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'The real challenge in the industry is its fragmented nature'

By N Jayalakshmi - May 03, 2022

Material suppliers play a crucial role in the whole signage eco-system. Nishant Gattani, Director - Jyoti Suppliers, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, shares his take on the opportunities and challenges in the signage eco-system.

With the pandemic induced pause slowly lifting and business bouncing back, segments like signage which are an integral part of the OOH advertising space, are all set to tap emerging new opportunities. Within the signage ecosystem itself, segments like materials suppliers are closely tuned to the dynamics of the whole signage segment and the overall OOH business.

Nishant Gattani, Director, Jyoti SuppliersNishant Gattani, Director - Jyoti Suppliers, a materials supplier company whose offerings include LED lighting solution for signage, POP, POS, fixture and furniture under their flagship brand name ‘Brandlit’, and digital printable substrates under their brand name ‘NYUU X’, and whose clientele includes sign makers, media owners, light box manufacturers, large format digital printers, etc., says, “As far as signage is concerned, I see more opportunities coming up in government projects and in the electric vehicle (EV) segment. There are numerous brands coming up in this segment at different levels and they are expected to have much wider retail presence.”

As Nishant agrees, EV is not just about these brands having their own retail presence, but also about new media opportunities in the form of charging stations.

Beyond these promising opportunities, Nishant feels there is currently a stagnation in the signage segment as a whole. Not many corporates are spending on outdoor signage and are increasingly seeking the digital/social media space to build brand presence and connect with their audience, though the demand for physical brand presence and offline consumer experience is slowly coming back. But as Nishant says, the real challenge in the industry is its fragmented nature.

“Having been in this industry for so long and having access to the inside workings of this industry I can tell you that this is a very crowded space now and therefore profitability is a huge challenge. Also, any new material that is introduced gets copied very easily and there is too much dependence on China. As suppliers we do face these challenges. But then, being a supplier also has its advantages as we have the flexibility to add on more products and technologies. In the long run though we have to take a call on whether to continue being suppliers or get into manufacturing as well,” he shares.

Elaborating more on the challenges in this industry, Nishant adds, “Realisation of payments is one of the biggest challenges; as this industry runs on credit. Post Covid the situation has improved to some extent, but I’m not sure how long this will stay.”

Payment has been a long standing issue in the industry, but precious little seems to have changed. Explaining the reason behind this, Nishant says, “The issue is one of demand and supply. When there is more supply, buyers have more power; they will take things for granted. This is so everywhere. So unless there is balance, the situation will remain so and may even get worse .”

Read the full story in the May 2022 edition of Outdoor Asia magazine

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