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Print Industry – 3

[This is third of the four part article on ‘Print Industry’ which analyzes how the growth of several industries like Pharmaceutical, Label printing, Food products, Consumer products, Book publications, Periodicals, News Paper and Packaging industries inter se help the growth of Printing Industry in India — N.R. Jayaraman

Packaging Industry :

The next major sector that contribute to the growth of the print industry is the Packaging industry. Few industries, varying in nature together not only depend upon, but also play important role for the growth of the packaging industry. Those industries and Packaging industry are inseparable since the growth of each other interalia depends upon each other, a two way path. Such industries are Pharma, Label Printing, Food items –ready to use to provisions, general fast moving products like Agarbathi, Matches and Cigarettes, Cosmetic, Clothes etc all of which require Labels or printed Cartons which can be supplied only by the Packaging industry. The packing and the designs over them play  an important role for increased sales. If the designs are fresh, eye catching and colorful with unique art work, they attract the attention of the buyers.

While the Packaging industry is reportedly growing by approximately 5 % per annum, on a conservative estimate of experts the Indian Printing Industry is growing at a rate of 12% per annum. Thus at the outset it may become clear that the print industry in its growth has contribution from the Packaging industry to the extent of 5 % while the remaining 7 % is contributed by other sectors.  

Even though the conservative estimate place the growth of the packaging industry at 5 % per annum, few other entrepreneurs in the packaging  industry claim that the packaging industry is growing at the phase of 14 to 15% per annum. According to the claim of Indian Packaging Institute too the Indian Packaging industry is growing at 15 % per annum. The packaging industry hopes to double up their growth in the next two to three years as the demand of packing is ever increasing. 
Read what the Packing Industry Association (PIAI) says in this respect:-


Packaging is among the high growth industries in India and developing @ 22-25% per annum and becoming a preferred hub for packaging industry. Currently the 5th largest sector of India’s economy, the industry has reported steady growth over past several years and shows high potential for much expansion, particularly in the export market.


The growth of packaging industry is a boon to the print industry as nearly 70 to 80 % of the packed items require corrugated boxes or Card board cartons whose faces are printed in one way or the other by the processes like Flexo, Offset, Gravure etc besides labels affixed on them. Remaining 20- 30 % of the products are on flexible and rigid packing like glass bottles, cans, metallic collapsible tubes, some metallic or plastic foil covered etc which too are pre printed directly on their surface or marked by some mechanism. Even in the case of those 20- 30 %, a part of them carry labels or stickers over them. Therefore they come under the ambit of Label printing industry, another constituent which helps the growth of the print industry.  When we speak at the growth of packaging sector, we may have to also take into consideration  the growth of several  industries whose  product or material is not sold in India or world over without some sort of printed packing or printed cartons. Again remember that no product in the industry is sold without sealed pack in some form or foils of different varieties or disposable wraps.

One of the reports mention that during last two decades the growth in Printing industry has been in the range of 12%, while the printing linked Packaging as 16 %. Similarly the Printing Ink manufacturing industry’s growth is also  around 12.5 % as per the Printing Ink Manufacturers association. Thus when we separately dwell into the aspect of the growth of the later two main sectors- packaging and Ink manufacture-   it becomes clear that the average growth of them may not  be less than 12 % in any case and thus they help for the growth of the print industry.  Corrugated board  manufacturing and cardboard and pulp board manufacturing units which are the basic raw material for the packaging material are also reportedly growing by over 8%. The flexible packaging industry’s growth is in excess of 15%. 

On the growth of printing and packaging industry it has been stated in PAMEX 2017 ( that :

……………The Indian printing industry is increasingly being driven by growth in packaging and labels. The print media also continues to grow at a healthy annual pace of four percent. As its growth trends continue to be well over the world averages, in print volume terms, India is set to become the fifth largest market by 2018 moving up five notches from its present tenth slot. Therein lays a great opportunity for the Indian & International print suppliers……….

