Fujifilm looks to the high-end signage segment

The new Fujifilm demo center in Delhi-NCR

L-R:. SM Ramprasad, asst. vice-president, Graphic Arts Business, Pradipta Chowdhury, senior product manager, Kevin Jenner, business manager, Commercial Group, Wide Format Division, Fujifilm Global and Haruto Iwata, managing director, Fujifilm India. Photo IPP
L-R:. SM Ramprasad, asst. vice-president, Graphic Arts Business, Pradipta Chowdhury, senior product manager, Kevin Jenner, business manager, Commercial Group, Wide Format Division, Fujifilm Global and Haruto Iwata, managing director, Fujifilm India. Photo IPP

On 20 November 2018, Fujifilm launched its second Graphic Arts demo center in India at Sector 39 in Gurugram. The center is designed to demonstrate Fujifilm India’s latest graphic arts technology innovations and give a first-hand experience of the company’s wide-format printing expertise and domain knowledge. This is the company’s second demo center with the first launched in Mumbai in 2014. The new demo center will demonstrate the latest version of the Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R with LED UV curing printing on a variety of rigid and flexible media. Fujifilm’s full range of Acuity EY printers will also be available for display and demonstration at the center.

“This is the second demo center for Fujifilm in India. I think this demo center is quite important for boosting our business in this [northern] region. I always say that seeing is believing and we can use this demo center for customer’s trial runs of machines. This would also help us to demonstrate a wide range of our applications to our customers in the surrounding areas. Our business in India is strong already as the number of installations of wide-format printers in the country has reached three figures. We don’t want to dominate only the middle-level or small-level segments, we are aiming for the high-end segment now and we’re hopeful to dominate it as well,” says Haruto Iwata, managing director of Fujifilm India.

“As our managing director rightly said, we’ve dominated the wide format printing industry in the country – more specifically in the UV curing segment. We started this journey around four years ago. In less than three-and-a-half years, Fujifilm has managed to install more than 100 UV wide format printers. Even earlier, we have been displaying our UV wide format printers at our demonstration center in Mumbai. Before that, our customers were forced to travel to Singapore or Thailand to see the machine’s demo. The second mandate for the company, as you have just heard, is to not only to focus upon the small- and mid-level printers but to increase the sales of our high-end printing machines in the graphic segment in India,” said SM Ramprasad, assistant vice-president of  Fujifilm India’s Graphic Arts Division at the Gurugram center’s launch.

Ramprasad added, “The capability of UV printing goes beyond the graphic signage to interior décor, industrial printing and the photo industry. In order to excel in these segments, we need to sell more than just machines, we need to sell solutions and that is the reason why I see this demo center as a platform to showcase our solutions to the customer.”

Fujifilm is on a aggressive expansion plan as the company is targeting double-digit growth in its business in India. The Acuity range of printers have been well received in the market and are energy efficient and environment friendly as well. The flatbed Acuity EY has proven to be a breakthrough inkjet printer in the wide format UV digital imaging technology from Fujifilm. At the new demo center, visitors can witness live demonstrations of machines and can interact with Fujifilm executives, engineers and application specialists. The center will also serve as a training ground for the company’s existing customers, with a provision for testing and qualifying new substrates.

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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