There’s Gold in Them Hills
Tens of thousands of Americans took part in the California Gold Rush of 1849. At that time, everyone in our fledgling country could envision the seemingly limitless opportunities available in the great, untamed West. Fewer were actually willing to venture out into that wild territory to mine those hills, and fewer still were prepared with the knowledge, mindset and tools to overcome the challenges of doing so. While there was no doubt gold was in those hills — it was only the well-prepared and well-informed who ultimately struck it rich!
For NPES members, today’s global business opportunities are not unlike the 1849 California Gold Rush. Actually, in many ways, it’s much easier since life and limb aren’t threatened by failure, and the journey is a lot easier. But the road to success is the same, beckoning with the same promise of adventure (or venture), and requiring proper advance preparation to overcome what lies ahead.
In December, while flying back from my first visits to the NPES offices in China and India, I considered this similar potential for NPES members. After a 16-day trip to Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai and New Delhi, it became apparent to me that opportunities and, indeed challenges, exist for companies willing to venture out into those territories. I’ll spare you the multitude of photo ops of me cutting ribbons and gripping n’ grinning, because it was during my one-to-one discussions at shows, visits to equipment manufacturers, printers and designers, that I realized if NPES doesn’t do a better job of engaging members internationally, both members and NPES will be completely left out of this “gold rush.”
There should be no doubt that a gold rush is already occurring and will continue to grow in our industry. In 2006 the worldwide market for print was $610 billion; in 2011 it is forecast to be $721 billion, an 18.2% increase. In the area of equipment and consumables (substrates excluded) the market in 2006 was $47.8 billion and it is forecast to grow to $57.8 billion in 2011, which is a 21% increase. When we consider the forecast for the next five years for China and India, you can see at right how leaving them out of your future market mix would exclude you from the largest growth areas our industry has seen in our lifetime.