Industry leaders discuss ‘redefining printing’ during WPCF Conference

For the very first time in the country, All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) hosted the World Print and Communication Forum (WPCF) Conference and board meeting on the sidelines of PAMEX 2020. The knowledge conference was held at Westin Garden City, Mumbai on 8 January.

17 Feb 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

Focussed on ‘Redefining printing: A discussion with world leaders’, the WPCF conference featured speakers from the US, Belgium, South Africa, Japan, China and India. The one-day event saw more than 150 delegates attending the event from across the industry.

The conference was structured among two technical sessions, both being moderated by Prof (Dr) Rajendrakumar Anayath, vice-chancellor, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science & Technology.

The inaugural session of the conference was held by Prof Kamal Chopra, chairman, Pamex. He was joined by Raveendra Joshi, chairman organizing committee, WPCF, Dibyajoyti Kalita, president, AIFMP and Rajendrakumar Anayath. They set the tone of the conference with an introduction of the theme and the programme scheduled for the day.

The first technical session was conducted by Narendra Paruchuri, chief managing director, Pragati Offset and the winner of the prestigious Viren Chhabra Print Leadership Award. He took the audience through his journey into the printing industry and also highlighted the scope of printing in the future. His presentation was aptly titled ‘Printing — kal, aaj aur kal’. He emphasised on the need for printers to come together and collaborate for the growth of each other. He also urged to go green and use bio-degradable materials in the printing and packaging industry.

The next presentation was given by Kaz Arai, general manager, public relations, the Japan Federation of Printing Industries. He spoke about the state of the printing industry in Japan and how there is a paradigm shift happening in the industry. He spoke about the importance of moving towards smart factories and how automation is essential to increase the efficiency of the presses.

Abdool Mahjed Mahmood, CEO, Printing SA, then took over the dais to speak about the challenges the printing industry has been facing in South Africa.

Chang Xiaoxia, vice-president, the Printing Technology Association of China and general manager, Beijing Keyin Media and Culturegave a presentation on ‘The present situation and transformation trend of the printing industry in China.’ She presented an in-depth scenario of the Chinese market, the trends and the opportunities lying in the country.

Hirofumi Hoshino, president, Komori India, spoke on ‘Smart factory for printing industries’. He spoke about the automated process of printing and also gave an insight into the importance of being environment-friendly.

The second technical session started with a presentation from Beatrice Klose, secretary general, INTERGRAF. She spoke on the trends in the European market and the challenges they are facing due to the legislation passed by EU. She noted how package printing has overtaken graphic printing in Europe and how the future lies in packaging. She also spoke about the lack of skilled professionals in the printing industry.

Anayath then gave a presentation on behalf of Marcus Heering, MD, the German Association of Printing and Paper. The topic of his presentation was ‘Status Quo and the upcoming trends for the Printing Industry.’ He spoke on the four major trends running currently in Europe — artificial intelligence, connected customer, platform economy and circular economy.

Sukhdev Singh Saini, packaging lead, Colgate Palmolive, then gave a presentation on ‘Get Print-ready to deliver branded packaging in India’. He spoke about the tremendous growth in the printed packaging sector and how there is a need for printers to provide the complete solutions of branding to their customers.

Ashutosh Tripathy R&D Group, Natural Centre for Flexible Electronics, IIT-Kanpur, gave an interesting presentation on ‘Printed electronics — challenges and opportunities for India’. He highlighted the opportunities in the segment of flexible electronics for the printing industry.

Michael Makin, president and CEO, Printing Industries of America, spoke about the state of the printing industry in USA and the challenges they are facing. He gave an update on the macroeconomic condition of the industry. He also spoke about the print market, key opportunities and challenges of the printers and the outlook of the industry in 2020.

The programme ended with a question-answer and audience interaction session, carried by Anayath and the speakers at the conference.

“The conference has been spectacular. It helped in realising importance and difficulties of different print markets and initiated healthy discussions,” said Michael Makin.

“I congratulate the team of AIFMP and for organising such a wonderful Conference. Such conferences help printers and suppliers add a lot to their knowledge,” concluded Dayaker Reddy, president, IPAMA.

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