SMI Labels and Packaging Materials

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Indian Label Association (LMAI) meets for Business, learning, networking and partying!

Vivek Kapoor,the President of LMAI, Label manufacturers association of India, had been a stressed man for almost two months since he announced the LMAI’s eventful evening to be held at the Mayfair banquet in Worli, Mumbai on the 27th of August 2010. He was calling me virtually every day discussing modalities and wondering on the success of the move he made. I am sure others in his management and executive committee would also have received calls for endless discussions. He wanted to put up a good show and tried hard. By far it was planned to be the biggest of events so far to have been organized by LMAI on its own. LMAI awards night in 2008 was bigger but that was organized by Tarsus and was a part of the India Label Show events. The success of any event is evident from the number of people who attend and from the level of their indulgence in the proceedings. Vivek was not sure on the numbers that would turn up. Considering the strength of LMAI membership to be around 140, he felt if we got over 65 people it would be good. I assured him we will get more and promised him my support as also others in his management team also reassured him. Vivek himself along with Sandeep Zaveri treasurer LMAI and Amit Sheth honorary Secretary formed the core team at Mumbai to take care of the preparations. As usual the gusty Ramesh Deshpande, General Seceratary, LMAI provided support on interaction with the government. They worked hard made a sincere effort to deliver.
The evening started with the executive committee meeting at 3.30 pm. Most of the members travelled from across the country to be present. I must say a very interactive and constructive meeting took place taking stock of the industry in the country. Modalities of taking the association forward and creating a feeling of comradeship amongst label printers in the country were discussed. The committee also gave its approval to the Presidents initiative to launch the LMAI-Young Managers Club. A proper review of its working so far and plans for the future were on the agenda that was dwelled upon. The committee meeting was to be followed by the AGM of LMAI. As the meeting was coming to an end committee members were worried if we would have the necessary quorum as very few members had turned up. Fortunately by 4.30PM enough members were there to start the AGM.

The AGM began with regular stuff that forms the part of such meetings. The AGM had to be followed up by a seminar on Lean management. As the AGM was coming to an end the flow of people coming in kept on increasing and the audience started to get highly interactive. They were asking questions from the LMAI managements and also making suggestions. The hall was three quarters full and we had overshot the estimate of the LMAI president of 65 people. The AGM got extended due to a highly indulgent audience and the next programme got delayed. The AGM that was supposed to end at 6.30 pm got over only at 7pm and was followed by a seminar on lean management. The presentation was made by Dr. Mohan Parmeswaran, Lean Management and HR Expert. It was an interesting presentation that evoked a lot of interest and questions from the audience half way through the presentation on lean management, the house was full!
We had over 120 guests almost twice the number Vivek Kapoor had looked for. The success was showing already. The audience just did not wish to give up asking questions or commenting on issues. The President had to request the audience to discuss their issues over dinner that was to follow. A recorded presentation by Mike Fairley, Roger Pellow and Andy Thomas of Tarsus was delivered. Following this the world Label Association awards winners were announced. These were Anygraphics from NOIDA who won two awards and Wintek of Bangalore. As the seminar and presentations came to an end it was time to party!
It was really interesting to see so many printers and industry suppliers from across India. They came from Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Sivakasi, Chennai, etc. Unfortunately I could not identify anybody from the Eastern India. I am sure our association needs to make more active members from that area.
With drinks flowing and moods relaxed after some hard work, it was networking active all around. Suppliers were interacting with prospective customers and printers gossiping with fellow printers. It was a rare sight, these people who indulged in fierce competition in the market place were sharing moments of joy and togetherness. There were topics of mutual interests being debated upon. Many a members were expressing satisfaction on the success of the event and wished that such events are held more often across the country.
As the evening was coming to and end and the alcohol had done its good job a few printers were ready to shake a leg or two on the dance floor. It was time when I also joined in for a while but then like all good things have to come to an end, it was time to go. It was great evening, a good show, with a satisfied LMAI management team and a beaming president bidding the guests, “Good Night”, I left the venue.

Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008 6th September 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reminiscence of a Great Labels Evening!

