C P Paul: "To stimulate the manufacturing in India, we need to sell in volumes"

PrintWeek India speaks to C P Paul - general secretary, Indian printing, packaging and allied machinery manufacturers' association (IPAMA)

07 Jan 2014 | By PrintWeek India

How good or bad was 2013?
I would not say it was either good or bad for the printing industry as a whole but I can certainly say it was not as good as we expected at the beginning of 2013.
Why do you say so?
Two main reasons for this:
1.  Unexpected fluctuation of the Indian Rupee against US Dollar: Indian industries experienced the economic slowdown. During the third quarter of the year, US dollar's value touched Rs 70. 
2.  Uncertain global conditions: worldwide economic uncertainty also resisted Indian exporters from exploring new markets. Therefore they  restricted themselves within Indian boundaries.
Can you suggest ways to stimulate manufacturing in India?
To stimulate the manufacturing, we need to sell in volumes. Volumes will come if the prices of Indian products in domestic and international markets are less than Chinese products with comparable quality. The best way will be to decrease import duty on electronics and electrical components and giving incentives to MNCs and patent holders so that they are motivated to manufacture in India. This is what  China is doing; and it is how they are selling to developed markets.
Should India be benchmarked against global standards?
Yes, it’s absolutely necessary to survive in the global market as Chinese manufacturers are seizing the global market by their rates and quality. We also need to set a unique standard either of quality or rates or in technology to hold substantial market share from the developed countries. For quality, one of the options is to get global standard certificates like CE certification. 
Should Indian companies look at more exports and value addition?
Yes, of course. Whole world is looking at India; it is a big potential market for them because it is has the second largest population in the world and is a developing country . We should optimally utilise our available resources, produce the best quality and focus for the best prices in exports. Several Indian companies display these quality products in international exhibitions and get rewarded in the form of orders. We have vast knowledge, expertise and natural resources like steel, aluminium, rubber etc. but we have to bring substantial automation in the manufacturing process (to eliminate human error) and control the quality to the international standard.
What are the challenges facing the Indian print industry?
Chinese product capturing the market with lower rate and simpler design is the biggest challenge for Indian manufacturers. Government should enforce the anti-dumping duty and encourage the manufacturing sector by decrease in the excise duty, investing in research and development centres etc. The government should take steps against the slowdown of the Indian economy.
How has your group, APL Machinery, improved manufacturing efficiencies in the past three years?
It’s our vision to learn about the modern engineering concepts and implement them. Planning, training the work force, proper quality control setup are the ingredients of our success over the past three years.
Many international firms are moving some production from US or Europe to India. In what way can IPAMA aid this process?
We circulate information to our members when companies from USA or Europe are looking for tie-ups and joint ventures. We also arrange seminars, workshops and interactive session with the international companies at IPAMA’s administrative office in Noida.
Apart from this, IPAMA is the organiser of the biggest exhibition for the graphic art industry in India, Printpack India. We invite national and international companies of repute for this exhibition, it is also a unique platform for tie-ups and joint ventures.