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The push for green printing in India

By M4G Bureau - April 19, 2013

While green printing is the need of the hour, the concept is yet to gather momentum in the Indian printing industry. Dhirendra Khurana, Country Manager, Sign & Display, GSB, HP PPS, shares his views on the industry's take on accepting eco-friendly printing practices.

The Indian print business has been pegged at US$ 16,000 million, of which the ink segment reportedly accounts for US$ 280 million. In this burgeoning industry, the concept of Green Printing is mostly considered as an environment friendly process, where the industry is yet to understand the monetary benefits. During the annual Latex Summit, Outdoor Asia caught up with Dhirendra Khurana, Country Manager, Sign & Display, GSB, HP PPS, to get more insight on how Indian printing eco-system is adopting the green printing concept.

Q) There have been a lot of discussions and talks regarding green printing, but nothing seems to be happening and progress seems slow. What do you think are the reasons for this?

I think we all need to ask this question to ourselves rather posing it to the external environment, because the need for growing green can't come out of compulsion. If sooner or later, things don't change then it will have to come out of compulsion. But I think the need to go green is something which will have to be ingrained in all our discussions and topics. Printing in green is always a paradox or, as some people call it, is an oxymoron. But the fact is that it is not a question of whether printing is green or not, the question is how green it can get and that is where the adoption is going to be critical. According to the response to Latex and other new technologies in the market, I seriously feel that a reasonably decent beginning has been made. As per the FY12, in low volume PSP space, we have a decent 20% share for a newer technology and it is a giant leap. This is also an endorsement of the fact that people do see value in a new technology which also serves as a green solution.

Q) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is big among brands. But when it comes to the printing industry, such efforts seem wanting. Why is this so?

It is a step by step process; for example, conserving water is a much bigger reality for the TATA Group. Advertising towards this is going up on their ladder and will soon reach the required stage. All these companies are receptive to becoming green. Therefore sooner or later, this will be an important part of their brand values.

Q) How aggressively do you see the Indian market accepting new technologies and green printing concepts?

It is going to be a push and pull model. We are going to push this hard; there will be some pull which will have to happen from brands and then the eco-system will fall in place. It is not only about HP or any other service player saying that it should be green. Going green should instead become part of the whole eco-system. The eco-system consists of the printer service provider, the printer buyer, the applicators, the disposal companies, and the recycle companies. So, once this eco-system starts falling into place then green will be a reality. Green is the need of the hour and it will grow exponentially when applications tend to start becoming more important for the marketers. More and more marketers and printers will start moving away from vinyl, flex, banner, and the integration of green will start happening, simply because the newer applications are greener. For instance, if you are printing on textiles, you are already making one step closer to being greener. So, I think application is going to be very critical.

Q) What challenges do you see in the Indian printing industry when it comes to proposing new technologies and applications?

Why only the Indian industry? There is inherent inertia in any industry. If everyone understands that the solution is very compelling, then change is inevitable. For example, we are finding that Latex as a solution is inevitable and therefore compelling.

Q) Finally, could you tell us a little about HP's future plans?

HP is trying to promote the concept of printing being everywhere and that is coming out of the applications that are growing. Every marketer and print service provider needs to imbibe and to recognise that it is no more about just creating a print; it is also about creating a complete package around the print. Everyone outside -- whether it is Omax, or Print Expressions or Strata - is trying to position end-end solutions as they have realised that just doing printing has no more any value. Every service provider needs to understand that. In fact, today most of the printer providers want to call themselves MSPs- Multi Solution Providers or Manage Solution Providers.

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