International Conference on Future Printing

India’s Offset Printers Association (OPA) organized an international conference on the topic ‘Future Printing and Scope for India’ with support from Government of India’s Ministry of MSME. The conference was organized at the Central University of Haryana (CUH) located in Mahendragarh district of the north Indian state of Haryana on 25-28 March, 2022, under the aegis of the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP).

Parveen Aggarwal, President of OPA, spoke on the purpose and objectives of the conference. According to him the conference was planned taking in view the possible expansion of the Indian printing and packaging market. “India is a bigger market and we have the capacity to supply quality material at competitive rates, especially to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand etc. Print leaders from these countries were invited to join this hybrid conference, where international speakers participated virtually.” The conference featured six international speakers.

Prof. Rajiv Kumar, Member Secretary, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), was the chief guest and Prof. Tankeshwar Kumar, Vice Chancellor of CUH, joined as the guest of honour for the inaugural session.

After a brief introduction to the activities and achievements of OPA by Prof. Kamal Chopra, Chairman of International Relations of AIFMP, President of AIFMP P. Chander threw light on the current situation of the printing and packaging industry and invited the printers in the conference to voice out their needs and challenges that AIFMP, as an apex body, can take up and solve. While declaring the conference open, Prof. Rajiv Kumar spoke about the Quality Improvement Programme with foreign universities.

The technical presentation was started with a key-note address by Narendra Paruchuri of Pragati Offset, Hyderabad. Speaking on the ‘Current Scenario of Printing in India – Technology and Scope’, he gave an excellent statistical view of the prevailing scenario in commercial printing and the booming packaging industry. By 2025, India is expected to become the fifth largest consumer market in the world, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The inception of new technologies along with a rise in e-commerce, changing lifestyles, urbanisation and increased personal health awareness has boosted the growth of the print and packaging markets.

Offset Printers Association

Globally, the packaging industry sector has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing industries across all countries. The industry is worth over $917 billion (in 2019), growing at a CAGR 2.8% to reach $1.05 trillion by 2024. Packaging is the world’s third largest industry following the food and energy industries, and the only industry that has to do something with every single commodity produced in an economy. In India’s case, packaging is the fifth largest sector in its economy and is one of the highest growth sectors in the country. According to the Packaging Industry Association of India (PIAI), the sector is growing at CAGR 22% to 25%.

Speaking at the virtual event, President of Print Media Association of Indonesia Ahmed Mughira Nurhani emphasized on ‘Future Printing Scope for India and Indonesia’. He said there can be ample opportunities in networking, as Indonesia uses locally produced paper with Indian manufactured post press machinery.

Zulkhor Shahin, representing the Printing Industries Association of Bangladesh and an associate member of Asia Print gave a talk on the ‘Future of Printing in Bangladesh and Scope of Network with the Indian Printing and Packaging Industry’.

A talk on the‘Future Outlook of Printing in Sri Lanka and Opportunities for Collaboration’ by Peter Deckker, President of Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP), mentioned the need for cross-country collaboration, inviting international printers to make a business trip to Sri Lanka and students to their print labs.

On her part, octogenarian Thiemjai Jorgensen, Chief Editor of the Thai Printer Magazine, spoke on ‘Printing Industry of Thailand and Scope for Collaboration’. While discussing networking, she also extended an open invitation to the 8th Pack Print International Exhibition to be held in Bangkok in October 2022.

A slide-show presentation by Pema Gelay of the Bhutan Printers Association on ‘Printing Industry of Bhutan and Scope for Collaboration’ vividly captured the history of printing in Bhutan with the country’s first Heidelberg machine installed in 1977. He also spoke of the challenges faced by the Bhutanese printing industry including its overall decline, shift in technology, issues in procuring raw materials, and lack of human resources.

President of the Federation of Nepal Printers’ Association (FNPA) KhomKanta Regmi stressed on the need for India’s support in helping the Nepali printing industry with machinery, raw materials, and even job orders.

The chief guest for the concluding session Dr. Rajendrakumar Anayath, Vice Chancellor of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology and an eminent printing technologist, spoke about the perspective that is needed for an engineering student. Students must observe the environment where they are, identify challenges in the society, and give engineering solutions for it, connecting the contents of ancient scriptures and the current environment sustainability challenges.

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