Label Manufacturers’ Association of India (LMAI) hosted a technical seminar in Chandigarh that discussed ways for converters to be profitable.
The seminar, sponsored by Avery Dennison, Flint Group, HP, NBG Printographic Machinery, Provin Technos and SMI Coated Products, was attended by about 80 print professionals.
Kuldeep Goel, LMAI president, said that the one most important challenge that converters face in the market is price. ‘Decreasing the price is not an alternative. We have to take a stand and not compromise on quality and cut costs. It is critical to innovate and add value to succeed in the business.’
Bhupinder Singh, country sales head, India at Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials, further spoke on challenges Indian label printers are facing. ‘Margins are shrinking. Suppliers and converters are under cost pressure. The number of label printing presses is increasing and the demand is getting suppressed due to over capacity. To top it, reverse auctioning is becoming prevalent in the industry,’ he said.
Offering an alternative, he said that converters must focus on increasing the market size of pressure-sensitive labels by focusing on increasing per capita consumption. ‘One of the ways is to discuss the total applied cost instead of the cost per label with end users when talking about shift from wet-glue to pressure-sensitive labels. The wet-glue label applicators are way more expensive than pressure-sensitive label applicators. The wastage in wet-glue labels, due to wrinkling, hot adhesives, etc, is way more than pressure-sensitive labels. Total applied cost takes end users’ mind away from just the per label cost which should not be the only criterion for end users.’
Following the same line of thought, Shamim Alam of HP spoke on how digital technology can help in making more profit. ‘You need to change the mindset from only the price factor to product innovation. India is a big market with 400 million population of millennials so there is a huge opportunity. Digital is a business tool, not just a printing press.’
Nitin Garg, director at NBG Printographics took the opportunity and introduced the company’s new press, StarFlex to the audience. He said that the converters need to be future ready and invest in automation. ‘Printers must select suppliers who are ready to work with them for their unique requirements and train their team for better productivity.’
Harshal Mahajan, national sales manager of SMI Coated Products further spoke on how to choose the right labelstock material. Shailesh Sharma, product development of narrow web business at Flint Group spoke on ink migration and introduced new inks from the company.
Harveer Sahni, chairman at Weldon Celloplast reiterated the same sentiments discussed at the seminar and said that LMAI will take forward the initiative of going to smaller cities to increase the reach of the association and fight industry challenges.
LMAI will also host the next L9 meet on the sidelines of Labelexpo India 2018. The association has more than 350 members from across the country.