NPES Print Business Conference 2013 Day two - session two

The post-lunch sessions on the second day of NPES Print Business Conference picked up pace as Smita Jha of PricewaterhouseCoopers India churned out statistics from the entertainment and media research report by PwC that predicted buoyant next five years for the newspaper printing industry in India.

26 Feb 2013 | By Supreeth Sudhakaran

Quoting from the report she said, “The Indian print industry was valued at Rs 190.7billion and by 2016 the industry will be worth Rs 296 billion, growing at CAGR of 9.2%. Print advertising in newspaper will be slightly sluggish with a growth of 12% but digital advertising will grow at a promising 26% CAGR, while maintaining that newspaper publishers are yet to understand and develop e-papers and apps that are also backed by a good revenue model.

“After so many years being behind the global players in technology, the Indian newspaper companies have evolved in the last decade. For the e-papers and apps to make a breakthrough and for encouraging users to pay for the content, we need to have the technologies in place. The reason we have seen growth in newspapers is because earlier the paper to consumption ratio was 1:8; that is one newspaper was read by eight people at home. Regional newspapers are now seeing that the economic buying capacity of the people has increased. The paper to consumption ration has come down to 1:4 and 1:2 in several parts of the country,” she said, pointing towards a positive growth for regional newspapers in terms of circulation.

However, she maintained that the low prices of newspapers are still a burning issue that is hurting the bottom-line of major newspapers, forcing the dependence on advertisement support. She also added that in comparison to newspapers, commercial printers face tougher times as newspaper publishers can still have a back-support from editorial boards.

This was followed with presentations by Jim Hamilton, group director of InfoTrends and Hal Hinderliter, principal at Hal Hinderliter Consulting Service elaborating on the pressroom of future. Hinderliter continued from his presentation from day one of the conference in which he had said that the digital not only holds threat but also a big opportunity.

Detailing the specifics of the trendsetting press technologies worldwide, he touched upon even the minute details of presses from leading manufacturers including Goss, Mitsubishi, Manroland, and even Autoprint.

Skidding over to the software domain, Hinderliter said, “Before the advent of MIS and other software, the only way to assess if the business was making profit was to see if the banks have padlocked the facility. But now, every department can be assessed and controlled using software available in the market.

Hamilton talked what he is best known for— numbers and technology. In his presentation, he elucidated about hybrid presses where inkjet heads have been used in combination with other technologies. “Global colour production volumes totalled about 215 billion impressions in 2010 and InfoTrends expects them to exceed 520 billion by 2015. Production on colour inkjet accounted for 16.8% of the total production digital production,” he said.

He further added that productivity alone cannot be the prime application benefits of the wider (B2) presses that were shown during Drupa; insisting that the machines showcased were still prototypes and that the actual designs of several presses have not yet been finalised. Nevertheless, he feels that the new sizes coupled with workflow solutions will give birth to several new print applications.

In the session that followed, Randy Freeman, vice president and general manager packaging, QuadTech said, “Colour is the key to multi dimensional growth.” In the later part of his presentation he explained about CIELAB or LAB as well as Delta E values. “Delta E from RGB camera is accurate enough but CIELAB is not accurate enough,” he said while sharing the various best practices followed globally in the print industry. Further, he talked over the greater degree of difficulty in analysing the colour consistency in flexible printing before A Appadurai, country business manager – Indigo and inkjet business solutions for HP took over the stage.

“Packaging of the product is nowadays the biggest salesman of the company,” he said supporting his statement with a series of case studies on the campaigns run by the leading global brands. Appadurai added that there are three functional features of a good packaging: package must be able to stop the consumer moving through the store aisle; hold his attention; and connect with the consumer and complete the sale.

He also said that with augmented reality and several new intuitive campaigns by leading brands using digital printing for packaging he said that only thing that limits innovation is the boundaries of imagination of the conceiver. “Innovation is not jugaad. As George Bernad Shaw said—if you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

The day wrapped up with an overview of the printing industry by Bodi Kampani, president and managing director, Toyo Ink India. Kampani presented delegates with several statistical data pertaining to the print industry that filled the room with enthusiasm about the future.

Showing a stark contrast in the per capita average consumption of inks in India versus the developed markets he said, “The global average per capita consumption of inks is around US$100. While the consumption is around US$ 220 in the developed countries, in India it is around US$17.8. A point to note here is that, three years back it was around US$15. The total ink market in India is worth US$700mn and the volume is around 25 lakh tons.”

Further elaborating on the growth numbers of the print industry, he added, “Screen will become more of a hobby while digital will grow with 20% market share by 2016. Ink for litho presses accounts for 47% share of the total pie, while digital holds only 6% of the market share.”

He concluded his overview of the industry by emphasising that India is on its way to become one of the most print producing countries in the world and to grab the opportunities companies have to constantly track trends, evolve and identify, create and fuel new growth engine.