Hormazd Sorabjee: Opportunities in Indian print, packaging industry infinite

On the occasion of the 13th PrintWeek Awards edition, Hormazd Sorabjee, the managing director of Haymarket Sac India and editor of Autocar in India addressed 300 print delegates at The Westin Hotel Powai in Mumbai.

30 Oct 2023 | By Charmiane Alexander

Hormazd Sorabjee, the managing director of Haymarket Sac India and editor of Autocar in India

Right at the outset, Hormazd Sorabjee thanked the print and packaging for the overwhelming response. He said, "Hundreds of companies with approximately thousands of print samples have been shortlisted by 23 eminent jury members who represented the community of print users, brand managers and print buyers.”

This year, 23 jury members and jury chairpersons invested a week in the Autocar Studio at the Mumbai headquarters of Haymarket Sac India. Three days were utilised to check each and every sample for their tech-merits.

Later Sorabjee shared some trends from the car segment. He pointed to the analogue commonality between ink on paper and a four-wheeler. Also, he highlighted the engineering structure of a mono carton box or stand-up pouch with that of a well-designed car. He alluded to some automobile data which said, car makers will be generating Rs 1.1-lakh crore in business this festive season. This will translate into more than a million car units.

Without growing the small car segment, the Indian market can't grow even at 6-7%. Again, this is a trend one is hearing from the print and packaging fraternity; that the backbone of the industry is the SME and MSME segment. Hormazd Sorabjee said, “Small but solid steps forward would be my take. At the same time, the industry has to ensure there are high economies of scale. This will ensure more bargaining power.”

Hormazd Sorabjee shared feedback from the Award auditors, JK Doshi. He said, “There is a steady increase in the scale of operations; there is improvement in profitability leading to healthy cash accruals as well as improvement in liquidity; plus better ratings due to client diversification in India and overseas.”

They say that packaging is recession-free. Also, packaging volumes have been good. Hormazd Sorabjee said, “The ability to scale up and garner commensurate returns from one’s planned capex will remain critical.”

Hormazd Sorabjee was delighted about the growth in books. He said, “The India Book Market Report 2022 prophesies Rs 98,920 crore for the print book market by 2024-25. It was Rs 30,660-crore ten years ago.”

He felt three things are a must. “Industry status for the print companies and packaging converters in India.” Also, he felt, “Since 1986, digital printing has been announced as the printing solution of the future. 35 years have passed by. I feel that digital print business is growing.”

Then he spotlighted sustainability. He said, “Some of the stories I hear about the factories from Sivakasi to Silvassa as well as Baddi to Bengaluru make them the most environmentally conscious factories in the country. Solar unit and wind power generators and in some cases mini forests as well as a process like Ecovadis and BCorp.”

He hoped PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazines can play a role in creating a formidable lobby that can have a dialogue with the government, the brand owners and agencies and the machine and materials manufacturers.

He wished the gathering a great Drupa 2024. And signed off after thanking all the sponsors and supporters of PrintWeek Awards.

Three initiatives by PrintWeek
Women to Watch: The first edition of the Women To Watch Awards honoured 12 exceptional women who inspired excellence in the printing and packaging sectors. The Women to Watch awards reflect Haymarket Sac’s dedication to promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion within the industry. In all 50 women across the country participated.
Forty Under 40: With these Awards, we will be honouring 40 industry leaders (All below the age of 40) who redefine tech, process + standards, and innovation + ingenuity, while maintaining scientific standards. The experiences of these 40 young individuals are crucial as they reflect the future. Look out for the premium list, soon.
Industry Reports: The WhatPackaging? magazine team aims to create more dialogue between the various industry stakeholders and industry champions. Some of you are present in this room; and you know who you are. And so, more surveys, more tech reports and factory case studies. Above all, more advocacy.