……………The greatest growth opportunities for print products are concentrated around revenues from print packaging and print publishing (specifically newspaper printing), with the growth potential in package printing, which is expected to increase 7.8% between 2012 and 2017……..

………….The market size of the package printing sector is expected to increase from INR 53,374 crore in 2012 to 77,714 crore in 2017, and will make up 43% of total print product sales in 2017………….

………….Within the package printing sector, label and tags printing is expected to grow the most quickly of any product, at a rate of 11%, a result of increased demand from the emerging middle class in the region and India itself. ………………

……Insert printing and corrugated package printing are also forecast to have high growth rates, again reflecting the expanding segment of the population in the region capable of, and interested in, greater consumer consumption. This factor also accounts for the rapid growth of magazine printing, which is expected to grow 8.4% between 2012 and 2017…….

…..The publishing printing market size is supposed to grow from INR 20,859 crore in 2012 to 27,607 crore in 2017 with population increase, rising literacy rates and a growing economy.……

As per the report of Mr Ramesh Kumar Thakur, General Manager, District Industries Center (Mahepura Shaharsa), the market share of packaging media is as below. This chart has been prepared based on the data contained in his report:

Pharmaceutical industry 

As explained earlier one of the constituents under the Packaging industry is Pharmaceutical industry which is ever growing  not only in India but also around the globe. The moderate assessment worked out in the year 2005 on the growth of the Pharma industry in India revealed that this industry  was poised for a growth of 15 per cent per annum beginning from the year 2005 till 2020 and expected to outperform the Global Pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent during the same period. India is among the top 20 Pharmaceutical exporting countries and the exports have grown up very significantly at a CAGR of around 19% in the 11th plan period.

The printed cartons covering   both Ayurveda and Allopathic drugs in the form of tablets, capsules, orals and injectibles are made up of paper board, cardboard etc. Even though some drugs have aluminum foil or thin metallic foils as covering material they too carry some print with illustrations on them in multi colours. Most of them are printed by Offset or Letterpress, or Gravure while some carry Screen print and Flexo printing. The metallic and aluminum foils are printed by special machines and the printing is akin to rubber stamping process but printed by Flexo printing technique. The growth in the medication consumption has direct impact to the growth of the print industry. As the demand for more medicinal product increases, the supply chain demands more printed cartons and information leaflets to be inserted inside the packs. The print industry thus gets a boost from the growth of this sector.

At India pack 2013, the then Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Dr D. Purandeswari, said

………….The Indian packaging industry is expected to grow at 12.3% CAGR during next 4-5 years to become the fourth largest global market, with sales of $42.7 billion. The Indian packaging industry constitutes about 4 percent of the global packaging industry. The growth of printing industry largely depends on the packaging printing that includes the metal container and fabric printing……..

On the growth of Pharmaceutical industry, an organization called India Brand Equity Foundation reported ( thus:-

The Indian pharmaceuticals market is the third largest in terms of volume and thirteenth largest in terms of value, as per a report by Equity Master. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. Of late, consolidation has become an important characteristic of the Indian pharmaceutical market as the industry is highly fragmented.

The Indian pharmaceuticals market increased at a CAGR of 17.46 per cent during 2005-16 with the market increasing from US$ 6 billion in 2005 to US$ 36.7 billion in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 15.92 per cent to US$ 55 billion by 2020.

One of the statistics on Phrama Industry from the Planning Commission reveal that the growth of this industry is indirectly helping the growth of the print industry.

(Data Courtesy:
Food, Cosmetics, 
ready made clothing industries etc

The other important group of industries under the package industry which indirectly contribute to the growth of the print industry is the Food packaging, Personal care, Liquid packing, ready made clothes, Baby food, Agricultural products and and many other items general in nature. No product is sold without a print over their outer pack.

The Food industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent.  Export of food items from India is also growing fast and in the export of Food items in India  reportedly ranks 12th in the World list of exports. Therefore the Food industry requires more and more printed packaging material and this helps in the growth of the print industry.


About The Author


Retired Govt of India Official. My hobby is to write articles that range from Printing technologies to Spiritual.

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