Thursday, February 10, 2011
While I was still in school, I started to get training as a salesman in my father’s company. One of the first lessons my father gave was, “If you cannot talk, you cannot sell”. It has stuck to my mind ever since. Mike Fairley, the international label guru, also made a similar comment while recognizing and appreciating the master salesman in Roger Pellow, Managing Director of the Labelexpo Group. Mike said, “You have the gift of the gab!” Roger is the marketing face of Tarsus. He is a tireless traveler and trots around the globe, meeting Label printers suppliers and end users, in an effort to market his high profile Labelexpo series of shows. He can surely talk and live out of a suitcase. Mike further adds, “Roger is like a bouncing ball and cannot be kept down. Every time you throw it down it bounces back to you”. Roger appears at regular intervals at faraway destinations to renew his contacts with the label world. “The global Label industry is his world”.
The Labelexpo group headed by Roger Pellow was acquired by the UK based Tarsus group in 1998. Tarsus are the owners of Labelexpo exhibitions and summits. Additionally they produce a series of annual publications like Labels and Labeling along with the China and India editions to cater to the local markets, “Encyclopedia of labels and label technology” in several languages, “The Labels Yearbook”, “The RFID How to Book” and a host of other surveys and yearbooks. In 2005 Tarsus acquired the “India Label Show” founded by Anil Arora and later renamed it as “Labelexpo India” to be part of the global Labelexpo series of exhibitions. The Labelexpo exhibitions held in Europe, USA, China and India are the Mecca of successful label printers around the world. The Labelexpo exhibition was founded by Clive Smith in the year 1979, almost the year I entered the Self adhesive Label industry. In 1980 the first Labelexpo exhibition was held in London’s Royal Horticultural Hall, in a net area of 1000 square meters. Three shows later in 1985 the show moved to Brussels and in 1998 it was sold to Tarsus.
Roger Pellow joined Tarsus around 2001, the brief to Roger was to bring the show to global standard and scale of participation from exhibitors as well as visitors. There was lot of work to be done. His first task was to bring the global label community to a single platform. He identified the big three, Nilpeter, Mark Andy and Gallus and set himself the task of building a bridge of friendship with them. His first meeting was with Jakob Landsberg of Nilpeter in early 2003 at Copenhagen. Jakob was annoyed with Tarsus and Roger went committed to that meeting. He left that meeting happy and satisfied. Nilpeter was now a permanent and trusted partner to Labelexpo. In quick succession Mark Andy and Gallus shook hands with a highly indulgent Roger. Labelexpo 2003 was huge and successful. Roger was now aspiring to achieve more success at other venues. He started to clear the bottlenecks that he had inherited. He recognized the “Guru” in Mike Fairley and found in him a mentor in the Label industry whom he could consult at all times. Every successful professional manager has to respect the history of his organisation and understand the core inherent strength. To achieve this he found support from the founder of Labelexpo, Clive Smith, whom he befriended early in his career with the Labelexpo group.
Success does not emanate out of stagnation, one needs to move forward and expand. After the success of labelexpo 2003, Roger Pellow put together a team that thought like him and supported his endeavors. He led the group to launch “Labelexpo China” without a single employee in that country at that time! He followed this up with a series of Label Summits and events around the globe, topping it up by acquiring “The India Label Show”. When asked about the nightmares, he refers to the difficult situation that prevailed at the show following the 9/11 attack in USA and the show in New Delhi after the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008. The shows finally did go through with moderate success but they were sad moments. Roger has divided his focused clients into four major groups i.e. Suppliers, Visitors, Media and End users. Recognising the importance of each of these groups in making the shows successful, he travels around the world and spends time adequately distributed between these focused groups separately. He has setup a good sales team but he singularly remains the marketing face of labeexpo group. His marketing mantra is, “Think global and work local” he further adds, “You have to understand what drives business” He now intends to focus also on the Middle East and African markets.
Roger Pellow was born in Cornwall, England into a family involved in shipping related business. As a young boy he was a keen sportsperson and due to this fact he still spends close to an hour in the gym in his office building each morning before starting work. Surprising as it looks he calls me almost each week at around 10.30-11.00AM when he is driving to work, I am sure readers will understand that it is 6 to 7 AM in the morning there in a bone chilling weather. After completing a B.A. in Geography he became a senior school teacher and soon realized that there was no money in it. Shifting job, he joined an fmcg company to sell Dunhill and Rothmans cigarettes and three years down the line he knew how businesses ran and was ready for yet another change. He joined a publishing company with a magazine for DIY products, building interiors and design. Seven years later he moved yet again to join United Business Media a division of CPM to get his first exposure to the exhibition industry. This company did shows for electronics. He liked the show business and moved eventually to his present job at Tarsus. Instantly he fell in love with the label business and found the job extremely satisfying. He found the people in the label business extremely warm and friendly. As time progressed he made close and dear friends everywhere in the world. He looks at the international label industry as a closely knit global family.
