LMAI Team L to R: Harveer Sahni, Amit Sheth, R Deshpande, Sandeep Zaveri, Gururaj,Manish Desai, Vivek Kapoor,
Ajay Agarwal, Jigesh Dani, Ajay Mehta and missing from the picture is Ranesh Bajaj
Group "Drum Cafe"

As the African drummers on stage from the group, “Drum Café” started to hammer on the skins of their drums, a hall fully packed with those from the Indian label fraternity were a confused lot. These delegates to the first ever LMAI conference titled, “Innovations Unlimited” had surprised all in the industry by their overwhelming response. The event was overbooked and there were no more rooms available despite taking up rooms in adjoining and nearby hotels. Immediately after registration the delegates were asked to come for the first two hour session of presentations at the conference hall. Two hours later, the audience was ready for some fun. When they saw just a handful of drummers on stage, the confusion was obvious. Music is a very important part of every Indian’s life. From birth to wedding and till death, all ceremonies are completed with music. We pray and we sing with music. We are happy, we need music. We are sad, we still need music. Drums! They are traditionally used as an accompaniment to instruments like harmonium, sitar, guitar, violin, piano, flute, etc. so the drums alone were certainly a cause of some amount of confusion.
Drumbeats by your's truly!
Twenty minutes later, the hall was vibrating! Euphoria prevailed. Everyone in the hall was given separate drums and the leader of the group, “Drum Café” started to teach the audience giving them beats to follow him. Soon all in the audience were hitting the drums with fervor and unison.  They were ecstatic and enjoying every moment. Their hands hurt and throats went hoarse, yet they craved for more fun. The LMAI conference “Innovations Unlimited” had begun, the fun promised also appeared to be “Unlimited”.
When the event was conceptualized, the LMAI team was very optimistic and eager to hold the conference at Goa. As we came closer to the date of the event it became a little uneasy situation as even the event managers had not been finalized. Somewhere around the end of January 2011, Vivek Kapoor the LMAI President pressed the panic buttons. What followed is a concentrated build up to an amazing event. Vivek called all in his team across India daily and talked for hours. All of us still joke, “Vivek has free telephone lines”. The team gelled together, worked hard and what evolved months later will be a part of history of label in this country.
Raveendran (Seljegat) & Hemanth(Pragati)

Once the African drummers had delivered, the bar was thrown open, liquor flowed and it was networking all around. People were meeting colleagues in the industry and also striking new relationships. The virtual who is who of the label industry was there to party.

Anil Sharma CEO Avery Dennison, interacting with guests.

Anil Sharma the CEO of Avery Dennison India, who were the platinum sponsors, lead his team to welcome the delegates. Other sponsors included Rotatek-Creed, Esko Artwork, DuPont, Kurz, Mark Andy, Flint Group, Heidelberg-Gallus, label Planet-Orthotec, Nilpeter, Gidue-Reifenhauser and SMI. Important foreign visitors were seen mixing with printers. Notably besides the sponsors, there were representatives from UPM-Raflatac, Omet, A B Graphics, Lintec, Alphasonics, Rotometrics and many other international companies. Vivek and his team, with the help of event organizers Tranquil world had put up a great event. The selected venue Park Hyatt is a property par excellence. The ambience added to the fun of being in Goa, a location that the world loves to be in. It is like good music that tempts you to start dancing.

Federico from Gidue
 Presentations at the conference had interesting content Ajay Mehta, SMI spoke on success stories, Jean Pierre-Esko spoke on security and anti counterfeiting while Kelvin Boon Tai made a presentation on plate making technologies. Press manufacturers who made presentations included Bhrigav Jain on behalf of Label Planet, Jeff Feltz- Mark Andy, Federico d’Annunzio-Gidue, Dilip Shah-Nilpeter, Kishore Sarkar-Gallus,

Ranesh Bajaj, Creed Engineers.

Michael Bethge, Ahlstrom


Ranesh Bajaj-Rotatek and Itsik Krief-HP. Other presenters were Keith Montgomery-ABG, Wolfgang Burkard-Kurz, George Lyle-Flint Group, and the last presentation on recycling of siliconised liner came from Michael Bethge of Ahlstrom.
L to R: Roger Pellow, Amit Sheth, Mike Russel, Manish kapoor
Bibiana, Federicao, Itsik Krief, Kishore Sarkar

Roger Pellow, managing director of the Labelexpo group chaired a panel discussion on various printing processes. I have been to numerous conferences around the world, seldom have I seen the audience so committed and engrossed. Despite being at a destination that beckons them to its beaches, the delegates stayed glued to their seats in the conference hall.


Many a delegates yearned to go out and experience this holiday destination but I guess they postponed it for the last day before they left back home. As the conference came to an end, it was time to party yet again. The delegates were given two hours to rest and change into casual attires while the organizers reset the venue.
The LMAI team had targeted the number of delegates at 125 and they were not sure if that was achievable. A joint and concentrated effort brought in a stream of bookings and the target was revised to 160. Inching closer to the event the bookings crossed 200. Thereafter it appeared totally unmanageable. Booking were closed at 220 but more prospective delegates were persistent and brought references to put pressure on the LMAI team. Despite refusing so many people the final count at the event was 270! The organisers had on their hands a gigantic task. Gifts for all, comfort for all and fun for all. Pooja Ghai and her Tranquil world, the event company, delivered well!
Manasi Scott

When the guests returned to a new setting in the hall, few moments later bollywood entertainer Manasi Scott made a grand entry. She set the mood by getting the label community on to the dance floor. What followed was mind boggling, the hands were up, the feet were tapping on a jam packed dance floor.

The women on stage!

From Manasi the DJ took over and it was fun all the way.
Balle Balle! Sandeep Zaveri and Pawandeep Sahni

Simultaneously the bar was also thrown open. Delegates from around the world were happy and enjoying their time in Goa. Competitors, printers, suppliers and buyers, all were celebrating like one global family.

Kishore Sarkar-Gallus, Paolo Grasso-Omet and Harveer Sahni

Cheers!!! They were partying hard, dancing, enjoying the camaraderie and creating wonderful memories.
Rajesh Chadha Wah Kya dance hai!

It appeared to be an unending evening when I realized it was almost 2am and I decided to leave. When I left people were still at the bar and on the dance floor experiencing the “Fun Unlimited”.
PS: I have posted pictures that were in my own camera.Once I have the official CD, I will post more pictures or change some. Till then enjoy these!
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008, India 5th August 2011.