Printing In India -
An Overview by
Kamal Chopra 

The Indian printing industry is increasingly being driven by growth in packaging and labels. The print media also continues to grow at a healthy annual pace of four percent. As its growth trends continue to be well over the world averages, in print volume terms, India is set to become the fifth largest market by 2018 moving up five notches from its present tenth slot. Therein lays a great opportunity for the Indian & International print suppliers.

  • The greatest growth opportunities for print products are concentrated around revenues from print packaging and print publishing (specifically newspaper printing), with the growth potential in package printing, which is expected to increase 7.8% between 2012 and 2017.
  • The market size of the package printing sector is expected to increase from INR 53,374 crore in 2012 to 77,714 crore in 2017, and will make up 43% of total print product sales in 2017.
  • Within the package printing sector, label and tags printing is expected to grow the most quickly of any product, at a rate of 11%, a result of increased demand from the emerging middle class in the region and India itself.
  • Insert printing and corrugated package printing are also forecast to have high growth rates, again reflecting the expanding segment of the population in the region capable of, and interested in, greater consumer consumption. This factor also accounts for the rapid growth of magazine printing, which is expected to grow 8.4% between 2012 and 2017.
  • The publishing printing market size is supposed to grow from INR 20,859 crore in 2012 to 27,607 crore in 2017 with population increase, rising literacy rates and a growing economy.

The Indian flexible packaging market is expected to grow more than INR 30,000 crore by 2015 and represents a 'land of opportunity' for the Indian converting segment.

  • In the last ten years the technical capability of the Indian converting industry has advanced significantly with the latest technology from Europe, Japan and the US now in use, alongside domestically made printing and laminating presses.
  • India's export trade in converted flexible packaging has been growing, with customers in Africa, the Middle East, USA and Europe all recognising the quality available from some of the larger converters.
  • Imports of converted flexible packaging remain small and largely very low cost products or specialist high-value retort packaging materials.

The Indian Label Industry is complex, dynamic and fast-growing at the rate of 8% per year.

  • While investing in new presses, the Indian printers have graduated from being users of basic Mark Andy presses to fully loaded models of internationally branded presses like Nilpeter, Omet, MPS, Gallus, Rotatek and Mark Andy.
  • The demand of all servo, all UV, multicolor presses with multiple decoration and converting capabilities has grown considerably.
  • The competition has driven printers to invest in newer and diverse printing and converting technologies.
  • The growth in consumerism is contributing to the already growing retail sector. This is supposed to drive significant growth in demand for labels. Thus, there is space for players who have the technology and resources to cater to a demanding consumer oriented market.

The Indian Corrugated Packaging industry, converting about 2 million tons of Kraft paper into corrugated boxes, is on a growth spree.

  • Several in-line automatic plants are being set up, as corrugated box makers gear up to meet the new demands for high precision boxes with attractive graphics and large integrated production capacities.
  • To cater to the growing demand for international quality packaging, Corrugated packaging manufacturers in India are speedily moving on the path of modernization - adopting evolving technologies, installing high speed automatic machines, ensuring quality assurance and incorporating management systems and techniques for efficient operation of the plants.
  • Increasing demand and high volumes has triggered consolidation and setting up of large automatic plants. Many machinery manufacturers are also entering into alliances with Chinese, Taiwanese manufacturers for manufacturing/marketing.