I have been used to seeing sponsors or industry suppliers make monotonous presentations in the garb of delivering knowledge to printers at various print industry conferences. The procedure is relevant at most conferences even now. When it gets a little over bearing, delegates in the audience are seen yawning. At the FINAT Congress in 2008 at Paris, I was surprised to see a speaker speaking of her mountaineering experience. As the US based LNW magazine reported, “Some people in the audience tend to leave conferences before the end, pleading important engagements (particularly on a Friday) so that the last speaker addresses rows of empty seats. Few of the delegates at that FINAT congress had previously heard of Cathy Dowd, but the sheer incongruity of inviting a female mountaineer must have intrigued many, and the house was full to hear of a South African team's ultimately successful bid to conquer the world's highest, mountain. Dowd has the actress' ability to match words, gestures and images. The images were of peaks and yawning chasms; the words were largely about teamwork under extreme conditions, and what happens when it goes sour. It was a little theatrical, but nonetheless a memorable performance.” I have been in awe of what she shared from her experiences with the crowd and how it translates to enduring situations in day to day work. BMPA’s “Print Summit” brought back not just memories of that day in 2008 but excelled in taking the concept to amazing heights. I am overwhelmed by what they created at this excellent event. With close to 1000 delegates attending and staying glued to their seats till the end shows, what an excellent event it was.


The summit started with presentation by one of the most highly decorated officer Lt Gen Syed Ata
General Hasnain
 HasnainPVSMUYSMAVSM, SM, VSM & BAR, the former Corps Commander of the Indian Army’s Srinagar based 15th Corps who has experience of almost every turbulent spot where the Indian Army is deployed. He served in Sri LankaPunjab (during the militancy), North East IndiaJammu & Kashmir and commanded his unit in the Siachen Glacier. He also served the United Nations in Rwanda and Mozambique. In 2010 he was assigned to Kashmir for the seventh time to lead the Army’s efforts to find peace. His leadership techniques famously titled — ‘Heart is My Weapon”, “Play Friend, Not God” and “Passion in the Heart & Fire in the Belly”, are considered new age mantras for the Army and other organizations. His narration of experiences on the “Challenge of being a Siachen Warrior and leadership management” thereof, left delegates imagining the replication of these procedures in corporate management and the results it would deliver!


