Winston Pereira - Screen printing has a huge market in industrial applications

Winston Pereira, general manager, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India, shares his experience of hosting the Screen Print India show for the first time and explains the potential screen printing holds for the future in an interview with Sujith Ail

24 Apr 2018 | By Sujith Ail

Why did Messe Frankfurt decide to acquire Screen Print India?
Messe Frankfurt runs textile shows in India and by this acquisition, we are looking for an opportunity towards a collaborative effort. When we acquire a property, we focus on how much more we can build and expand it. We intend to raise the level, not only increasing the number of exhibitors but also ensuring that the exhibition comprises of quality exhibitors. The aim is to have footfalls from the entire Indian subcontinent.

How could Messe Frankfurt help promote screen printing?
I believe screen printing has a massive market in the future. We have to capitalise on that opportunity. The Screen Print India show has been brought to a decent standard and the visitor footfall at SPI 2018 has been satisfying. To raise the show to the next level, there is a need for resources, and there is a need to back it up with a brand image. This is where Messe Frankfurt can play a crucial role. For an international market in India, it is vital to have international tie-ups.

What are your expectations from the show?
Screen Print India 2018 was the first screen print show by Messe Frankfurt. We are keen to hear from the exhibitors whether they had the targeted visitors, what went well for them and what was missing at the show floor, so that we can take care of it in the next edition.

What according to you are the major applications of screen printing in India?
Right now much of screen printing is dedicated towards the textile segment. Today, the screen printing application is much more accepted in the textile industry than in the industrial sector. There is considerable potential for screen printing in the industrial applications. Once the manufacturing facilities are set up in India, even the industrial applications will boom. This is one of the key aspects we are looking forward to while organising the show.

Digital printing is penetrating every print segment. Do you think it will affect the screen printing industry?
I don’t think there will be a severe impact, as digital has its own current limitations. I believe there is growth potential for both the sectors. Applications of the screen are vast due to its use in industrial applications. Even today, most textile printers are using screen printing technology.

We saw digital getting into the textile market in 2014, but the acceptance of the technology has not been at a rate which was expected to be. One of the prime reasons is the cost of the digital machines compared to screen printing kits. In India, currently, most screen printers cannot afford to invest in a high-cost digital machine.

Is screen and digital working together a possible solution?
I believe there is enough room for screen and digital to move along side by side. I don’t think digital is going to eat away the share of screen printing market.

What do you think about the scope of screen printing in printed electronics?
For the growth of screen printing in printed electronics, we need to have a good manufacturing base and establishing a manufacturing setup will take some time.

How do you see screen printing application for value addition?
Screen printing’s ability to offer value addition is remarkable. The exhibitors at the show displayed endless value-addition possibilities through screen printing. I don’t think these exhibitors are afraid of digital. Screen printers may adapt to digital, but it will be a different vertical and will not interfere with screen printing.

Where does Indian screen printing industry stand among the global standards?
Screen printing in Europe is well established. It hosts massive shows. Even USA market is way ahead of India. One of the reasons for this is there are more industrial applications for screen printing. In India, the market is showing a steady 10-12% growth.

Can you share some facts and figures from the show?
The exhibition was spread across 4,750 sq/m gross area. Total 94 exhibitors were present at the show, with 70 from India and 24 international companies from countries like China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Over three days, the show conducted an open house, technical seminars, and also screen print awards. We are also associated with the Screen Printers' Association of India (SPAI) and Asia Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging Association (ASGA) for promoting screen printing industry in India.

Your takeaways from the exhibition?
We are here for the long run. Each exhibition is a learning curve for us. The feedback from the exhibitors and what the visitors were missing are the essential aspects to be taken away from the first Screen Print India show hosted by us. We plan to create a B2B platform for the screen printing industry. Visitors attending the event must have the options to choose for his investment. On the exhibitor front, it’s not necessary that exhibitors make deals at the show, but having knowledgeable visitors is a something exhibitor expect.

Your plans for the next edition of the show?
At Messe Frankfurt, the focus is more on improving the quality of the footfalls over the set mindset of raising the footfalls. Getting hundreds of visitors at a stall and at the end, not a potential visitor whom the exhibitor can focus on is of no use. Ultimately, it is going to be three or four visitors who will be making business with the exhibitors. Our philosophy is to deliver right kind of visitors to exhibitors rather than focusing on footfalls.

We plan to take the show from Mumbai to Delhi for the next edition, as it happens with Media Expo. We will be evaluating further whether we need to move the show to other regions like Bengaluru or Chennai. It will all depend on the feedback from the exhibitors. If feedback is to stay with Mumbai and Delhi, then it will be in Mumbai and Delhi.

SPI 2018 saw pariticpation from 14 international companies
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