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Printing in India – An Ancient New World

Posted 01/24/2017 by Harsh Gupta, Regional GM. India, Middle East and Egypt

An Industry with Over Four Centuries of History

16th Century: Printing arrived in India with the Missionaries. In fact, it was an accident that brought the first printing press to the shores of India, but it remained by design to facilitate missionary work in Goa. 

18th Century: India took a big step in the graphic arts world. Tranquebar, a Danish colony in Tamil Nadu, now known as Tharangambadi, became the first city in India to boast a printing “factory”. It hosted a printing machine, Tamil typefaces and also a small “paper mill”. In 1716, “A guide to the English Tongue”, the first English book to be published in Asia, was printed here.
 
19th Century: The Danish mission in Serampore, Bengal, published 212,000 titles in a period spanning three decades, which remains a remarkable achievement, as it was done in 40 different languages!
 
The growth, thereafter, can largely be attributed to the British Empire. Although it began as a medium for government and administrative purposes, the newspaper press got caught up in the nationalist movement for independence. Commercial printing centers in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai flourished in order to support the freedom movement and spread the word. 
 
What Market Statistics Tell Us Today 
  • Post 2002, when the Government of India liberalized the printing industry to a large extent, the sector witnessed substantial growth. Investments in technology, machinery and manpower led to a registered CAGR of 12.2 percent from 2009 to 2012. 
  • Northern India, with a 33 percent share, registered the largest segment of the printing market in India with a CAGR of 12.7 percent from 2009 to 2012. It is closely followed by the Western and Southern regions that together hold about 55 percent of the market and have shown a CAGR of 12 percent in the same time frame. 
  • Importantly, the country has observed a shift in the trend of its demographics over the years. The population of India currently stands at 1,266,883,598 (July 2016 est.), in which 45.7 percent falls in the academic years up to 24 years of age, and 13 percent lies in the post-retirement age of above 55 years. Together, this shows a significant 58 percent of the segment that is the prime target segment for the Graphic Arts industry.  
 
Key Industry Trends 
The factors driving the growth of the graphic arts industry can be social, economic and demographic in nature. In parallel to the referred demographics growth, various economic policies are being implemented which together will have a lasting impact on all industries, including printing and book-binding. 
 
Demonetization, a constructive step undertaken by the Government of India to restrict black marketing and currency forgery, will have a positive impact in the long-term. Coupled with other changes, like the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is all set to completely replace the current Indirect Tax system by a standard centralized system, the country is moving towards a clean, transparent and structured economy. 
 
Sustainability and environment focus have become the key talking points in all industries. Identification of green printing practices and social responsibility towards environmental health, have become prime concerns for all manufacturers. 
 
Today, digitalization and electronic media, pose the largest challenge to the printing industry. The shift to the digital platforms have impacted advertising investments in the sector. As readers continue to move towards electronic media, this trend will further slowdown investments, but at the same time create new opportunities with new paper-based products being wired to technology. This is, however, a gradual movement, and might yet be offset by rising capital investments, and the impact of the other factors. Learn more about how the world is looking at the challenge posed by digital media here.
 
H.B. Fuller Focus in India – Global Innovation at your Doorstep
 
H.B. Fuller’s aim is to support its customers in India with tailored innovative solutions, local technical expertise backed by global knowledge and efficient services. Keeping these goals in mind, we have invested substantially in our research and development facilities.
 
At our plant in Pune, products can be customized and adapted to meet the specific application needs of the local markets. A local research and development team has been established, which draws support from the Lüneburg Adhesive Academy in Germany – our newest technical center of excellence, as well as other technical centers in the United States and Shanghai, China. Together, they form a global network of expertise that feeds through to all local teams and their customers. Our technical team works in collaboration with customers to understand their unique requirements in the graphic arts industry and provide specific solutions that can help them improve their quality, be cost effective in the long-run and boost their business.
 
Join Us at Printpack India 2017
 
We’re excited to attend Printpack India 2017, the 3rd largest international exhibition in the graphic arts industry, and showcase Optipur™ Digital, a high performance, polyurethane reactive hot melt adhesive designed specifically for spine gluing and gluing-off operations, both for soft and hardcover books. Its tough yet flexible properties enable the high quality reading experience modern readers demand, whilst maintaining its outstanding page pull values across a wide variety of paper qualities, even under challenging transport and weather conditions.
 
Stop by our booth and learn how we can add value to your products and solutions and help meet your long-term goals. From magazines and catalogues to hard-cased books, our full range of diverse performance hot melt, reactive hot melt and water-based adhesives for the graphic arts industry, are a market proven range of adhesives, very competent to meet the challenging demands of the industry.
 
Optipur™ is a trademark of H.B. Fuller Company (“H.B. Fuller”) or an affiliated company of H.B. Fuller.

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