HP India: sustainability, consolidation in signage

HP India stall at Media Expo Mumbai 2022
HP India stall at Media Expo Mumbai 2022

Sustainability and consolidation will be the two main themes that will influence the Indian signage industry in the coming future, Vitesh Sharma, country manager, large format production business, HP India, told Indian Printer and Publisher during the Media Expo Mumbai 2022.

“Sustainability will be an important theme that will impact the Indian signage printing industry. So, anybody who is future-ready with green technology will have an edge. Consolidation will be another major underlying theme that will shape the Indian signage industry. Serious and dedicated players will become prominent in the industry and the smaller players will gradually fade away,” Sharma said.


At Media Expo Mumbai 2022, HP India was demonstrating its fourth-generation latex printers that were launched last year. On display were HP Latex 700W with white ink and HP Latex 800 without white ink. According to Sharma, the biggest highlight of these printers is that now managing white ink has become easy. Also, for the first time, white ink is at the same price as the color inks. “This is a big departure from the industry standards and customers are liking it,” he said.

HP also showcased the 10-color Designjet Z9 Pro 64-inch printer. This printer is meant for very high-end signage printing applications such as backlit printing.

Quality visitors at Media Expo Mumbai

Sharma stated that the 2022 edition of Media Expo Mumbai was great and HP got a large number of visitors as the expo was being held after more than two years and the company had new products on display.

Vitesh Sharma of HP India
Vitesh Sharma of HP India

“The last two years have been extremely tough for a lot of people at personal and professional levels. Media Expo Mumbai taking place after two and half years is a big respite for the industry. We have got a signal that the revival in the Indian signage printing industry is very strong. When we talk to our customers they say they are busy and getting a lot of work,” Sharma says.

Sharma too is optimistic about the industry going forward. “Fortune of the signage industry is directly tied with the Indian economy. As we know, the Indian economy is expected to be the faster growing economy among large economies. This will have a right rub-off on the signage industry,” he concluded.

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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