Sriraam Selvam: What happens to China brands now? - Part II

We continue to understand the print fraternity’s views on their future use of Chinese manufactured products both machinery and raw materials.

29 May 2020 | By Sriraam Selvam

The China conundrum is a question that the Indian businesses at large are facing the pressure to consider alternatives especially locally manufactured is gaining momentum. The print industry especially has a significant dependency on import from the country.

MK Narayanan in his opinion piece in The Hindu, believes ‘China is better prepared for a post Covid world’ and points to ‘the Belt and Road Initiative — which encompasses policy, infrastructure, trade, financial, and people-to-people connectivity, and, implicitly also, security ties.’

Interestingly, the website reported that China’s General Administration of Customs reported a 3.5% rise in exports year-on-year in April. 

Sharing ten more views from the 100 industry leaders we spoke to.

Aaditya Kashyap of Marks group says, “Yes, as we don’t yet have the luxury to make that choice. Today’s world is not ready to boycott China immediately. We are dependant and will be dependent for a few years to come. We need to work towards becoming self-sufficient.”

Akshat Jain of  Omega Printopack says, “Our raw material procurement is totally domestic and we don’t have any plans to purchase from China as of now. Regarding machines, we all know that China is a big manufacturer of quality corrugation machinery and we already have them from Paktek, Hoisheng and DGM. So purchases will be regular in future for our corrugation segment.”

Amitava Ray of Uflex says, “Boycotting to trade with a country on the basis of an instance or nationality is not the indication of a good business. Having said that, it’s best to de-risk one’s supplier list geographically to ensure minimal challenges. India does not have any trade war with China. But all our policies must be centred on what is best for us.”

Faheem Agboatwala of Hi-Tech Printing Services says, “Yes if it’s going to profit the business with quality, speed or accuracy then why not. Hyper nationalism is going to ruin our globalised world.”

Himanshu Kapur, JK Fine Prints says, “It’s easier said than done since everything is dependent on China to a certain extent. Something or the other is usually a product or by-product of Chinese manufacturing.”

K Selvakumar, Lovely Offset Printers says, “Buying from China cannot be wished away. We will try to source locally and in other countries if possible in the future.”

Milap Shah of Printstop says, “Honestly, it is an economic decision. If there are alternates available, the first choice will be Indian machinery. But the truth is that it is extremely difficult to remove China from the equation in the near term. The iPhone you use, the Macbook and so many products we use on a day-to-day basis are manufactured in China. Not buying Chinese products can be a reality if alternates are available but that will take some time and won’t be possible overnight.”

Nikhil Warrier, Saptagiri Packaging says, “After this, I think the entire world would try to sideline China. But it will not be easy to replicate China’s scale and cost-effectiveness. We will try to avoid but will have to consider if there are no options.”

Sandeep Bhargava, Kumar Printers says, “Wherever that we do not have an option. Perhaps we can use the Chinese machines to make packaging for export where the Chinese are already supplying. Who knows what kind of opportunities this crisis throws up?”

Siddharth Kejriwal of Parksons Packaging says, “We never focused or purchased Chinese raw material and also very limited ancillary equipment from China don’t plan to walk that path anytime soon.”

Read Part I here:  Sriraam Selvam: What happens to China brands now?

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