says SR Sharma, chairman, PAMEX 2013, in conversation with Varsha Verma of Print & Publishing.
To be held at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida from November 14-17, 2013, PAMEX 2013 is one of the premier event for the printing and allied machinery industries in Asia. The event is organized by All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) with TAFCON, New Delhi as associate organisers.
PAMEX is supported by the Government of India through Ministries of Commerce & Industry (Dept. of Industrial Policy & Promotion), Micro, Small & Medium Scale Enterprises and Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation (Directorate of Printing) as well as other international and national bodies’ like IPAMA (Indian Printing, Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association); FIP (Federation of India Publishers); INS (Indian Newspaper Society); VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau - German Engineering Federation); PEIAC (Printing And Printing Equipment Industries Association of China); and NPES (the association for suppliers of printing, publishing and converting technologies, US).
Along with 60 affiliate Associations of AIFMP, PAMEX is a unique show “by the printers, for the printers and of the printers,” says SR Sharma, chairman, PAMEX 2013, while conversing with Varsha Verma. Excerpts.
P&P: How is Indian printing industry poised vis-à-vis its foreign counterparts?
SR Sharma: India is going to be number one country in the world for printing. Due to low cost and ready to adopt new technologies, they are ready to change the entire gamut of printing and the Indian printing industry will come out as future of print. The scenario is changing in the Indian printing industry, wherein world is showing a decline in the growth/ performance, but in India, we are showing the upward growth at a very fast speed.
P&P: What are the current challenges in the printing industry?
SR Sharma: There are various challenges in different sectors. For example, in the Digital Imaging sector, the challenge printers’ face with the advent of computers and laser beams creating print-ready graphics is the capital expenditure it requires to put in to stay ahead of the competition. With a small print shop grossing $250,000 annually and a computer-to-plate (CTP) system costing upwards of $100,000, putting the two together can cause quite the financial bind. The challenge is only compounded because the competition has already made the commitment to technology, and thus impacts the comparative quality between those who have and those who have not. The old ways of cameras, negatives, stripping and plate burning can still accomplish everything they accomplished last year. The difference is the competition can cut hours (or days) off of production time and win the quote on delivery. One must also consider the fact that computer-generated imaging is perfect compared to manual prepress. Staying on top of technology is a daunting task.
Now, let’s talk of inkjet printing which forgoes plates and rollers and instead prints directly on the substrate with a series of spray nozzles carrying process and additional spot colours. Not only can the ink jet printer run at 10,000 copies an hour (equal to an offset press), it can print each copy differently: 10,000 personalized letters, envelopes, annual reports or business cards. For the traditional commercial offset printer to compete with this kind of versatility is impossible. The answer is either to upgrade the capability or concede a large market share to the competition.
Another challenging area is the customer service. Customers still like vendors who know names and remember their birthdays. The challenge for the printing industry today is to not lose sight of what makes the business run while running the business: customers. All the gadgets and incredibly advanced equipment imaginable mean nothing if there are no sales and steady profits to pay for these expenditures. Although it’s easier to communicate with customers today with e-mails, faxes, cell phones and even video conferencing, the challenge is to never forget the customer is a person wanting their printing done right the first time and on schedule.
P&P: What were the reasons for the change in venue from Pragati Maidan to India Expo Centre in Greater Noida and what has been the response from the exhibitors?
SR Sharma: The India Exposition Centre & Mart Ltd is designed especially for hosting world-class events and exhibitions and offers a high standard of services and facilities and has been hosting many eminent shows. A multifaceted events facility, the center has the capacity to hold a variety of events from 50 to 5,000 guests. Built with a modernistic outlook, the India Expo Center EXPO XXI has been merged with the unique blend of technology with state-of-the-art facilities and safety standards as per international standards. The recently concluded Printpack 2013 has proved that this venue will be the good option for organizing such events.
Initially, a few of the exhibitors were concerned about it the venue is of course located about half an hour away from the central part of Delhi, which I am sure is no great a distance when we all see many international venues in China and other countries, including one in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc. However, for the smooth and hassle-free commuting of the exhibitors & visitors, complementary Shuttle Service from Botanical Garden Metro Station, Noida will be provided which will be available on all four days of the exhibition. Also after knowing the facilities at the venue, such exhibitors are convinced that the show will be much more organized as compared to earlier editions.
P&P: How big would be the PAMEX this time, in terms of the total exhibition space, etc?
SR Sharma: The indication of response and with the active support and guidance of the president, All India Federation of Master Printers and the Council Members and with the sincere efforts extended by Tafcon team members, we hope to achieve about 50% increase in the exhibition area compared to the last editions. This
mega institutionalized biennial international exhibition will cover an area of about 18,000 sq m in 5 Halls. Over 100 exhibitors have already confirmed participation and about 200 are in the pipeline.
P&P: What new activities have been planned this year?
SR Sharma: A well integrated two days print conference is planned alongwith the event under the chairmanship of VK Malik, past president, AIFMP, in which country papers from USA, Germany, Australia, China, Sri Lanka and India will be presented. The conference will be supported by NPES, VDMA, PEIAC etc.
P&P: What marketing initiatives are being taken to promote the fair?
SR Sharma: Apart from the publicity carried through trade journals and promotion being made through various events organized by AIFMP, we are also organizing one-to-one meetings and visits by senior delegations from AIFMP and TAFCON to various international trade shows including DRUPA- Germany, APPP Expo- Shanghai, Chinaprint 2013- Beijing, Chinacoat- Guangzhou etc. We will soon be exhilarating the road shows in various small and medium cities spread all over India. During the show also, we will be highlighting all the new launches of machines or technology through various mediums (print, electronic and online).
P&P: Any message for our readers....
SR Sharma: Block your diaries and firm your travel plans for PAMEX which will be a unique show “by the printers, for the printers and of the printers.”