Seeking a boost to the print industry? All eyes on Pamex, for a solid impetus

Chairman of Pamex 2013 managing committee, SR Sharma expects 200+ exhibitors to showcase their offerings at the Indian Expo Mart, Greater Noida from 14 to 17 November.

28 Nov 2013 | By PrintWeek India

The market sentiments are mixed. How do you see the turn of event from a print perspective?
SR Sharma: Yes, I agree and everybody is aware that overall the Indian economy is not doing very well. But there are certain impediments, which is hampering growth. If people are fair to each other, then we will have a better future. In my opinion there is a policy in place and resources are available for us to grow. All we need is to seize the opportunity.
I am very confident that Pamex will become a vehicle for the exhibitors to showcase their machinery, their products and also finalise deals. As I said earlier, the sentiments are low, but compared to other western countries, the print firms in India are well placed. We hope that the economy will start picking up, to give the print business further impetus. 
Is there a possibility that we have one big Indian print event like Drupa instead of two. Plus the regional shows and niche shows which is cretaing "a show fatigue". Would that make more sense to the exhibitors?
SR Sharma: Well, we are seriously talking to IPAMA, but the talks are at a very early stage. There’s a lot of discussion and inputs that will have to be considered; one cannot take a call today, if that’s the right solution or not. 
I agree that the purpose of every trade show should be to encourage manufacturers to develop a new product and showcase it. Participating in every other show is also expenditure to the exhibitor, but with the speed at which the technology is moving, one or two big shows may not be an adequate platform to reach out to the print fraternity all over India. Besides, reaching out to the local players is also as important, because local shows give a chance to the exhibitors to show their most recent developments to these players, who may not have visited the big shows.
About Pamex 2013?
SR Sharma: This time we are expecting to see a higher number of exhibitors. We hope to see 200+ exhibitors. In terms of space, we have 20,000 sq/m area out of which 8500 sq/m is the exhibition space. Exhibitors such as TechNova, Ricoh, Heidelberg, KBA, Komori, to name a few are present.
Besides, the trade show, there’s a print conclave on 12-13 November and a Buyer-Sellers’ Meet on 14 November, 2013 at the same venue. With the help of Capexil, we are expecting delegates from 25-30 countries to be present.
Is Pamex a show of international players?
SR Sharma: The objective of Pamex is to bring what is best in the world to India. This includes providing opportunity to the Indian manufacturers. Hence if you see, Pamex is not about international players, it also has participation from Indian manufacturers. In fact, we have extended a special offer to all IPAMA members, who wish to participate in Pamex.
New versus secondhand international kit?
SR Sharma: This debate has become a thing of the past now. Because of the fluctuating Euro and Dollar prices, the Indian printers’ mentality has changed drastically. A return on investment on a brand new-machine in today’s scenario does not really work. The printers now prefer to bring in a two- or three-year old refurbished machine or are looking for kit from local manufacturers rather than a brand-new machine.
Do you support the ban on the import of machines, more than 10 years old?
SR Sharma: It is a good decision and they should stick onto this because a 10 year old press can be relied on. 
How’s your business doing? What's the trend?
SR Sharma: My company, Ace Group, caters to the computer stationery segment and prints labels for the textile industry. The plant is located in an industrial estate in Andheri East, Mumbai. The commercial segment has stagnated and the line we are in, particularly, computer stationery is losing steam. So we have started adding value, in terms of security, to retain business. 
Looking at the print business in general, I see packaging as a segment that will grow. Much more investment will roll in. I believe that digital printing, as a technology, will help the commercial segment get a fillip. Also it will drive areas like short-run in packaging.