This year’s R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award has been bestowed on label industry veteran Harveer Sahni. The decision was made by the Global Awards judging panel, including: Lori Campbell, TLMI chairman; Linnea Keen, TLMI president; Philippe Voet, FINAT president; Greg Hrinya, editor of Label & Narrow Web; James Quirk, content director, Labels & Labeling; and Jean Poncet, editor-in-chief of Etiq+Pack,

“The judges felt Harveer Sahni met all the criteria for excellence demanded by the industry’s most prestigious award for an individual’s global contribution to the growth and development of the labels industry,” said Andy Thomas-Emans, Labelexpo Global Series strategic director. “His history in building a company to manufacture self-adhesive labels in India, through to his central role in building the Indian label association and then acting as an influential ambassador on the world stage, all helped the judging panel to come to their decision amongst a field of excellent candidates.”

Sahni started his career in 1971 working in his father’s stationery company, Weldon Sales Corp. In 1978, as part of expanding the company’s stationery product range, Sahni set up a 20-in. coater to manufacture self-adhesive BOPP tapes. In addition, he used the Weldon laboratory to research the development of new products, including inks, adhesives, and coatings, while also venturing into industrial adhesives, plastic blow molding, and injection molding.

With demand for self-adhesive stickers starting to take off in India through the 1970s, Sahni invested in a siliconizing line, developing and producing poly-coated release liners and later a barrier coating for uncoated wood-free or brown sack kraft papers that could accept silicone release coating. In the late 1990s a 1-m coater was installed to carry out both silicone coating and to produce release liners. In 1997, Weldon started manufacturing self-adhesive labelstock, soon adding another coater to focus on liner manufacture.

With the dawn of the 2000s, Sahni moved the business from coating tin catalyst-based silicone chemistry to a solvented platinum catalyst system and then on to solventless silicone coating. The global recession of 2008 led to Sahni reducing dependence on manufacturing and setting up as India agent for leading global manufacturers of print and converting equipment, tooling, and consumables.

In 2001, Sahni became involved in helping to establish the India Label Show; Tarsus Group purchased the event in 2007, and it became Labelexpo India. Also in this decade, Sahni became the first Indian national to be on a FINAT committee. He served as a judge for the World Label Awards multiple times.

Sahni sits on the board of directors of the Label Manufacturers Association of India (LMAI) and has curated, along with the LMAI team, many events bringing together label printers, suppliers, and print buyers. Sahni was part of the LMAI delegation to meetings of the L9 group of global label associations, with LMAI hosting an L9 meeting in India in 2018. In 2017, the LMAI conferred upon Sahni the award for lifetime support to the Indian Label Industry.

“I would like to congratulate Harveer Sahni on winning the R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award,” said Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Labelexpo Global Series. “It recognizes Harveer’s central role in building the Indian self-adhesive label industry from its earliest days, and later his major contribution to promoting the Indian label industry on the world stage.”

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