I could easily write that if you missed Metpack and interpack in Essen and Dusseldorf respectively, you don’t have to worry — your wonderful trade magazine will bring you everything that happened there. Alternatively, I could suggest you spend hours on YouTube trying to catch up or figure out what was interesting. However, the fact is that if you weren’t there you missed it and try as we may we cannot recreate the experience for you. The bigger problem is that there were many prospective packaging buyers who actually missed you — they were looking for Indian monocarton, corrugated and flexible packaging suppliers and who for the most part — were not there at all.
Amongst the film, label and packaging suppliers Uflex, HTW Jindal, Chiripal, Dhiman Systems, Manaksia, Huhtahmaki, Positive Packaging, Maharshi and Sodaltech were there so flexible packaging, caps and closures, labels and a very committed supplier of specialized kraft cones, tubes and trays did good business. However many of the other Indian packaging suppliers who did not enjoy being on the second floor in Hall 7 at the last interpack decided to forego the expense this time. Perhaps wisely, they retreated but if the issue was cost and visibility they need to sort it out by getting together as successfully as the Turkish packaging suppliers did this time. Exhibiting together and separately they upheld a single branding theme proclaiming ‘Turkey is Ready.’
The turnout at Metpack and interpack from South Asia was quite large this time. Of course the Indian filling and sealing machine manufacturers are admired around the world and they were there with new machines and technologies. Visitors from South Asia included senior personnel from pharma and food processing companies who already have in-house packaging plants. And most interesting were the medium sized companies that were firming up their diversification plans — either to enter can manufacturing or to tie-up with joint venture partners in new segments and geographies.
interpack is large and has specialized areas — most visitors go there to address a problem in a particular area of the packaging workflow or to learn about a new technology. Like the exhibitors, the visitors are very focussed — both know what to look for and recognize it when they see it. The rest of the time is spent on learning and networking — and drinking beer.
This issue begins our coverage of Metpack and interpack 2014, triennial fairs that Packaging South Asia is covering for the third time. For us it is both a learning and networking experience and although we go there with our own list of tasks, we do learn a couple of new things each time. Part 2 of our review and some of our learning will appear in the June issue of Packaging South Asia in which we hope to share a bit more of what we could learn at these two interesting and successful shows.
Naresh Khanna, May 2014 issue Indian Printer and Publisher