Packaging is the trump card for growth

The common theme at the second NPES-IPAMA Print Business Outlook conference emphasised the need for print providers to re-invent themselves as a marketing service provider. Sriraam Selvam reports

19 Mar 2014 | By PrintWeek India

Ralph Nappi, president, NPES and GASC: "Sivakasi continues its amazing print growth story in the world"

The event held on 18 February 2014, at Hyatt Regency in Chennai, saw thought leaders and industry experts highlight the potential growth areas and provide a look ahead to the print and packaging sector.

Disruptive innovation-The way ahead
In his opening session on 'Worldwide Market for Print: Identifying Global Opportunities for the Print Industry' Ralph Nappi, president, NPES and GASC, said, “The world market especially the emerging markets are expected to grow across sectors (with 8% worldwide growth rate for 2012 to 2017) and the packaging sector occupying the sizeable share of the growth projection.”

In his analysis, Nappi also projected China to be top print market with a CAGR of 8.6% for the period of 2012-2017 and India occupying the seventh position at a CAGR of 6.8%.

“The growth in the Indian market is limited in the tier-one cities and resonates from smaller cities and towns like Madurai, Trivandrum, Mangalore, etc. with Sivakasi continuing its amazing growth story in the world print map,” he added.

The South East Asian countries of Indonesia followed by Philippines were projected as the countries with maximum growth potential by the end of 2017.

Going digital - a growth opportunity
Taking the lead on ‘Digital printing – Building the business’, Steve Ballinger, director of training- IdeAlliance, USA, said, “The need for print service providers to transform into ‘print plus’ service providers with taking a dip into an integrated cross media value chain is the future.”

Presenting the 'print plus' value chain and business model on behalf of professor Chris Bondy, school of media sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ballinger, explained, “The digital platform of print provides the service provider with the unique opportunity to expand beyond the traditional form of print”.

“The industry on the whole requires a paradigm shift by looking at themselves as holistic brand marketing partners rather than mere print service provider,” said V Balakrishnan, marketing head of Konica Minolta, taking cue from Ballinger.

Balakrishnan also dwelt on the increased usage of mobile and tablet devices along with its demographics to elucidate the point.

“The colour digital printing as we see is entering its fourth phase of development and it calls for going beyond the point of mere repro and create value to the customers. The service offering like personalisation, web-to-print, etc., are imperative than optional in this day and time,” he explained.

Talking about the changing role of a commercial printer, Balakrishnan added, “The line drawn between offset and digital printers are blurred and would soon become non-existent with collaboration from both sides in an effort to leverage and enhance each’s capability.”

Gaurav Chadha, business development manager of HP, started his presentation with an impactful video on a PR campaign run by ‘Coca Cola’ called ‘Share a Coke with’ in Australia, which projected the digital print possibilities in terms of strata used, short-runs and a business turnaround for the client.

“The response to the campaign resulted in extended run of campaign and kiosks being established with customers getting their own personalised coke cans (378,000 additional cans were printed) and the extension of the campaign to other geographical locations,” said Chadha. The project, which involved customised Coca Cola cans hitting the market, increased its reach by 5% in the period of the campaign.

Continuing in the same vein, Harinder Singh, director of QA at EFI, highlighted the trends impacting the digital space in the print industry. “The demand for being a solution provider, a one-stop shop, controlling costs and enhancing profitability and the need for diversification are key trends impacting the significance of digital print space in the industry,” he said.

LED UV printing: An eco-friendly alternative
The conference also saw the formal partnership being signed between APL machinery and Air Motion systems for the latter’s LED-UV machines.

Steve Metcalf, president and CEO of Air Motion Systems, in his presentation highlighted the future of LED-UV. “The explosion of LED-UV in the coming years would be beyond these forecasts considering its benefits both in terms of application and eco-friendliness.”

The fast-growing technology, which has seen three-fold increase in presence since 2010, currently has approximately 140 machines installed worldwide with a sizeable chunk in Japan who were early adopters (Ryobi are credited with the invention of the technology).

“There are advantages for the LED-UV machines vis-a-vis conventional UV printers with greater top speeds, instant drying, higher density, to name some in terms of production. Other advantages include no bulbs being used, no massive heat produced and quick installations and fast RoI,” added Metcalf.

Colour Management- branding and automation
Steve Ballinger, taking the stage again for his scheduled topic on colour management for printing and packaging, stressed the need to pilot brand colours through the media supply chain.

