Self-adhesive labels industry in India and the world: conference, fun and fellowship at Goa: A preview!

Harveer Sahni, managing director, Weldon Celloplast in New Delhi, speaks on self-adhesive labels industry in India and the world.

09 Jul 2013 | By Harveer Sahni

Two years ago, the LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India) conference was held at hotel Park Hyatt in Goa. That time in a preview of the conference, I wrote in the blog, ‘History is being created’. The 2011 conference titled, Innovations Unlimited, was an immense success. A progressive Indian label fraternity was elated by the presence of suppliers and media from destinations around the world. The conference venue was good and the content of presentations was thought provoking. Delegates were seen sitting glued to their seats in rapt attention throughout the presentations. All work and no fun would have made it a mediocre event.

The LMAI organising team had put together recreational programs to liven up the moods of label printers gathered there. There was learning, there was entertainment, there was dancing, there were glasses being clinked and there was a lot of fun. The memories of a wonderful event lingered on and one wondered if the event would be recreated.
Two years have gone by and now the new LMAI team, led by the continuing president Vivek Kapoor, president, LMAI has put together the second LMAI conference Print Innovation to be held yet again, in Goa on the 26 and 27 of July 2013. However, this time it will be at the Grand Hyatt hotel due to the need for a venue which has bigger halls to accommodate a larger number of happy and colourful printers. The LMAI team has, with nostalgic memories of the last event, endeavored to create a bigger and better event.

The experience of having organised the previous conference helped them copy the success of what was appreciated and improve upon it, as also to ease out the shortcomings of an otherwise perfect previous event. They are now ready to roll out a content and fun-filled conference and look forward for the members of this label association to get together and strike new friendships and alliances at Goa. It is interesting that two months later the global label event Labelexpo Europe is to be held in Brussels. It will be an opportunity to renew and strengthen the friendships made in Goa.
“Sponsors who pitched in to support the last event were a satisfied lot,” says Kapoor. He further adds, “After the last conference, most of the sponsors called back to express their satisfaction as the audience was totally committed and sat attentively throughout the presentations”. Taking inspiration from these sentiments, Vivek’s team has taken upon themselves to engineer and create an LMAI event that will be held every alternate year on an ongoing basis. It’s an event that their members and suppliers to the industry will look forward to. It will be a platform that will provide information, entertainment and networking opportunities in abundance.  That, according to Kapoor, has been the basis on which this year’s LMAI conference 2013 has been structured.

“The event is receiving an overwhelming response.” says a beaming Amit Sheth, who is the secretary LMAI and one of the founders of the association. According to him, most of the rooms have been taken at the hotel and they have had to requisition more rooms. He says, “We are requesting the printers at large, to hurry up with their decisions to be in Goa as later it will not be possible to accommodate them.”
Gururaj Ballarwad of Wintek, Bangalore, an ITW group company, has been the driving force behind getting the right sponsors and putting together the right content for the presentations to be made. The total participation in the event is expected to go way past the previous event’s number of 270. This, if achieved, is definitely credible and from my experience I can state that if it is managed well and also is handled with sensitivity then this event could well grow to be one of the most important global label events, given the size of our country.
Success of any conference lies in the quality of presentations, the satisfaction of the presenters and a diverse geographical spread of delegates who understand and are yearning for more information. LMAI has endeavoured to motivate their members in all zones through dedicated associate members to create a delegate profile that is pan national. Efforts of young Nalin Sharma of Global Graphics are laudable! Since this is a member’s-only event, Nalin not only enrolled existing members as delegates from North India but also registered a lot of new members to add to the strength of this association.
The conference programme is rather tightly packed and it will be imperative for presenters to stick to the deadlines of the time allocated to them. The conference is slated to begin at around 4pm in the evening of 26 July 2013, with a welcome speech from Vivek Kapoor. The opening presentations will come from Lindsay Rice of DuPont and Peter Henderson of Esko.

Amit Ahuja, the only Indian press manufacturer who has excelled and exhibited his technical capabilities globally, will be making a presentation on his experience as an Indian machine-building entrepreneur trying to succeed in both, domestic and international, markets against the established and accepted brands. Christina Nilsson, Head of Trelleborg NW, Technical Centre, Sweden, will speak on the sleeve technology for flexographic printing followed by a presentation by leading Indian Labelstock manufacturer Ajay Mehta of SMI. The evening’s last speaker will be Kishore Sarkar, vice president-sales, East and South Asia, Daetwyler Swiss Tec AG talking on doctor blades.
Ranesh Bajaj of Creed Engineers will initiate the deliberations for the next day that is on 27 July 2013 followed by presentation from Carmen Chua of Avery Dennison. Impressive presentations are expected from leading press manufacturers which include the illustrious Ruesch Ferdinand - owner and vice chairman, Gallus; Samir Patkar also from Gallus, Fredrico d'Annunzio of Gidue, Allan Baretto, managing director Nilpeter India, Mary Sullivan of Mark Andy and Spring Xu of Weigang.

Renowned foil manufacturer Kurz will deliver presentations through Wolfgang Burkard, head of international product management and Brend Danglemeyr, head of international marketing and sales. In today’s time no print event is complete without deliberation on the digital print technologies. Even though the technology has not really established a foothold in the Indian label industry, yet it is a technology that cannot be ignored. It is a matter of time that this technology will evolve to become affordable and technically feasible, justifying widespread adaptation. A panel discussion is slotted with following speakers- Appa Durai from HP, Josep Roca from Xeikon, Ramprasad from Epson and Mark Huisman from SPG Prints-Stovec. It is a bouquet of very diverse subjects that will help label printers derive information from. Press manufacturers are expected to deliver the information on new innovations that make label printing more cost-effective and technically superior, helping them in these times of intense competition.
The conference would not be complete without the fun part being meticulously planned and incorporated into the schedule. All work would definitely make it a dull event and hence, after each day's hard work, events have been planned for delegates to unwind, relax and enjoy. Time has been provided for entertaining performances, cocktails and networking dinners.  I am sure like the last time, once the event is in its last leg, the dance floor will come alive with music blaring and printers dancing till the wee hours of a Goan Sunday morning. I am sure most of the printers and delegates will come prepared with a late evening flight back home so as to have nursed the euphoria of an indulgent evening. It is now time to look forward to a well-knit Indian label fraternity getting together at Goa for fun and fellowship after some serious conferencing. Cheers!