Vox Populi: Industry's take on pandemic blues

The pandemic and resulting lockdowns have changed the way the print-packaging world operates. Top executives discuss share their experiences

20 Sep 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

KS Murthy,
Deputy managing director, Toyo Ink

I agree that the commercial print business has taken a big hit, and the numbers shared by PrintWeek are close to correct. I don’t see any positive trends. But I agree with the print education numbers. However, I find the printers are positive, and the numbers may increase by more than 30% soon. Mono cartons numbers may have come down – and corrugation to 75%. Flexible packaging could be at 100 % or slightly less due to a steep increase in raw materials. This is due to the not-on-par performance by the FMCG segment during the first quarter of 2021-22 (April to June).

TP Jain,
Managing director, Monotech Systems

Covid has thrown serious challenges to the wide format printing and digital printing industry. Both got impacted negatively and were down almost by 60% during the lockdown or partial lockdown periods. Currently, it has recovered to almost 80% of normal levels, and if the third wave does not materialise, the way it is suspected, digital production printing and wide-format printing will be back to normal levels in a couple of months time. Going forward, there will be a strong rebound both in terms of machine sales and print volume in line with momentum in the digital transformation of the printing industry.

Neil Faria,
Ultramar Agencies, Goa

Goa is a packaging market. Almost all offset printers do packaging work. Digital printers service commercial work. This segment was down to 50%. The packaging business was booming during the pandemic. The first wave did not affect Goa as much as the second. And so, barring a month or so, the state was open for travel and business. Goa is significant when it comes to the pharma market, and hence the packaging companies were busy, many of them doing 15% more business than they would typically do. My own supplies turnover rose by 15% during the period, and as TechNova continued manufacturing, we were in a position to refill our supplies and meet the demand. As always, payment recovery has been a huge problem.

Also read:
Has Covid altered Indian print forever?
Packaging: a voice of sanity
Corrugation and label industry: hopes for post-pandemic demand
Wide-format industry: sluggish growth
Spotlight: Malayala Manorama and Dainik Bhaskar
Insights on the next six months for print