The conference commenced with a welcome speech from Sandeep Zaveri followed by lighting of the lamp – an auspicious ritual before commencing any important event. LMAI initiated its new creation, the LMAI anthem which was played after the lighting of lamp.
Welcoming over 550 delegates and sponsors, Sandeep Zaveri mentioned that the label industry was like a joint family. He dwelled on the conference theme, “Innovation Simplified” and stressed the need for innovation to spread to all processes of label creation. "Label is the important part of a product and connects it directly to the consumer," Zaveri said.
Pankaj Bhardwaj, senior director and general Manager, Label and Graphic Materials South, Asia Avery Dennison, delivered the keynote address.
During her presentation, Lisa Milburn, managing director Labels Group, Tarsus Group PLC UK, the organizer of the Labelexpo series of events, discussed her organization's strong and ongoing partnership with LMAI. She also spoke on the forthcoming meeting of L9 (The federation of nine leading global label associations), which is scheduled to be held next year in India. Pradeep Saroha, Country Manager for Labelexpo, gave information previewing Labelexpo Europe in Brussels in September.
Conference Chairman Kuldip Goel apprised the audience with agenda of the event, and at the same time announced an award for Harveer Sahni of Weldon Celloplast for a “Lifetime in support of the Indian label industry."
The first day concluded with an entertaining evening sponsored by Bobst Firenze. Here, many delegates were in traditional Indian dresses.
During the morning of Day Two, Rajesh Nema, secretary for LMAI, initiated the conference by showing a video of LMAI activities during the past year and informing attendees of the day’s agenda. Jitesh Mehta, director for Avery Dennison, had interesting questions for the audience on innovations in the structure of Taj Mahal. Interesting facts came to light. He said, “Innovation is a team sport and aids profitable implementation of ideas, creating value across the value chain.” He added, “By making innovation complex, we maybe killing it”.
Ajay Mehta and Rohit Mehta of SMI Coated Papers cautioned that reverse auctions were affecting printers adversely and instead of becoming complacent, they need to move on. "Competition brings innovation making quality and consistency in product offering an imperative for driving growth," they said.
Pawandeep Sahni of Weldon and Paolo Grasso of Omet gave a presentation titled, “Simplify Visions, Innovate Processes.” The interactive presentation was well-received.
Next, Shaun Paullen of Mark Andy spoke on, “Turning market needs into machine deliverables." Afterwards, Amit Ahuja of Multitec discussed waste control. Gavin Rittmeyer of Martin Automatic explained the need for automation and nonstop continuous production to reduce wastage.
A holistic session was held by Isha Foundation of Sadguru fame. The swami ji hosting the session taught the delegates the nuances of meditation. A session of “Isha Kriya” was taken up with audience participation. He said, "For the power to create, we need to meditate to success. Success is not an aspiration, it is your work that others will connect with and say he is successful." He also advised the congregation that creating happiness at the workplace will get full potential from employees.
The concluding session, hosted by SMI Coated Papers, began with a motivational lecture by renowned management guru, Shiv Khera, who spoke for almost three hours. The delegates were glued to their seats listening in rapt attention. Quoting boxing legend Mohammed Ali, he said, “We need the skill and the will to succeed. Between the two, will is more important.”
Quoting the former President of India, Dr. A P J Kalam, Khera said, “Dreams are not that make you sleep, dreams are those that don’t let you sleep." Adding more to this he went on to convey that "success is not absence of problems, it is the overcoming of problems." He added, "Luck is not designed to deliver success but concentrated efforts do deliver it." His advice to the audience was that for conflicts in life learn to resolve issues and not dissolve relations. The evening ended with dance performances and networking dinner.
Two days of non-stop presentations and activities did not tire the delegates and one was surprised to see they were ready for more. The final day again had a holistic meditation session by Isha foundation. This was followed by presentations by Samir Patkar-Gallus, Appadurai-HP, Manish Jain-Loparex, Seigwerk and A K Datta- Kurz. Guest speaker Sudhaker Kasture spoke on export strategy for labels. The day’s session also included presentations from Huber group and Tesa Tape.
A highlight of the conference was the LMAI Round Table. For this part of the event, all the sponsors were divided into different groups that were located in different rooms with round tables. Each sponsor was allotted a table. The printer members were also divided into groups. Each group of printers were the made to sit on round tables with sponsors for 10 minutes and then asked to move on to next sponsor’s table. The sponsors and printers got to interact one-on-one, whereby their queries were answered directly.
All through the conference, a well spread out tabletop exhibition was in progress. Delegates were able to visit, interact with exhibitors and collect literature.
The final part of the conference was a gala evening hosted by Avery Dennison. It was themed “An Affair to Remember,” and started with conference chairman Kuldip Goel thanking all who participated. This was followed by a vibrant musical performance by celebrity artist Sophie Choudry. After this, the dance floor was thumping with delegates dancing into the next morning.
This conference was appreciated and enjoyed by all. Attendees left Agra with lingering memories of a euphoric networking event. The industry was a little more bonded and connected giving credence to Sandeep Zaveri’s statement that the Indian Label Industry is like a joint family. As the delegates bid goodbye, they left with hope of yet another similar event in the summer of 2019!
Harveer Sahni is chairman of New Delhi-based Weldon Celloplast Limited.