The Tushar Dhote Column: The build-up to Pamex 2023: Technology has its moment with printers in Pune and Indore

Last week, Tushar Dhote discussed how activities around Pamex 2023 picked up speed as the team moved towards the show with the first two roadshows in Guwahati and Ahmedabad. In this fifth edition of his Column, Dhote shares update on roadshows in Pune and Indore

10 Feb 2023 | By Tushar Dhote

The adoption of the theme – Convergence in print – struck the right chord among the print fraternity. Our experience in the first two roadshows at Guwahati and Ahmedabad made it evident that we were on the right track. The momentum was slowly building up with the print community wanting to know more about the convergence and the experience of the Printers who could adopt it as a strategy in the early stages of the Pandemic and the change it brought to their businesses.

The panel discussion became the centre of the half-day conference, where a technology provider, a leading printer from Mumbai and two local printers working with varied print processes joined the conversation moderated by a qualified industry stakeholder. This provided a good mix of thoughts and made the discussion very interesting.

Pune roadshow: merging of technologies in a single system
The printers as they turned up in large numbers to hear the experts and their peers discuss the latest trends in the industry. The centre of Pune city, where printers work and reside, was chosen for the third stop of the promotional road show of Pamex 2023. Held at The President Hotel on 23rd December, the event saw more than 400 visitor registrations from Pune and the nearby areas.

The tone for the technical conference was set with a panel discussion, packed with high-profile speakers consisting of Vinay Nalawade, Parakh Agro Industries; Rajesh Kulkarni, Keetronics (India); Sourin Shah, Viraj Prints; and Sachin Patil, Bobst India. Pawandeep Sahni of OMET India moderated the discussion.

“In simple words, Convergence is the merging and integration of two or more distinct technologies in a single system’, said Sahni in his opening remarks.

The discussion revolved around what Convergence meant to all the panellists and how they applied it in their respective fields. It raised some interesting points on how the direction of Convergence needs to be different for each printer depending on their core strengths.

Indore roadshow: the cleanest Indian city
Indore was our next destination for PAMEX promotional journey, where the conference and table-top exhibition was held on 24th January 2023 at Brilliant Convention Centre. The event was organised by AIFMP and Indore Master Printers Association (IMPA) in association with

The event was supported by the Bhopal Master Printers Association, Indian Plastpack Forum, Federation of Corrugated Box Mfrs of India (FCBM), Madhya Pradesh Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association and Ujjain Print & Media Association.

Indore holds the title of the cleanest city in India- an honour bestowed on it for the sixth consecutive time and not undeservingly, as I observed from the drive from the Airport to the Convention Centre. The streets and even the metro rail construction sites were so clean that I wondered how the local authorities could inculcate this behaviour into the city's residents. This belief was still cemented in my mind when we were invited to Vijayshri Press after having lunch with the committee members of the Indore Master Printers Association.

The vision and commitment of the Jain family, which is at the helm at Vijayshri, was evident, as also the fact that it had been passed on even to the next generation. I was impressed by the sheer magnitude of the facility and the design and seamless workflow processes on show. To me, the Vijayshri plant underlines India’s coming of age as a global print manufacturing hub of the future.

Visitors in large numbers from Bhopal and Ujjain converged with local attendees of Indore for the afternoon to the evening programme.

Industry veteran V Vaidyalingam, director of Suba Solutions, moderated the panel discussion session. Raising some fascinating questions around the theme - Convergence in print - the way forward - he held the interactive session with Aditya Pahuja, Colours Packaging Solutions India; Gaurav Nema, Pragati Graphics & Packaging; Amit Shah, Spectrum Scan and Amit Khurana, TechNova Imaging Systems.

The panellists spoke about what convergence meant for each of them. Shah said, “Convergence is using various ideas, techniques and machines to give a favourable outcome.” He also stressed the importance of sustainability, which according to him, will be imperative in the future of packaging.

Umesh Nema, president of IMPA, shared that during Covid-19, the concept of convergence was applied in various segments. For example, food-safe packaging with the reduction in touch points and online buying was driving convergence in print during the Covid-19 pandemic while bringing in the dimension of sustainability in packaging.

Stressing more on sustainability, Pahuja said, “Flexible packaging is growing by 33% per annum, and it’s a good opportunity for us. We wish to build sustainability through a multi-pronged approach in such a promising market.”

At the end of the panel discussion, Shah shared a video on his company made the very famous 50+ feet Spectrum Express steam engine created with corrugation board. He had also put the miniature of the art on display at the Pamex roadshow table-top exhibition area.

Sharing his thoughts on the theme of convergence, Amit Khurana stated, “Change is only the constant thing, and one must be ready for this. Speed and innovation should be kept on the radar as the next ten years are the golden period for the Indian print industry.”

Rajesh Khatwani, Vinsak India, then took over the dais for a technology presentation on - Connected packaging. In today’s scenario, he briefly explained the importance of track and trace, and how technology makes it possible to get complete product information through a simple barcode.

Pawandeep Sahni, Omet India, has been a part of all four roadshows and will join the upcoming ones. His interactive presentation on - The convergence mindset- how to encash on the biggest opportunity in print - was well received at all venues. According to him, convergence can have different meanings for different people. “It is important to identify your definition and work towards that direction,” he said. He also feels that costs play an important role in the process. “A tight control will ensure the high success of convergence business as with each new layer added, cost of operations will shift,” he opined.

Premchand Prajapati, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India, joined the event to discuss - Digital printing and the way forward. Talking about the drivers of digital printing, he said, “Some of the features that are leading to the adoption of digital printing include short print runs, low initial set-up cost for print jobs, improvement in technology, variable data and personalisation.”

Next halts:  Bengaluru and Haridwar
With Pamex 2023 only a few weeks ahead, our last two roadshows will tune the final chord for the show. The Bengaluru event, organised in association with Karnataka State Printers Association, will be held on 24 February 2023 at Sir M V Auditorium, FKCCI. The last stop will be Haridwar, where the event organised together with Devbhoomi Printers & Publishers Association will take place on 3 March 2023 at Yashail Hotel.

Pamex 2023, scheduled to be held from 27-30 March at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, will present an amalgamation of traditional and modern technologies. These promotional events planned in various cities preview what is awaiting at the main show. 

(Tushar Dhote is co-chairman of Pamex. This is the fifth in a series of weekly Tushar Dhote Columns, which will continue till the commencement of Pamex 2023 in Mumbai. In his next, Dhote will give a head-up on subsequent roadshows. Stay tuned in…)