Subhas Chandra, Shiv Khera inspire printers at Romancing Print

Compared to the last year’s event held at Hisar in the course of two days on 24-25 Feb 2015, the 2016 edition of Romancing Print, the annual ‘knowledge conference’ of the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) was decidedly a low-key affair. As Hindi standup comedian, Arun Gemini, pointed out during his routine, when ‘dream girl’ Hema Malini fails to turn up to light the lamp, the opportunity for romance is already lost. The actor turned MP had to cancel du

17 May 2016 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

Yet, there was much to cheer about the 2016 edition of Romancing Print titled ‘Print Ratan Dhan Paayo’, which was held at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan on 14 May. Close to 400 members of the AIFMP and its affiliates from all over the country attended the event. This is a tremendous achievement in itself when we consider how fragmented our industry is and how there are only a few opportunities where printers from all over the country could come together in one platform.

The highlight of the daylong event that ended with a crowd-pleasing musical evening and a gala dinner was the keynote speaker Dr Subhash Chandra, the chairman of the Zee Group, who has achieved a stature of mythic proportion as the man who left home with just Rs 17 and built a media empire. There was also the motivation speaker Shiv Khera of ‘You can win’ fame and the audience understandably leapt up to his words.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, union cabinet minister of science and technology, inaugurated the event organised in association with the ministry of science and technology. Wondering whether the romance with print begins after a great print job or before, Dr Harsh Vardhan urged the printers to work towards the future being disrupted by digital technologies and work towards not just for business success but also for the greater good of society.

On the AIFMP side, the event was also a platform to voice the grievances of the printers. The chief grievance was against the arbitrary environmental categories the industry is listed in different states. While the industry in some states is categorised as pollution-free, in others, it is considered highly hazardous to the environment while in some others it is considered semi-hazardous. Stressing on the fact that print is environmental friendly, Sunil Garg, general secretary of AIFMP urged the minister to devise uniform environment guidelines for the industry in all states. Saying that he was not aware of the issue, Dr Harsh Vardhan promised to look into the matter.

While Subhash Chandra is credited with establishing a media empire from scratch, during his speech, he said that his is a 90-year-old company spanning five generations. It has been a tradition in the Indian business community to set aside a portion of income for philanthropy. The same way, Chandra said he is also trying to share his experiences gleaned over the year for the betterment of others. After all, experience is also an earning.

Chandra said a majority of new entrepreneurs want to succeed in a short time. For this, he said the way is to find the right way. “While finding a way, we create boundaries for ourselves,” Chandra said, “If you could remove these boundaries, you would find success at the earliest.”

Saying that by 2027, USD three trillion would be spent on customer experience, Chandra said those entrepreneurs who are in the forefront of customer experience would be successful.

He then listed out four steps to create a successful product. One, you offer a quality product. Two, you do not over-praise your product; be realistic. Three, make the product available to customers easily. Four, educate your customers about your products and the competing products. Once your customers are convinced, they will become your advocate.

The idea, Chandra said, is to go beyond customer centric to make customers “promoters” of the company.

The motivational guru Shiv Khera gave example from his own experience as a print buyer in Singapore, to illustrate the same point – the importance of customer satisfaction. He also stressed on other “people issues” and the importance of being honest with customers, even when things go wrong. “If people are honest mistakes are meant to be corrected, not punished,” he said.           

He said that according to a survey, at any given time, 33% of the customers are dissatisfied with the services of a company. But they don’t complain. Only 4% of them do. But it is importance to remember the unspoken dissatisfaction and work towards mitigating those. Once they are satisfied, they would remain loyal customers.

The knowledge session started with a talk, ‘Mantras for business evolution’ by corporate strategic planner Abhay Bhargava. Bhargava illustrated the processes to find solutions in find success in businesses. “Problem is universal, but solutions are individual,” said Bhargava before embarking on the process how to identify challenges and overcome it.