Roger travels 18-20 days each month and has active support from his wife Jayne, whom he met at a beach and initially they did not like each other. However still they ended up in love. She was a nurse who later became a stewardess in British airways. She now is a home maker taking care of their two daughters Kate and Sophie. Roger wishes that his daughter travel the world like him and be the “Children of the World”. If it was not for Jayne, Roger could not have done this, travelling 18-20 days each month. Having been a stewardess herself she understands the needs of a job that calls for extensive travelling. With her active support Roger Pellow would still be travelling around the world for many more years and getting the label industry together to create a global label family because, “The label industry is really his world!”
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008 30th January, 2011.
As we came to the end of 2010, the last month of the first decade of a new millennium, December 2010, saw hectic activity in the printing and packaging industry. The winter chill had started to descend in the capital city of Delhi. The wedding and party seasons that starts around Diwali festival time, was reaching a crescendo. At this time another set of events also began to unfold for our label industry, more so for the printing industry at large. A series of exhibitions and related events were to be held in New Delhi. The mood is generally is festive and upbeat at this time of the year. The way we look forward to meeting friends and relatives at weddings, we also are excited to meet industry colleagues and business friends at the trade related events. This is a time to meet, network and renew relations with fellow printers, material suppliers and equipment suppliers. It gives us the opportunity to update our knowledge of new developments in the industry. It is also time to plan expansion after witnessing the latest equipments and products on display.
On the 3rd of December2010 PackPlus India 2010 opened in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It was a fairly big show incorporating many different segments of the packaging industry. The visitor profile was extremely diverse and left many exhibitors confused. Even though the organizers had earmarked areas to different segments yet the intermingling of visitors does take place and exhibitors end up spending time on visitors from unrelated industries. While on one hand printers were exhibiting on the other hand there were other printers visiting the show. Similarly packaging product manufacturers were at the exhibition as visitors, looking for equipments and material suppliers while as exhibitors they were hunting for end user customers. Even though the show was successful with over 11000 visitors, yet the need for having more focused shows is becoming evident as the packaging industry continues to grow. Interestingly, end user packaging buyers who normally come looking for suppliers of packaging materials and packaging machinery were seen rubbing shoulders with some of their own vendors as visitors to the show. I guess the organizers saw the need to have a focused visitor profile and for this reason they have split the next edition of the PackPlus into three different shows at three different locations across India. On the sidelines of PackPlus, “Package” conference was held at the same venue. Some of the presentations made were of truly international standard. The All India Food Processors Association also organized a one day conference on “Inclusive growth of food processing industry” during this period at the same venue in association with Printpackaging.com.
LMAI Label awards evening was held on 8th December 2010 at Jhankar Banquet on the outskirts of Delhi. The whole team of LMAI leadership lead by their President, Vivek Kapoor was present to welcome the guests at this gala networking event. Mike Fairley the Label Guru was given the lifetime achievement award. I, Harveer Sahni was honoured for my services as a judge at the World Label Awards. It was an overwhelming moment for me to be given the dais to speak, express my gratitude and thank my colleagues in LMAI for the honour and support. Leading Indian label printers who had won awards for their excellence in printing were proud recipients of the trophies. Though there was some external entertainment yet the printing fraternity rose to the occasion, leading label printers, suppliers and others joined the fun by dancing onstage to Bollywood tunes. The LMAI team under the leadership of Vivek Kapoor had done a great job. No wonder that later in January the entire executive committee of LMAI unanimously voted and decided that Vivek Kapoor and his team should manage the affairs of LMAI for yet another term. On 16th January 2011, India’s largest printing industry event “PrintPack India” opened yet again in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. Being a big successful and regular event catering primarily to the offset printing and converting industry, it attracted visitors not only from India but also from most of the neighboring countries as well.
The series of printing exhibitions and events that took place in New Delhi one after the other gave credibility to the title of my column written earlier, “Breathless at Showtime!”