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Nayyar Ansari from Konica Minolta talks about their Gulf Print and Pack participation.

As a manufacturer how do you contribute to the sustainability initiatives?
As an international corporation, one of Konica Minolta’s highest goals is to create value for society. Konica Minolta decided to join the RE100 in January 2019 in line with its approach to business while contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as combating climate change. This leadership initiative is committed to bringing together influential businesses to source energy supplies from 100% renewable sources. Konica Minolta is set to achieve this goal by 2050.Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has also been awarded Gold Class by RobecoSAM.

Digital industry already took the world by storm. Did you feel the tremor in the industry in terms of volumes?
There is a growing saturation of commercial printers that have made the print industry highly competitive, prices have been driven down, margins have shrunk and the distribution of the work has been shared amongst many printers, as customers look for the best price and continue to ask for shorter runs.  Still there are many businesses that are continuing to appreciate high print volumes. Print volume is a challenge, but still there is more return on your investment towards adding value.

There is a saying that packaging jobs don’t have big margins so we need to have big volumes to recover the high investment. Have you tried changing the margin aspect?
It’s all about changing the way people approach their business. Experts project that packaging will have the highest growth factor in coming years, Smithers Pira forecast the label sector to be worth a total of $36.98 billion in 2017. This same source also predicts that growth will continue at an average rate of 4.1% per year up to 2022, making labels a $45.22 billion market, but it is also true that ROI is highly volume driven. We at Konica Minolta are already leading the way by investing in digital inkjet large format and by acquiring major shares in MGI for Embellishment. We strongly believe that the combination of this would help customers to make their business more profitable even at low volumes.

One of the permanent challenges is the rising cost of the raw materials for the suppliers/printers. In which way, Konica Minolta is supporting them?
Just as customers’ challenges have evolved, print manufacturers also have to adapt. Print vendors can no longer continue to operate within old paradigms – they must embrace new ways of thinking about their companies, employees, customers and the role they play in the changing digital landscape. Konica Minolta is accelerating its digital transformation through global optimization of production, we have recently integrated three device manufacturing bases into one company, as well as the construction of a new plant and the transfer of functions.

What is the single biggest way to change the packaging sector in the coming year?
Amidst this glow of positivity, there still remains pressures for commercial printers: they must seek to operate sleek and streamlined businesses, able to respond rapidly to customers’ demands for high quality, cost effective and creative solutions; they must embrace technology and harness a spirit of innovation, and increasingly they look for suppliers that share that mindset and can help them pursue it vigorously.

What is your opinion about label printing industry?
Label is a specialized industry and those who have been in the industry for a number of years are very knowledgeable. However, digitization in the label sector is going to be the next big transformation in the industry. Digitization not only brings more “Value” but would also make it easier and affordable to adopt. Digitization can bring the label industry out from that “Specialist Box” and we should expect to see more commercial printers and digital printers going into the label business as a way to diversify their businesses and as a new channel, to generate more revenue and profit. Having said this, label is not just about print and finishing, it is a highly technical Industry and there needs to be more knowledge around the understanding.