With western and established markets for consumer products showing signs of saturation and decreasing growth rates, there is an extensive search for alternate markets that look promising and appear to offer high growth rates in the near future. Markets that are expected to grow include packaged retail products which will drive volumes for packaging and printed products including labels. India, in recent times is being referred to as the economic powerhouse for buying.
India – A powerhouse market
Supplier’s opinion on Indian visitors
The global suppliers to the label industry have high expectations of the Indian markets and they
Serious and inquisitive visitors
Jakob Landberg Sales Director Nilpeter says, “The quality of visitors coming from the region has been improving over the years, both in terms of numbers and in their seriousness of doing business. This is also a reflection of the maturity of the Indian label market. India forms a major part of the Asian region which is one of the fastest growing global regions for label consumption.” He further added, “We felt that the quality of visitors to Labelexpo 2015 was an improvement on earlier years”. Nilpeter, have shown their commitment to the Indian growth story my making an investment to build equipment in India. “Indian printers visiting the Brussels show were more focused and educated.”Mike Russell of Mark Andy also felt there were no “tourist visitors” from India this time as in earlier years, the Indians visitors to this show were serious label printers. Gourav Roy also of Mark Andy felt the Indians appeared to be less visible but the important ones were all there. Even though digital printing continues to attract the interest of the printing industry worldwide, the Indian label industry in general is hesitant to make large investments in this segment due to the high cost of equipment and inks. It is interesting to note that they still regard the segment with interest. Many printers were seen perusing the offerings in the digital equipment hall. However some low priced digital equipment attracted many Indian label printers.
I spent time at the stand of one such company Trojan Label where I saw many leading Indian printers, some ready to buy before some confusion moves in and the decision goes on hold. In the words of Kim-Regin Sustmann, Director Business Development at Trojan, “Labelexpo turned out to be extremely good for Trojan we never expected to create so much interest.” The HP stand also was extremely busy and had a lot of Indian printers. A very interesting response came from release base paper supplier Munksjo. Base paper prices directly impact on the price of self-adhesive label stocks. As pointed out by Anil Sharma of Avery Dennison, our printers were looking for ways to improve margins, so the interest in this company’s offerings was obvious. According to Marco Martinez, Munjsko, “We had many Indian visitors, actually the biggest number from any country, which surprised us!” He further added, “India now appears to be the market for the future”. However most of the visitors to the stand enquired about stock lots and side runs. This confirms the focus of our printers trying to improve margins. Labelstock is the major part of the cost of a label and to remain close and connected to the suppliers, printers ensure that they visit the labelstock stands as a matter of urgency. For this reason, the three main suppliers to the Indian label industry i.e. Avery, Raflatac and SMI had many visits from local printers. All technical and new product information from these suppliers is available locally so it was pointless to spend too much time on these stands..
Leading tooling manufacturers like Rotometrics, Spilker, Kocher + Beck, Lartec, Electro-Optic, etc are well represented by strong and efficient sales agents in India and for this reason they did not get too many Indian visitors. In the words of Raul Silvestre of Lartec, Spain, “I had few visits from India”.
More and more Indian attendance
Moving out of the crowd
My personal opinion is that since the Indian label industry is still largely family managed with the businesses falling into the SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) category, the promoters have to expand within the comfort level that the existing economic parameters allow. They have to make decisions facing constraints that rules and regulations impose including those of financial institutions. They are under pressure due to intense competition and have to exercise caution so as to be able to service debt effectively. However success always comes with calculated risks. So our printers, even while exercising caution, need to move out of the crowd and emerge from their comfort zones to stand out and empower themselves with capabilities to innovate and excel!
Written Exclusively for Narrow WebTech Germany by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008 October 2015.
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