A travel blog for drupa 2024

Indians flying to Dusseldorf


We have been going to drupa since the 1980s and this will be our tenth visit to this show if we get there. I say this because, at a certain age, one has to think if one more is necessary. Nevertheless, preparations are on, and for seasoned travelers too, one has to plan and budget, find some accommodation, and book flights. For older persons and industry journalists like myself who generally put in about 15,000 steps a day, one has to think of a way to do less, to walk less, and not get carried away by trying to visit one more stand and meet one more friend.

From my recent experience, the visa situation seems okay with plenty of appointments available within two and three-week time frames. Air tickets also seem available at fairly reasonable rates although because there are no direct flights from any Indian city to Dusseldorf, one has to opt for at least a one-stop flight on one of the international flights.

artturi jalli WUYFbcqrtiw unsplashFinnair, Polish Lot, Indigo-Turkish Airlines, Air France, Swiss, KLM, and others have workable solutions. Direct flights from Indian cities to Frankfurt, which is just a one-and-a-half-hour train ride away from Dusseldorf main station, are available on Vistara, Lufthansa, and Air India. Hopefully, Air India may even put one of their new Airbus 350 planes on this route by the last week of May, but you will have to check with them.

Of course, numerous travel agencies are there to help you plan your visit, although some of their plans have fewer days at drupa and more days for sightseeing and visits to some of the other interesting cities and tourist spots of Europe. They can be very helpful with visas and in some cases for those who are very particular about their diet, since they carry along or find special cooks to provide vegetarian meals.

Industry colleagues over the years have called drupa the print olympics and others have called it our industry’s university. In this first blog or article, I will not get into the motivations or expectations of the visitors from India, since they vary according to their business and job function. I will only repeat what I have said several times before.

Technology is a great leveler


Technology is a great leveler – although printers are special citizens of this world since they help create and produce some of the most valuable artifacts such as books, newspapers, signage, (knowledge, information, and propaganda), and packaging – at drupa, big or small, they all become equal to each other.

Individually they are competitive seekers to solutions and also new ideas that may give them an edge in their market. Collectively they embody agility in applying technology for profit and in the drupa environment they are willing to share what they are doing or how they see new technologies since they are speaking to fellow printers from distant markets from which they rarely see a threat and sometimes even see opportunities.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.


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