Time to rewrite the industry rule book - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Amid the unprecedented pandemic caused by Covid-19, the print and packaging industry has been locked in a gridlock. A PrintWeek survey has revealed that the industry needs new rules if it is serious about survival.

But, is the industry ready? Read on...

16 Aug 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

One of the key reasons, according to a majority of the 290 respondents of the PrintWeek Survey has been the narrow world view among our trade associations and federations. Due to leadership tussles and camps, most bodies have become defunct or dysfunctional; and beyond repair.

During the lockdown weeks, many industry voices felt we cannot turn a blind eye to the manner in which our industry functions. And perhaps, all the stakeholders in the industry are equally responsible for creating an unhealthy system.

It is in this context that PrintWeek conducted a survey to which 290 industry members responded. Since then the PrintWeek team has shared the results on five to six industry forums. The idea is to look at how can our industry survive and thrive? What is the role that associations and federations need to play? Why have we not been able to counter the tentacles from competitive industries? Why is there no liaisoning among the hundred associations and federations in India? What are the ways in which we can integrate operations? And most importantly, how can we redesign the manner in which our industry leadership functions in order to make it accountable.

Charmiane Alexander of PrintWeek conducted the survey from 6 to 26 July 2020. What has been extraordinary is the consensus among industry representatives about investing in lobbying and a clear idea among the 25-40 age demographics about how the print and packaging business should engage with mainstream politics.

Almost everyone who cares about this industry agrees that there should be a mindset shift and re-engineering of associations and federations so that they work and coordinate with each other and act in the interest of the industry.

The billion-dollar question is, who will bell the cat?