Indian presence at Labelexpo Europe 2017 – A great platform for networking on a global scale
L.t.r.: Chris Ellison, FINAT president, NarrowWebtech editor Harveer Sahni, Jakovina van Haeringen, FINAT events and communications manager, and Rajesh Nema-Honorary, secretary LMAI (Source: Harveer Sahni)
Although Labelexpo was a huge success with record-breaking exhibitor and visitor figures, the number of Indian visitors was stable but few. According to Tarsus, 438 Indians came to the show, just two more visitors than in 2015. Given the steady growth rate in India for labels and packaging (caused by a large population and bulging middle class) it could justifiably have been expected that the number of Indian visitors would have increased substantially. A personal review by NarrowWebTech editor Harveer Sahni.
However, this was not the case due to several reasons: Primarily, economic decisions of the present Indian government have adversely impacted the expansion investment plans of the MSME (Micro, small and medium enterprises) units. Most of the largely family-owned label manufacturing companies in India fall into this category.
Initially the demonetization slowed down the economy as demand slumped. Later, it was the implementation of GST with complicated procedures that has left the industry and trade in confusion and dilemma. The organised and large sector seems to be already registering growth, however, it is the MSME sector that will take some time in returning to the steady growth path.
Another reason for there not being a big increase in registrations can be attributed to the fact that Indians are traditionally very religious. The festival of Dussehra, the main Indian festival of Diwali, fell on the 30th September. Nine days before this event, are referred to as “Navratras”, many Indian households resort to fasting and holding special prayers in those nine days and did not travel to Belgium.
Several Indian visitors expressed their opinion about the Labelexpo Europe. Kuldip Goel, the new president of LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India) and Rajesh Nema, vice president of LMAI both expressed their admiration for the successfully held Labelexpo.
Visiting the event, Amar Chhajed, president of the labelling business at Huhtamaki-PPL, says, “Labelexpo Europe 2017 was an excellent show. We could see conventional machine manufacturers innovating to bridge the gap with digital, more capable and faster digital machines were also launched at the show. There were a lot of new sustainable materials options on display”.
Jenil Gandhi from Maharshi Labels, Ahmedabad found the exhibition amazing: “Innovations and technologies seen were astounding. It was encouraging to see that the industry is moving towards digital printing”. Also D B Salian of Unique Photo Offset Services Mumbai felt the show was informative and gave a feel of the industry going forward but not many Indian visitors or vendors representatives were present as in earlier shows.
Past president of LMAI, Sandeep Zaveri, sums it up as a visitor: “Visiting Labelexpo Europe is always informative, updating visitors on the latest technologies, innovations and trends. It is a great platform for networking with global friends in the industry and to exchange ideas”.
One of the very few converters exhibiting at this show was India’s large hologram manufacturer Holostik India Ltd. Their deputy general manager Sushant Kumar Agarwal states: “Labelexpo offers a platform where we are able to exhibit our products to international customers and also interact with customers. At this show, digital printing technology was exhibited prominently.”
Cosmo Films Limited from India, large manufacturers of BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) films exhibited for the fourth time. “Our newly launched products received good traction from existing and prospective customers. We witnessed a huge footfall of visitors from all parts of the world, significantly from Latin America” states Kapil Anand, head label films exports, Cosmo Films.
“Showcasing at Labelexpo in Brussels is always a rewarding experience”, says Ajay Mehta, managing director of labelstock manufacturer SMI Coated Products. Also Gaurav Sathaye, director of ink manufacturer United Ink found it a very satisfying experience to have displayed a range of inks its new UV flexo opaque white ink.
Labelexpo Europe, held biannually at Brussels, has over the years become an imperative destination to visit for all constituents of the global label industry. In recent times the show has broadened its scope from being restricted to self-adhesive labels in the past. It has diversified into various label segments and also started making inroads into the package printing segment.
The label industry that initiated from simple flat-bed printing in roll form has in two decades evolved into flexographic printing, decorating and finishing. Further taking in its stride all kinds of printing technologies like rotary letterpress, screen, offset, gravure and digital on hybrid presses achieving production of finished products in-line in a single pass.