation met the GoI representatives, they were asked what is the revenue the print and packaging industry contributes to the Exchequer? Can you hazard a guess?
Since printing is an unorganised sector it is difficult to estimate the industry contribution to the Exchequer, but as per the statistics issued by WPCF the overall turnover of printing industry in India has decreased from 350,000 to 200000 (000USD).

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