Printers from all across the country descended in New Delhi to attend the second edition of Romancing Print 2012 - The Printers Conference at The Habitat Center.
With registrations exceeding 375 on the final day including on the-the-spot and with printers from associations as far as J&K attending the conference, it was a great way to discuss about the price war scenario, the legalities involved in business, How important is HR in an organisation and to hear from the leading ladies of the Print Industry who participated in the session "Women in Print".
The second season of the popular conference started with lamp lightning followed by a grand and ‘typically’ Prahlad Kakar specialty-adorned key note address with a sprinkle of life, living, love, sex and printing. It is not every day that one hears such stalwarts of the advertising industry and it was indeed a refreshing start to a long day. Prahlad was more than vocal to say that the westerners are looking towards India and the day is not far when they will come and sell their wares. Well, that has already started to happen – all eyes on India!
The first session of the morning was moderated by Pankaj Kalra of Xerox aptly titled “Romancing Innovations – The digital way”. Four panelist, Charu Bhatnagar (Rave India), Ashwani Arya (Perfact Digital), Amit Bharagava (Amit Digital), Suraj Goyal (Printbindaas.com) and N Sreekumar (Bhavish Graphics) had some interesting comments to make on the various possibilities of digital as a medium of innovation. Interestingly the panelists were from as varied a field as exclusive offset printer, offset and digital combination printers and exclusive digital printer along with an exclusive web-to-print operator. The comments from the ‘whole gamut’ of printers gave the delegates the perspectives of all whilst making a choice of what could be best for him/her. Today, the quality of digital print is almost at par with the offset print quality and the prices too are getting better by the day thus making it more and more affordable. It further enhanced our belief that there would be amazing things to be seen in so many different ways in the coming Drupa. Xerox did present a short presentation on what one could expect from Xerox at Drupa.
The personalized bags, name tags and the show speaker's booklet individually printed for the delegates at the conference was a huge crowd puller.
The second session from Heidelberg (Mr.Rene Schieber) was about performance of a machine resulting in better productivity for a company. It was interesting to note the facts and figures presented by Rene. A talk on Human resources by Ms.Shelly Singh of Peoplesoft was an eye-opener for the delegates and comments from the panelists were interesting too. It is always good to hear directly from the horse’s mouth and that is exactly what Anuj A Mehta (PaperIdeas), Sameer Bindra (BuzzImc) and Ranjan Kuthari (Antartica Ltd.) tried to do.
After a sumptuous lunch in the garden (under the warm winter sun) and after ringing the ‘lunch-finished’ bell a number of times, Mr.Dilip Cherian, the post lunch Keynote Speaker took the stage with aplomb talking about the effect of technology on print and moreover the need to be not too worried since the affect is more on newspaper than on commercial and packaging since our growing economy can only fire the growth. “It will take time to see the downturn” he emphasised.
This was followed by an amazing insight into Business Legalities by Mr.Kapil Dev Sapra (Kapil Sapra & Associates) – this was one session for which we received many enquiries as to the profile to of the speaker – good that we took quite a few visiting cards from Kapil for distribution – just in case!
CtP has always been a topic of discussion amongst printers who have already installed it as well as with the ones who intend to install in-house, not to speak of the one who outsource it too. Ranesh took center stage being the moderator of the “Romancing your CtP” session with his panelists who included Ravi Shroff (Nutech Print Services), Tarun Chopra (Colour Dots), Satish Nayak (Bodhi Professionals), Prof Franz Sigg (RIT). It was not a discussion on which is the best but which is suitable for whom? Depending on the need, one needs to select their CtP – speed, quality, service and reliability seemed to be the criterion on which the panel seemed to reach consensus on.
The evenings most interesting though were the next two Sessions – “Women in Print” and “The Dirty Picture”. Women in Prints session had a big fan following with huge rounds of applause being heard as the session progressed. In fact people from the industry were intrigued to see a set of seven women from across the country sitting on the dias. Amila Singhvi of IPP was the moderator who guided the panelists for 45 minutes on stage. Panelists included Poonam Dikshit (Perfect Digital), Aparna Govil (Shree Maitrey), Shachee Patel (Rajkalp Mudranalaya), Nimisha Kulshreshtha (Rave India) and Priyata Raghavan (Sai Security Printers) debating on issues varied from how the journey as a woman in the predominantly male dominated printing industry, the advantages and disadvantages that they travesrsed through and why is that the industry is not getting women into the profession as is being seen in nursing and teaching professions per se. Later talking to PRESSIdeas Nimisha said “We have decided to form a small group for taking steps to increase the presence of women in the print industry”. A truly nice step for the small group but could be a giant stride for women who would join into the printing industry mainstream. Go get them Nimisha – any help from us – we would be the first to get into the bandwagon.
The Dirty picture was not as dirty as is named. The price war is indeed a reality but the panelist found a way to get out of the rat race and seemed to be a two pronged strategy – one was to provide value additions so that a wee bit more could be charged and retain the margins (this also prevents to an extent the competition) and the second was to improve the service levels and make the client think twice before asking for any price reduction. Moderated by Satish Malhotra the Chairman of the Conference, Panelists included Hyuma Mahadevia (Yamir Packaging), Govind Bhargava (Solar Press), Sandeep Bhagava (Kumar Printers), Ashwani Arya (Perfact Digital), Rohit Kuthari (Antartica), M N Pandey (Avantika Printers). Post session, we were also flooded with comments by delegates that it is easy to just talk about value addition when clients are concerned only about prices, we must strongly add that all kind of markets exist and it is for a printer to actually choose his clients!
There were heated debates about the session during the entire dinner and believe me, a drinks or two makes it easier to let down one’s inhibitions and bare one’s heart – that is what Romancing is all about, we guess.
In all the hullaballoo of the entire conference, we did not forget the force behind the conference – the immediate past president Mr.Manoj Mehta who could not attend due to his prior engagement with the Sri Lankan Printers Association. We missed you sir!