Mumbai demo center has been a success

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Mumbai demo center has been a success
Pradipta Chowdhury

It was about one-and-a-half years ago that Fujifilm India inaugurated its swanky demo center in Mumbai’s northern suburb of Dahisar. During these months, the demo center has been hosting wide format printers from across the country. Presently, the demo center houses two Acuity series LED printers and one ‘made in India’ Vybrant 1800 eco-solvent printer.

“The decision to set up the demo center was one of the most important decisions by the company management. We are conducting 10-12 demos every month with printers coming from across the country at their own expense,” says Pradipta Chowdhury, manager sales – WFIJ, graphic arts division, Fujifilm India.

Majority of the customers who visit the demo center are high-end signage printers; about 30% are from photo book printing segment and 10% of the visitors are from the industrial segment.

The demo center has had a positive impact on Fujifilm’s sales as well because live experience extended to the printers only helped boost their confidence to go for the investment. “The investment in this type of technology is big so when customers see their ideas become a reality right before them, it instills confidence in them. In UV, the range of applications is numerous, so it becomes extremely important that printers see those ideas in practice.”

Talking about Fujifilm’s first ever ‘made in India’ Vybrant 1800 eco-solvent printer, Chowdhury informs that dealers have been appointed across the country and formal sales are expected to commence very soon. The Vybrant 1800 printer targets indoor and outdoor signage and branding applications market. It has been exclusively developed and manufactured by Macart Equipment Pvt. Ltd., the leading manufacturers of inkjet printers in the country, with their manufacturing units in Pune, India.

Vybrant 1800, the wide format eco-solvent printer, was launched in September last year at the Mumbai demo center. The printer is driven by patent Fujifilm technology and has been specifically designed to provide high quality at affordable costs. The printer is equipped with Fujifilm Dimatix Q-class industrial quality print-head and runs on Peizo DOD technology.

Rising popularity of soft signage
According to Chowdhury, soft signage is gradually gaining acceptance in India, especially among Tier-I brands.

“Big brands, especially the ones in mobile phone industry, are aggressively moving towards soft signage. There are many advantages of soft signage, such as no usage of PVC, ease of use and reuse, better backlit qualities and more realistic effects. Even Tier-II brands are willing to make a shift to soft signage but due to the high costs involved, the shift is a bit slow,” he argues.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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