High time for signage to have an association – Skytek’s Santosh Nair

Skytek Technologies showcases signage applications at MediaExpo

Santosh Nair (R), director, Skytek Technologies at the company’s stand at MediaExpo Mumbai. Photo IPP

Skytek Technologies showcased samples of fabric printing, wallpapers, window blinds, and furniture created with corrugated boards printed on their machines at the 50th edition of MediaExpo, held in Mumbai from 2 – 4 March 2023. The company had the most offbeat stand, attracting customers and business visitors alike to experience the spectrum of applications offered by Skytek’s printing equipment.

We tried to show something out of the box as everyone was focusing only on print in the show. At Skytek, I generally try to show a lot of value propositions. We don’t believe in selling a printer, we want to show the opportunities. As a businessman, somebody can observe and then buy a machine. Every machine does everything. It’s not the machine, it’s the ideation behind it. We are encouraging customers to go beyond the regular applications. That’s the whole idea over here,” said Santosh Nair, director, Skytek Technologies.

With the coming of digital, signage is shrinking in retail and billboards, Nair told Indian Printer & Publisher. The printer fraternity is investing so heavily in machines. Where will they go in such a scenario? We are trying to show them the opportunity of what uniqueness we are bringing over here, he said.

MediaExpo happens to be one platform where we were lucky enough to close deals. Our experience at MediaExpo has always been great. Every time, a lot of positives come out of it. The people who visit the show are very focused. In every MediaExpo, I try to contribute not only to my stuff but also to the industry by either being on a panel or contributing in other ways. This, being the 50th edition of the show, we decided to do a workshop on ‘Simplifying Colors’ that I moderated. It was just one topic where we wanted the industry greats to be together and give a message to upcoming brands and printers as to what ingredients are necessary to make a machine successful.

MediaExpo gives a lot of awareness about my company. The business visitors understand the applications and always have some remembrance in mind that here is a company that is actually talking value to me. In that way, MediaExpo has been a great success,” he said

The signage market in India is almost a $600-billion segment, and in the next three or four years, it should grow at least at 15% CAGR, Nair pointed out. “What I am slightly worried about is that digital is coming, and the signage industry needs to wake up and look at various ways of sustaining the business and analyze where they see themselves in the next four years. Artificial intelligence and 3D modeling are coming into play. So many new elements are coming, which is now going to take a lot of value from a marketer’s perspective from the brand side. Signage as I see is both growing and shrinking. To keep up the pace or to balance it with digital, I think signage will have to really act fast, innovate, and see what is it that they can give that will give a lot of value proposition to a brand.”

Signage is never going to die and will always be there because howsoever digital comes, the recall value always will be with signage, he asserted. “The last six to eight months have been very good for the market, which has opened up and people are really positive. Everyone is shopping around and looking for new ways of printing or adding more value to their business. I see good traction after the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The signage industry needs to have an association or an organization to represent it in governments, he shared. “There are so many startups coming up but I don’t see their involvement in the signage industry. I really feel that representation is now getting very critical. It is high time somebody takes this initiative and forms an organization to represent signage,” Nair concluded.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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