What’s the role of an association? This is a question that has often elicited varying responses. However, regardless of how one defined the core operations of an association, there was always a consensus on one thing: Association should shoulder the responsibility of promoting the industry and best practices.

The first SPAI-FESPA Awards 2017, which was held in Goa on 15th September 2017, shouldered this responsibility with dignity and poise. In fact, it went beyond and ensured that the screen printing industry gets inspired to do excellent work in the times ahead. Not that it hasn’t been doing so. The issue lay in not exhibiting the great work and best practices followed. When one shows inadvertence towards highlighting such good work, they essentially forget that art has always lived upon inspiration.

Amidst the shimming lights of the gala night, there were many who were not expecting to see the number and the level of quality work the expert panel of jury had to adjudge. Perhaps, that’s the reason why the team of SPAI committee members decided to exhibit all the winning works in an Award Gallery.

“The entries in the gallery were exemplary. In fact, I feel I should have done a bit of more hardwork in my entry. It’s a learning for me, and will ensure that next year I set the bar high,” said one of the nominee who visited the gallery before the Awards announcement.

This edition of SPAI-FESPA Awards was about infusing confidence. Confidence in the art of screen printing, best practices, entrepreneurship, and appreciating the self-less contribution of many legends from the industry. The event was also used as a platform to unveil the new logo of SPAI.

The eminent panel of jury comprised Michel Caza, Past President of FESPA, and Chairman of ASDPT (Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies, USA); Jacek Stencel of PASJA, Poland; Artem Nadirashvili from Midi Print, Russia; Bernard Banks, Technical Expert, UK; and Kamlakar Wadekar of Ace Printers.

The Awards saw over 400 entries in 15 categories from over 68 companies. Only a fraction of those who participated won the biggest laurels; and there was an unequivocal consensus that they deserved it. “Screen printing is an interesting mix of art and science. You cannot be a good screen printer without understanding the science behind it. Neither can you be a good screen printer if you cannot appreciate the art of it. SPAI is proud that we could organise the biggest ever event that honoured the best works and inspiring individuals,” said Jignesh Lapasiya, Chairman - Awards, SPAI.

Sponsors namely, EptaInks India Pvt. Ltd., Print Dynamic, Photokina Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd., Gurbaksish Group, Indian Dye Sales Corporation (IDSC), and SanPrintech India Pvt. Ltd. The Silver Sponsors of the Awards were Nishi Arts, AND Global Sales Corporation, and Printlife Packaging Solutions.

The students of GIPT (Government Institute of Printing Technology - Mumbai) and DMI also volunteered to be part of the Awards team and ensured that the show went without a glitch.br />
In fact, even before the event concluded, the organising committee was approached by the supporters to announce the next edition too. In addition, many screen printers too volunteered to support the next edition and create the biggest screen printing event of the country. The organising committee is now working on the dates for the next edition. Stay tuned to hear more about it in our future edition.

In addition to the category awards, few special awards were also conferred. Suresh Babu of AB Screens was awarded with the Creative Artist Award. Four companies were honoured as Innovative Company of the Year: Keetronics (Pune), Image Care (Ahmedabad), Spectrum Scan (Mumbai), and Tarun Prints (Mumbai). Saurabh and Gaurav Kappor of JSG Innovation, and Amit Narke of Pure Coats were honoured with the Young Entrepreneur Award.

Difference in Vision

In stark contrast to other industry awards, SPAI wasn’t about the glamour; it was about purpose. The delegates were in utter belief when 18 performers from the National Organisation of the Disabled Artists stepped on to the stage to enthral the audience with their show: Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hain. Blending inspiring stories with apt songs from Indian cinema, they expressed that life is about commitment and dedication.

SPAI also utilised the platform to thank and honour the legends of the industry. Shri Madhu Kumar Doshi was honoured with the Yeoman Service Award for his undeterred and selfless contribution to the industry. SPAI-FESPA Awards 2017 also honoured Shri Man Mohan Kharbanda and Shri Manubhai Sheth with Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It is important to recognise people who have helped the industry flourish and nurtured it with their selfless contribution. While we would never be able to repay them, honouring them at the first SPAI-FESPA 2017 Awards was our small step towards conveying to them how indebted we are for their service,” said Bhargav Mistry, Chairman – Awards, SPAI.

Preparing for the next edition

The event would not have been such a success if it didn’t receive the right partners. The ScreenTex and Grafica News were the media partners for the Awards, and were honoured for their support by SPAI-FESPA.

In addition to the support of the members from screen printing fraternity, SPAI-FESPA Awards 2017 also received accolades from its key sponsors. Fujifilm Sericol India was the title sponsor and Huber Group India (formerly Micro Inks) was the Platinum Sponsor of the Awards. The Awards also had several Gold