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Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s talks about their GPP participation

As a distributor how do you contribute to the sustainability initiatives?

We have been promoting technologies that are more sustainable, whether it is HP’s water-based latex ink technology or Canon’s UVgel inks. We moved away from selling solvent-based ink printers close to a decade ago.  This meant that we had to spend a lot of time in educating our customers on the benefits of these alternatives when we stopped selling solvent-based ink printers.

Digital industry already took the world in storm. Did you feel the tremor in the industry in terms of volumes?
Static prints and revolving digital graphics work don’t necessarily overlap with each other. The vast majority of static prints still remain especially in segments like MICE and strategic retail promotional activities.  Where there are fixed displays that sit year-round, many of those moved to digital graphics.
There is a saying that packaging/commercial 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?
This is all dependent on the applications people are printing.  For banners or simple backlit graphics, there is very little upside in terms of pricing or margins.  However, the printer who is doing well has diversified the nature of jobs they do by focusing on segments like interior decoration or textiles for example, where the margins are better and there is an upside opportunity in volume as much of this is still done using analogue printing technologies.

One of the permanent challenges is the rising cost of the raw materials for the suppliers/printers. In which way, Jacky’s is supporting them?
We are not in the business of selling media so can’t comment on that but we have got more intelligent software that gives more awareness for what is being printed, the ink being consumed. This can be used to help them plan better to gain efficiencies.

What is the single biggest way to change the packaging sector in the coming years?
The use of digital finishing products such as Zund cutters can help in driving in more efficiency by reducing waste, improving cutting accuracy and freeing up human resources for more value added jobs.

What is your opinion about printing industry?
I think most brands and distributors do run programs, whether it be at exhibitions or separate stand-alone events. The onus on the industry is to take an interest to learn them.  Vendors and distributors can provide or share expertise but a client has to be also willing to invest the time or money to learn.

Since how many years you have been participating in Gulf Print & Pack? As we are nearing to Expo2020, what’s your expectation from the upcoming edition?
We have been participating in the event for a very long time. Expo 2020 will provide a boom for print service providers or exhibition stand builders as there will be definitely more work to be printed during the build-up to the Expo.  However, one should be aware of what to do with the excess capacity they invest in and how they plan to use this once the Expo 2020 is over.  

How was 2018 for you and overall how did the industry perform in 2018?
We have seen a lot of clean-up which has happened in 2018 in the printing industry.  Liquidity remains a concern with many printers and those that played on price only as their USP did eventually run into problems.  Just as anyone in the industry, we had to be vigilant and support players who we thought were contributing positively in 2018.