The forever travelling Roger Pellow, Managing Director of Labelexpo group, was in India recently as a prelude to leading his team’s effort in making the forthcoming Labelexpo India in December 2010, a resounding success. Roger has expressed his desire to meet the leading and progressive label printers in North India for a relaxed evening and a thought provoking discussions on the trends prevalent in India. Roger is perhaps one of the most well known faces in the “World of Self adhesive labels”. It is a typical style of his to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the industry, wherever he travels. He spends quality time with printers and understands the ground realities by indulging in thought provoking discussions with printers in their local environments.

I was given the responsibility of choosing the group and also the venue. It was a daunting task to have a mix of diversified, successful printers catering to different label segments. Also the venue had to chosen. I indulged and started to look for a restaurant that would have a lot of space and great ambience. I firmly believe that when the place is well spread out and open, the mind works in a similar fashion. In a crammed up space there is crowding of the thought process. We found an ideal place called CIBO in Hotel Imperial in the centre of New Delhi. We met on the 13th of July, 2010. The place provided a perfect mindset, as the restaurant management gave us a large private area with perfect settings, such that all of us sat around a table that was not too big and neither too small, an ideal set-up. The printers who were invited and came were also the right blend of many label segments. Those who attended this dinner evening were; Anil Goel of Gopsons Ltd., he came with his son Gaurav Goel, Dinesh Mahajan of Prakash Labels, Kuldeep Goel of Anygraphics, Aditya Chadha of Update Prints, K K Bajaj and Rakshit from Regal Creative, Pawandeep joined in as member of Finat board of YMC (Young Managers Club) and myself as member executive committee of LMAI and coordinator. Ajay Agarwal of Syndicate labels and Prem Khanna of Rachna Overseas requested to be excused for personal engagements in their respective families.
Roger Pellow in his opening remarks reiterated his company’s commitment to the Indian Label Industry. He noted that while the industry around the world had suffered due to the economic downturn, yet the Indian industry had remained more or less stable. He also noted that the present trends showed that the no. of label presses being installed in India were almost 100 annually and felt this was an indicator of the health of this industry in India. Interestingly all those who were present had already made capital investments in recent times or were in the process of making them. Concern was expressed on waste management and environment issues in the label industry. All present did give their inputs and yet agreed that much needed to be done in this area. There is need to work on this as also to brainstorm the industry on waste reduction and disposal to find effective solutions.
A healthy debate took place on digital printing. Roger informed those present about his groups effort in educating printers in this emerging and fast spreading technology. He also informed the group that Mike Fairley would be visiting India during the Labelexpo India in December and that he would be holding a master class for digital printing. This was well received, though printers in India have not been very indulgent in this technology yet their interest is very evident and definite signs of growth in this digital printing segment are evident. Printers expressed their concern about the increasing prices of high end label presses. Dinesh Mahajan of Prakash Labels said, “If a Mercedes can be sold for 70000 Dollars then why a label press cannot be made cheaper.” To which Roger could only explain in more down to earth way that a Mercedes is a part of mass production done on an organized assembly line and the presses are custom built. Each press may have some thing different incorporating a continually changing technology. Costing was another issue that was debated, on initiation by Pawandeep Sahni that the need to implement lean manufacturing is imperative, there was a very interesting discussion with inputs coming from all printers. They shared their personal experiences on how they implemented processes to reduce cost. These included waste reduction, reducing down time and measuring expenses as a ratio or measure of the final cost. I was surprised when Kuldeep Goel of Anygraphics stated that he had in his computer data like how many units of electricity was spent per square inch of labels that he produced! No wonder he has recently set up a hundred thousand square foot factory. The printers also discussed the foray of our printers to go global. Gaurav Goel informed the group of their investments in Srilanka and Mauritius. Prakash Labels have been running a company in the UAE for many years, the group also recognized the efforts of other printers who had gone global to setup units in foreign lands like Syndicate labels, Interlabels, Unique Offset, etc.
Summing it up Roger made a presentation on the forthcoming labelexpo India. He informed that the show was sold out and that there would be many more working presses. He assured that printers will benefit greatly from this show. All good things do come to an end as did this very interesting evening. While all the above was being discussed and debated upon, there was continuous servings of good food and drinks. Shows what good ambience, good food and good drinks can do to the thought process. CHEERS!

Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008 28st August 2010