Mumbai-based Genius Flexo Machinery specializes in providing wide ranging, world-class solutions to packaging and label industries. In India it represents six leading brands namely MPS, Raantec, EyeC, Koecher-Beck, Pamarco Global Graphics and Codimag. The Netherland-based MPS Systems is a well-known and high-quality brand of flexo and offset press solutions for label and flexible packaging printers. Germany’s Raantec makes plate mounting solutions. EyeC, which is also based in Germany, makes inspection systems. Another German brand, Kocher-Beck, is a leader in rotary diecutting technology and label printing, envelope manufacturing, sheetfed and reel-to-reel offset printing industries.
US-based Pamarco Global Graphics meets the demands of the flexo, gravure, offset and embossing markets and makes anilox rollers and anilox sleeves. France’s Codimag manufactures intermittent-feed presses for the business form market and for the label market. Talking to Packaging South Asia, Vijay Pareek, director of Genius Flexo Machinery spoke on the range of issues from the current market situation in the packaging and label markets, challenges and opportunities and Genius’ plan to offer more solutions to the Indian packaging and label industries.
PSA: How do you assess the current situation in the packaging and label markets? What is your assessment of growth?
Vijay Pareek: The market for packaging and labels has been growing for the past many years and even the first half of 2016 has been good. I believe the growth rate is in the range of 15-20%. Overall the market is promising. Even from Genius’ point of view we expect to have more installations this year than in 2015. This happened despite the fact that the past three to four years have been below par for the Indian economy. With expectation of revival in economic activity I see a bright future for the packaging and label industries.
PSA: What are some of the reasons for such growth expectations?
VP: The biggest reason is that our per capital packaging consumption is very low. Lot of our packaging is still very traditional. In time all of this will come up for conversion. Today the shelf is getting crowded. The brand owners are now fighting for a consumer’s mindshare. There is now a great amount of emphasis on packaging and labels. Can you imagine any product without a label today? This was not the case 15 years ago.
PSA: The growth outlook is bright. However, there are still profound challenges in the way. Can you tell us some major ones faced by the industry?
VP: Yes, the packaging and label industries have been growing rapidly. However, I totally agree that there are some challenges that are restricting the industry from attaining full potential. The biggest one is lack of corporatization. This applies especially to the label industry. Majority of the firms are family owned enterprises and big international players have not stepped in a big way. Yes, there have been entry of few big global names but that has been through acquisitions and buyouts. There are now many players who want to sell out. These firms are trying to shore up their topline and are not paying much attention to the bottomline. This does not bode well for the industry.
Another challenge is lack of informed decision-making by incumbents. This again is due to lack of proper corporate culture. We are still in an era where a firm would say it will invest in a technology only when it gets a particular job. So what happens is that when it gets that job and invests in a technology it is already too late and it lags behind. This mindset has to shift. Fortunately, I see that change taking place but it is still restricted among the very few.
PSA: Did you visit drupa? What are some important takeaways for you?
VP: Yes, I visited drupa this year. As has already been spoken and written about, digital and packaging were the flavours this year. However, I am a bit sceptical about the whole digital hype. Another trend I saw this year was that globally there is now huge stress on streamlining the process to make it foolproof as well as highly productive. For instance, take inspection systems. Earlier it used to be one inspection system for five presses. Now the emphasis is on having inspection systems on press, prepress and postpress. My takeaway is that in the West people want to establish a system which will require minimal human labour and offer very high productivity.
PSA: Finally, what new offerings are you planning for Indian customers?
VP: We are looking at solutions for the wide web flexo market. Until now we have not finalized anything but we are in talks with a couple of companies. Moreover, we would like to add solutions for the gravure market as well.