Negi Sign Systems and Supplies at Media Expo 2019

“The signage industry is fragmented and stagnant”

Girvir Singh Negi, owner of Negi Sign Systems and Supplies

Negi Sign Systems and Supplies, a provider of wide-format inkjet printers, software, consumables and pre and post solutions since 1995, has a head office in Mumbai and regional offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and branch offices in Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, and Raipur. The company provides a wide-format eco-solvent, large format solvent, UV, dye-sublimation, and digital textile printers.

Negi has participated in Media Expo since the very first edition of the show. This year, it displayed flatbed UV inkjet printers for printing on rigid surfaces from four of its segments – commercial and industrial, combination, hybrid, and roll-to-roll printing solutions. The machines are equipped with Ricoh Gen5, Kyocera, Toshiba, and Konica Minolta 1024 printheads. The combination printers combine roll-to-roll and flatbed printing and in sizes such as 8 x 4 feet, 10 x 5 feet, and 10 x 8 feet. The hybrid range consists of roll-to-roll printers that can also print on rigid surfaces of 1.6 meters and 3.2 meters in width. More than 200 visitors in a day visited the Negi stand during the exhibition.

Girvir Singh Negi, owner of Negi Sign Systems and Supplies, said, “This year, we are focusing on our flatbed printer for printing on rigid media such as wood, glass, and metal. Our machines come in several sizes – 3 x 5 feet and 5 x 3 feet for commercial printing applications and in sizes of 8 x 4 feet, 10 x 5 feet and 10 x 8 feet for industrial printing on rigid surfaces.

A customer with more work for the flatbed printer will go for a combination machine, and a hybrid press would be best suited for someone who has more work for roll-to-roll but also needs flatbed printing. For example, if someone has 70% flatbed work and 30% roll-to-roll work, he might go for a combination machine.”

Since the ban on single-use plastic, the company has adapted itself to provide alternate solutions. “Roll-to-roll machines are preferred because of the ban of single-use plastics, including flex banners. We offer UV roll-to-roll machines that can print on fabric. Fabric is the new trend in the industry and will replace PVC and flex materials,” Negi added.

According to him, the signage industry is stagnant. “Printers today don’t have enough projects because corporate companies have shrunk their budgets. Printers have to diversify their business to survive. Similarly, we are bringing new machines like flatbed machines for glass, wood industry, and metal industry to help them diversify their business,” Negi said.

Speaking about the industry, Negi said, “Our inkjet printers are reliable and robust. The machines we sold 15 years back are still running and are not changed frequently. I am a distributor for Mutoh exclusively for the last 23 years. The products we offer are very reliable.” Negi claims that his company “was the first to get large format printers in India in 1996.” He shared that there was no one else in India who sold a large format printer in India until 2000, adding, “In 2008 we started manufacturing our machines. But today, the competition has increased. Here at Media Expo, you will see many one-man-companies and manufacturers. In the past, there were a couple of companies dominating the market, but today there are more than 500 printer, manufacturer, or distributor companies in the market. However, despite having so many players in the market, there is a slowdown in the industry after GST. It is not an organized sector.”

Negi will also participate in Media Expo 2020 in Mumbai from 20 to 22 February 2020 at Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC), Mumbai, India.

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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