The economic success of the Indian Print Industry vitally depends on the two most important pillars of this sector, newsprint and package printing. In the world of computerization and paperless offices, it was generally anticipated that the requirement of paper will decline. However, the demand of paper products in offices (government / corporate entities), educational institutes and industries, in such an unpredictable market like India encourages the industry to expand by 5-6% every year. Whereas on the other side of the world, in Europe and US, people have shifted their choice from newspaper to E-Media. Vernacular newspapers and regional media are the major growth drivers for the Print Industry in India. Therefore, the demand for print media in future is expected to remain sturdy. How will the Paper and Print Industry sustain in a world moving towards a paperless approach?

Extensive use of energy and water is required to produce paper, but the revolutionary improvement in technology, refinement in process optimization and implementation of better ideas have controlled the use of energy and water. From 2010-2015, the Paper Industry was able to cut down the energy consumption by 20%. Previously, to produce 1 tonne of paper, mills used 200 cubic metres of water. Whereas, the upgraded mills have managed to reduce this to 50 cubic metres.

The Paper Industry has a bright future in India, since it received a total investment sum of $3.7 billion in the past 5 years for technology upgradation which will help meeting global standards and the customer demand. Due to the increased implementation of Information Technology in the Western World, the Paper Industry has witnessed a significant decline in demand, whereas in India the story is completely opposite. The increased DPI (Disposable Personal Income) and exposure to global trends has stimulated lifestyle changes that have led to a boost in paper consumption in India.

India is known for its robust market for newspapers, which from the past 5 years show a growth rate of 17%. The Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), which is responsible for the registration of Newspapers, claims that the print media, especially newspapers, will continue to flourish for the upcoming 15 years. RNI also stated an increase of 5.8% in new registrations in the last year. There are more than 100,000 registered newspapers and RNI still receives more than 100 new applications daily.

Since the yearly subscription for newspapers in India is around $5.80, which is almost equal to the Sunday editorial of The New York Times, people in India can afford newspapers as compared to the high priced smart-phones or tablets. India being the second most populated country in the world is still struggling to adapt to these new technologies especially in rural areas, which leads the newsprint industry to flourish in India.

In 2015, the newspaper industry in India grew by 8% and in the last 5 years corporate advertisement revenues for newspaper publications increased by 40%. India’s $4.5 billion print media industry will grow tremendously for the coming 4-5 years. Now is the appropriate time for foreign investors to enter the Print Media Industry in India, as the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy permits 26% inflow in India for publishing of newsprint and other print media by approval route. It is proposed to increase FDI for this sector to 49%.

To read more about the Indian Paper & Print Industries, click Paper & Print Industry Newsletter.