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Recent government commitments to renewable energy could spell enhanced opportunities for print in India. The print industry everywhere thrives because most of its practitioners are small companies with relatively few employees. They operate in fairly confined, local markets and share with their larger counterparts a dependence on reliable energy supplies. In markets where energy stability is not a given, such as India, printing companies face an additional hurdle as well as the usual hurly burly of business. Just imagine what energy security could do in such geographies, not only for the graphics industry but also for its customers, especially in the packaging sector.
In India the prospect of predictable energy supplies just got a whole lot better. India's power minister, RK Singh, recently said that the country's goal of producing 175 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy sources with less complex supply chains will be hit "well before 2022". And the head of the Indian coal board recently admitted that the days of coal are numbered. According to a report from Coal India, it is "only a matter of time" before coal loses out to renewable energy sources including solar and wind power. Coal India is the world's biggest coal producer and made the statement as part of its declaration of goals for 2030.
Big things happen when lots of little things start coming together and this latest news has the potential to make a massive difference across India's graphics industry. Increased certainty and reliability of energy supply will improve confidence and business predictability. Reliable cold supply chains will create opportunities for new packaging applications and cocreation projects between brands and consumers. With energy supply no longer an unknown India's printers and brands will be able to trust that their print media projects will be completed when expected, especially at local level where brand engagement can be most effective.
And India's 250 million households are expected to have access to electricity by the end of the year according to Mr Singh. Whether they will access it or not is another matter, however some proportion of these consumers may be prospective buyers of print. They may opt to use print for interior décor, photobooks and other applications, which adds up to a massive opportunity for brands and for service providers. Reliable energy mitigates a tangible business risk and ideally should make production more convenient and cheaper for print buyers. This is not just encouraging for India's printers, large and small, but for the customers they serve. From packaging and sign and display work, through to photobooks and posters this can only be good news for print media and for suppliers to the market.
- Laurel Brunner
This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print's positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.