Wan-Ifra in Mumbai: Putting newspapers in the spotlight

In an interaction, Magdoom Mohamed, managing director, Wan-Ifra South Asia tells PrintWeek India that by rolling out new ideas and introducing new events at the show in Mumbai, Wan-Ifra is looking to reinforce the trust in newspapers publications

04 Aug 2015 | By Noel D'Cunha

PrintWeek India (PWI): How will Wan-Ifra 2015 be different from the previous editions?
Magdoom Mohamed (MM): Wan-Ifra India 2105 includes several new additions to the event. The major highlights are the presentation of 'World Young Reader Awards' on 3 September at Mumbai. Last year, this award was presented in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the previous year in Warsaw, Poland. Hosting the awards in Mumbai is a significant recognition. The winners from around the world will present their winning case studies at the conference and receive their trophy. The results of the World Young Reader Awards 2015 will be announced soon.

We also have a new addition to the show, 'Media Market', where select newspapers of the country will showcase innovative products/advertising solutions to the audience. Media Market will be a dedicated area in the expo. We plan to invite the advertising agencies of Mumbai and elsewhere from the region to visit the show and get first-hand information on the various advertising capabilities of the newspapers. It will also be a platform for other newspapers to share, exchange ideas and learn from one another.  As the news publishing industry association, Wan-Ifra aims to be the torch-bearer of the industry and highlight the best business practices of our members.

PWI: How will visitor numbers in Mumbai compare with the last show in Bengaluru?
MM: Mumbai, as a city, is a major attraction and is easily the 'advertising capital of India'. We expect more visitors to the show in Mumbai. We have already started receiving visitor registration and inquiry about the expo. The show has also attracted interest from many small and medium commercial printers and publishers. While it is hard to predict the numbers at this stage, we expect it to be significantly higher than last year.

PWI: Newspaper as a segment is on the decline in the West not so much in India. But the fear remains. At the show, Wan-Ifra 2015 will not only have to ensure that newspaper segment remains strong but promote its growth too. How are you going to do it?
MM: News publishing industry in India has its strengths, and print will remain stronger for many more years to come. However, the reach of digital media cannot be ignored. The conference will offer a right mix of successful case studies of print and digital media business. It will provide insights and inspirations to grow further. As explained earlier, Media Market at the expo is one particular activity that will promote the growth of newspaper.  

PWI: Do you think people will get to see more presses in action at Wan-Ifra 2015 than what they saw at in 2014?
MM: Almost all press manufacturers who have confirmed participation in the expo have something new to offer. Compact presses are becoming a new attraction. There's the Magnum Compact from Goss, the made for India press fromManroland, the Ecoline from Manugraph India, besides new additions this year. While it is not sure if we will see the presses in action at the show, the respective vendors will actively promote their new products at the show.

We also have a 'Guided walk through' at the expo. Here, at a specific time of the day, the conference delegates (on pre-registration basis) can join a 'walk through' on particular themes, assisted by Wan-Ifra consultants. One such 'walk through' will be to the booths of press manufacturers to get a first-hand information on their latest offerings.

PWI: In terms of exhibitors, are we looking at a bigger number and displays?
MM: The show this year has attracted a good number of exhibitors, and many of them have increased the size of their booths too. The average size of the booths has gone up compared to last years. Mumbai as the city is attractive both to the exhibitors and visitors. Suppliers including Manroland, TechNova, Goss, Mitsubishi, Manugraph, Fuji, Krause, QIPC,  QuadTech, Ferag, PPI, CCI, Atex, Comyan, 4CPlus, Kohli Graphics, Kodak, Newstech, Anygraff, Prakash WebOffset, Alpap Bearing, Memory Repro, Toyo Ink, Woodwing have confirmed participation. There will be more in coming days.

PWI: What is the status of digital players at the show? What are the new things visitors shall see?
MM: From the digital product offerings, the visitors will see different content management solutions, mobile and tablet publishing solution, etc.

PWI: Other than the technology, what are the other reasons why web printing players should come to the show?
MM: The conference and the expo offer the right platform to meet the decision makers of the industry. There will be ample opportunity to interact, network with industry peers and learn from one another.

We also have, for the first time in Wan-Ifra India Conference, regional assembly of members in South Asia. The assembly will provide an update on Wan-Ifra's work around the world and is open to all Wan-Ifra members. It will provide additional networking opportunities at the show.

PWI: What are the highlights of the conference? Can you share more details about the conference?
MM: The conference offers three parallel conference tracks - Printing Summit (for production managers), Newsroom Summit (for editors) and Crossmedia Advertising Summit (for advertising and business managers). The companies including The Times of India, The Economist, Guardian, Zero Hora, Singapore Press Holdings, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Quintillion Media, Malayala ManoramaABP, UPM, and Star Publication Malaysia will make presentation and present case-studies. These presentations will offer the participants an opportunity to listen to the best minds in the business.

PWI: What if a printer knows he has no budget to invest in equipment in the next two years – why should he still attend?
MM:  Seeking knowledge cannot be constrained by budget issues. We can proudly say that today no other show in the region provides such comprehensive opportunity to keep track of business, and one should not miss it.

PWI: What are the ways in which you are promoting the show?
MM: We are using both online and offline means to promote the show. Our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wanifraindiaconference), Twitter handle WANIFRAIndia and Hashtag #WII2015, LinkedIn Page are regularly updated. The conference brochure and promotion postcards are being mailed out, plus support from publications including PrintWeek India, who help us to reach our audience.

Twitter handle WANIFRAIndia and Hashtag #WII2015

PWI: What will success at Wan-Ifra 2015 look like? How are you going to measure that?
MM: We hope to have a bigger and better show at Mumbai. There are lots of expectations, and the industry is keenly looking forward to our event. We hope to deliver on our plans.