BMPA VisCon: 82 print leaders deliberate on industry future

The first day of the two-day BMPA Vision Conclave organised by the Bombay Master Printers Association (BMPA) saw 82 industry leaders from across India deliberate on the state of the Indian printing industry on 5 July in Goa.

06 Jul 2022 | By PrintWeek Team

According to Faheem Agboatwala, a key member of BMPA’s Share-to-Benefit (StB) forum, the Vision Conclave has been organised to establish the grounds on which the India story holds its grand promise. The idea is also to focus on specific outcomes for the print and package-print industry.

On 5 July, the delegates present shared their opinions on a host of issues. The Q&A session was hosted by Mehul Desai of Mail Order Solutions.

Sharing the current capacity utilisation of the industry, the delegates said the capacity utilisation for the packaging industry is 70-80%, and less than 50% for labels. The capacity utilisation for local book printing is 40% and books for export is 20-25%. However, a delegate, who is in the manufacturing of notebooks, said that with schools opening up, the notebook section is doing well. On the other hand, a tag-maker said his business has gone up by 120% thanks to the rise of eCommerce.

So, what’s the outlook for the future – will the demand increase, or will we see some units close down to maintain the demand-supply balance? The consensus among the delegates was that the end result will be a mixture of both, the demand will pick up but some units may close down.

One delegate said one needs to create a niche for himself to combat underutilised capacity. Also, there are new verticals that are coming up. So, there are opportunities.

What about the cost of capital? This is a concern. One delegate said the labour is at 50% capacity. This again depends on the supply chain. Most units do not have enough raw material to feed the machines. Therefore, the industry needs to look towards backward integration so that machines do not remain idle. Another suggestion was to look at the market opportunity and diversify according to the market demands. You need customers who want your services and are ready to pay a premium for it, one delegate said.

Another delegate said the future lies in innovation, productivity and saving on raw materials.

Now, the million-dollar question. Do the delegates present believe in the India story? The answer was a resounding yes. The delegates agreed that the industry has a lot of issues, the biggest among them is that printing is still not recognised as an industry by the government, yet there is hope for the future. There are new opportunities opening up and it’s time Indian printers look towards capturing the global market.  

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