“The blue of a tiffany’s gift box is enough to cause a flutter in a woman’s heart and this is achieved by consistency and standardising the shade of blue across all media. This could be print advertisements or packaging boxes and this marks the success of colour brand management, which every solution provider should understand and adhere to - for complete customer satisfaction,” Ballinger explained.
He also recommended the printers to adapt ISO standards – especially ISO 12647-1 to 12647-7 – which encompasses all forms of printing.

The colour management section of the conference saw Vinodhkumar B, regional sales manager of Quadtech, highlight the developments in pressroom colour automation using Quadtech’s solution offerings.

“The in-line image based colour control solution using AccuCam enables colour measurement using a six-channel spectral sensor to ensure consistency with minimal or no manual intervention,” said Vinodhkumar.

“This reduces the occurrence of common newspaper printing problems such as scumming, creasing, transposed plates, plate crack-outs, and tramlines,” he explained.

Future of newspaper production
K Balaji, director of Kasturi & Sons, said digital in newspapers is "a mirage". He went on to say that internet and mobile devices have killed the personalised newspaper.

“The advent of personalised newspaper is restricted to niche markets like Miller Print in Malta and Newsweb in Chicago and the drawbacks of speed, cost and lack of data for personalisation has minimised the adoption.”

Balaji spoke about minimising carbon footprint. He said, “Between 1950 to 2012, Europe’s forest area has increased by 30% and only 11% of the wood from forestry is used for paper-making with recycled paper being used by the industry. The greenhouse gas emission of a 48pp newspaper is equal to driving a car for 1-1.3 km.”

“The challenge, though, for the industry is to reduce the carbon footprint with need of the hour is to audit the carbon footprint and employ process efficiency techniques, reduce energy consumption per unit of output etc,” he added.

Indian packaging industry - the growth story
BS Kampani, managing director of Toyo Inks, shared data about the Indian packaging scene.

“The Indian consumers and its related industries like FMCG have had increased realisation of the importance of packaging and the reason to improve the packaging quality of products has gone beyond the mere motive of brand loyalty,” said Kampani.

Breaking down world market projections for 2018, he suggested that Asian market is expected to increase its share from 36% to 40% with China followed by India being the dominant market.

“India would experience double digit growth in the period compared to its peers who would maximum experience single digit growth. The current Indian packaging industry is estimated to be USD 27.6 billion and is expected to reach USD 43.7 billion by 2018,” he explained.

He identified beverages, ambient foods, health care, personal care and household care as top categories of consumption packaging which is driving growth.

Thinking out of the box
In the ensuing session of panel discussion on ‘Retooling, Restructuring and Reinventing- the 3 Rs,  Newspaper style’, Balasubramanium S, head of marketing (new media), Dinamalar kicked off the discussion by sharing his newspaper’s journey onto cross platform and similar initiatives.

“One of the key factors of working in multiple platforms is to keep the content fresh and relevant to each of the mediums apart from identifying unique monetisation models for each of the medium,” said Balasubramanium.

He also highlighted on the need to consolidate their presence through collaboration and sighted the partnership with Yahoo! to power their Tamil portal as case in point.

The panel discussion moderated by Naresh Khanna of Indian Printer and Publisher included an interactive session by Kiruba Sankar, a renowned blogger, who urged the audience to think out of the box and identify ways to leverage the internet to their advantage.

“It is imperative to have a significant presence in the internet, be it your website or using the advantages of various social media like facebook, twitter, linkedin etc,” Sankar explained.

Sharing his experience with the advent of the internet, Naresh Khanna, said “As a consultant we were entrusted with the task of identifying potential print partners for a client and we were surprised to be handed out a few completely unknown names to us. The source turned out to be swanky websites of these companies”.

C N Ashok, managing director of Autoprint, was the concluding speaker, who emphasised on the need of organisations to adopt management techniques to have better control on their strategic development plans and presented the case of his company’s success with adopting ‘Balanced Scorecard’ method.

“The visual interpretation of the balance scorecard for every individual in our organisation has helped them and us-the management, to transparently identify and build on opportunities and threats equally which would impact the company’s targets,” Ashok explained.

He also shared the company’s policy of ‘carding’ and rewarding employees. The 80-odd audience were introduced to PrintPack Arabia in Sharjah at the conference by C P Paul, general secretary of IPAMA.