Faheem Agboatwala
Faheem Agboatwala, director of Mumbai based Hi-Tech Printing Services spoke on the need for businesses to recognize the “S Curve”. He described it as a time in life of a business where the promoters need to recognize the approaching end of a profitable cycle while the business is still making profits. It is a time to make investments into new arenas or move on to the next S Curve in the life cycle of their enterprise to reach higher levels of success. Enterprising promoters have the sixth sense to foresee the situation and jump ahead to the next curve. Attributing the courage of entrepreneurs to accept exponential change from ending an ongoing successful business to initiate a new venture to drive growth, he showcased the story of three such companies who used the theory of S Curve and reached a pinnacle. Two of these have a strong presence in self adhesive labels. In fact all three have indulged in labels in their life cycle. These companies are AkarMudrika and Printmann. Ashok Jain lead Akar Ltd. is a provider of innovative solutions in Printing, Packaging, Publishing and Promotional products. I met Ashok Jain the first time in the mid 1990s when he was into regular commercial offset printing and was also printing stickers on sheet fed offset. He went on stage to narrate his story of jumping the S Curve multiple times to success. His Mantra has been to pick and choose clients, go out of the press room and think business like a leader. Tejas Tanna of Printmann spoke about the need for printers to draw respect from customers as partners and not just being vendors. Printmann moved from just commercial printing to cartons and self adhesive labels with high concentration in the pharma sector. I have known Manish Desai of Mudrika Labels, a 100 Crore company, for decades. I have also written his story on my blog . I have seen Manish and his team jumping the S Curve as decribed by Faheem a number of times. From screen printing to outsourcing offset printing for making stickers to the achievements until now has been a very interesting and curvaceous journey. Manish attributed his success to the regular visits to customers, exhibitions and virtually moving out of his shell to connect and grow. He is the past president of LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India.
I am not really a movie buff, I now see maybe one or two films in a year. It maybe interesting to note
Sonam Wangchuk
 that from 1984 to 2000, for almost 17 years I did not see a single film. In the new millennium my children do drag me to movie that they feel I will enjoy thoroughly. When I saw the list of speakers, I noticed the name Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh as a speaker, it immediately reminded me of the movie “Three Idiots” a movie that I had seen and was thrilling! I did not think much of the resemblance in name thereafter. At the Print Summit in the after lunch session, Sonam Wangchuk a Rolex laureate came on stage. I was having difficulty in keeping my eyes open. The heavy lunch was playing mischief. When Sonam started to speak on innovation in adversity, my mind jumped to alertness and the rest of the session I was listening in overwhelming attention? I had goose pimples! It was as if I was watching a sequel to the film “Three Idiots”. He spoke on simple things created out of just the nature’s bounty. A school is constructed without electricity and heated with sunlight and use of convection principle. When the outside temperature is -15 degrees, it is +15 degrees inside. In winters upto April when you have ice in Ladakh there is water but when in may the ice has melted and flowed down there is acute scarcity and difficulty. Sonam saw in May one year that there was an unmelted block of ice in the shade of a bridge, drawing inspiration from that. Realising that the Ice did not melt under shade, a fountain spraying droplets of water in the air was created from the pressure of water flowing down the hills in subzero temperatures. These would freeze and fall down forming a stupa of tons of ice that with its reduced area of exposure to the sun, would remain as ice and be a source of water during summers. It sure was a wow presentation with many such stories. I wish I had heard some more. Sonam is now working on creating a university in a desert in Sikkim with natural resources.
Mehul Desai
Mehul Desai, founder and chairman, Mail Order Solutions and President of BMPA highlighted three companies Prodon Enterprises, Seshaasai Business Forms, and Vistaprint he stressed the need for dwelling and researching the historical data to evaluate the growth areas and identify contributing factors to your bottom line and moving ahead using this information so as to decide on future investments to remain profitable in growth. Padma Bhushaan, Shekhar Gupta said “I hear that print is dying. Let me assure you, it is not. We have a literate population that is growing.” He spoke on leadership qualities reminiscing his interaction with various prime ministers of the country. Padma Bhushan Dr B M Hegde spoke on wellness. 
C N Ashok
Autoprint Managing Director, CN Ashok speaking on, "Will the next generation inherit?" said it was time for investing in a strong positive balance in the emotional bank account for the next generation. Delegation and then allowing the next generation to indulge in decision making is need of the hour. Not letting go of the authority is a hindrance to smooth transition to Gen Next. Speaking at the event Satoshi Mochida President and COO of Komori Corporation Japan said, “That print market is on the rise in the near future.” Puneet Datta, Canon’s director, marketing and sales in his presentation stated that technological innovations are transforming businesses within print. “The time to embrace digital is now” he concluded.



The “print summit” has established itself as a landmark event for the print industry! Getting huge number of printers to attend from beyond the geographical reach of the organising association and then having them sitting in full strength with rapt attention throughout the presentations upto the end is something rarely witnessed not only in India but across the globe. Clapping in unison to acknowledge the delivery of wonderful speeches, standing ovation to outstanding presentations and appreciation of organization by the BMPA’s young team was seen abundance. Industry leaders who were seen at this event include Ramesh Kejriwal of Parksons PackagingTechnova boss Pranav Parikh, Narendra Paruchuri of Pragati Hyderabad, Kamal Chopra President AIFMP, Anand Limaye Hon. General Secretary  AIFMP and many more. I congratulate the BMPA team and thank Mehul Desai for having invited me to attend this wonderful show.
Written by Harveer Sahni Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-10008 January 2017