Established in 2011, Firefly Outdoor Media Solutions is occupied in manufacturing of floor display stand, advertising canopies, counter display, exhibition stalls, etc. With a team of 50+ professionals, spread out in 20,000 sq. ft. of production area, the company boasts of its knowledgeable team that develops products and offer solutions using the best grade materials and advanced techniques. The company believes in the near exploding levels of curiosity, fresh ideas and techniques, which are the ultimate necessities needed for delivering creative solutions to meet the fast growing needs of retail environments. We at Sign & POP World met Shahzzad Damania, Partner, to discuss the philosophy of innovation, quality and creativity in retail. Here are the excerpts of the interaction:
What made you select this ‘name’?
We are committed to revolutionize the retail communication for brands all across India. Just like Fireflies are known to light up the darkest of swamps, we at Firefly provide eye catching retail solutions that help brands stand out from the clutter. Although we started commencing professional solutions in the year 2011, I have been in the signage, display and graphics industry since 2005. Over these many years, we have emerged as a prominent name in manufacturing, supplying and distributing high quality, cost effective and customised retail display solutions of all kinds.
How has been the journey so far?
It was in 2011 that I started as a designer. Then I used to outsource my fabrication works. With passage of time, as and how business grew, I set up a small workshop measuring only 400 sq. ft. in Goregaon in Mumbai. After some time, I shifted to a larger space of 5,000 sq. ft. in Nala Sopara. The time kept passing by with success stories as our footprints, following which, this year we have further expanded our workspace to shift over to a 20,000 sq. ft. area in Thane. We have an in-house digital printing and fabrication unit equipped with the latest machinery and resources, which enable us to offer economies of scale to our valuable clients.
How has this increase in space support Firefly’s objective?
Since all processes like Laser Cutting, CNC Routing, Printing, Vacuum Forming, Press-Brake, Spot, TIG & MIG Welding, Powder & PU Coating etc. are in-house, we are able to give complete end-to- end solutions at development and production stages at a fast turn-around time. In short, we can now cater to complete corporate identity solutions, which include main brand elements, ancillary brand elements (both external and internal) and also complete VM requirements that involve both graphic as well as structural elements.
Which all solutions do you offer?
We provide retail marketing and branding solutions over various media with operational efficiency spread across the nation. However, when it comes to specialisation, ours is in fabricating customised FSUs, POS and POP displays, signages, mall kiosks, shop-in-shop displays, etc. Our solution is 100% customised and need special skills to meet specific requirements of our extremely varied clientele. Over the time, further customisation has been added following the rapid evolution of the retail industry and introduction of various formats of modern trade that includes malls, supermarkets, multi-brand retail outlets, and of course, general trade.
How the requirements of these varied formats differ?
There is a lot of difference in retail fixtures. If it is permanent fixtures then it has to be made or developed as per the space available in different stores. Otherwise, the display stands are pretty much of standard size. This is because customisation doesn’t remain possible if the number of POPs or retail branding solution is bigger, say, 500 pieces or more. It’s very difficult to customise them as per the stores’ requirements.
What major changes in retail branding have you observed over the years?
See, using backlit LEDs and all are a decade-old trend. The changes come with different kinds of materials that are being used for making POPs. These days, premium acrylics have come out as an option. We also use premium adhesive films which were not there in the recent past. Besides, the substrates have also been added with variants such as high-quality plastic surfaces that come in different finishes like metallic, wooden, and stone (marble). When these kinds of substrates are backlit, they actually offer premium looks.
What sets you apart from the league?
I am a designer by profession that’s why my designs are quite unique. And this, we have set as one of our goals because we have to break out of this clutter. We always try to be unique keeping in view that we are a small player of this larger market space and we have to set ourselves apart from the competition. However, the trend is pretty different as the one with greater focus on production capacities, which in a way, does help especially when one needs to roll out larger projects. But, what I believe is that capacities can be met at any point in time, while designs and creativity are the ones that set us apart from the herd. All this truly assimilates with our punch line – we are young, we are bold, we are hungry!
With rapidly increasing scraps, how do you plan a sustainable growth for Firefly?
We’re passionate about sustainability and how we as a business can make a difference. We know that the best way to achieve sustainable growth is to respect the natural environment, employees, our business partners, as well as all stakeholders. We’re passionate about sustainability and how we as a business can make a difference. We know that the best way to achieve sustainable growth is to respect the natural environment, employees, our business partners, as well as all stakeholders.
Where do you get the inspiration on designs?
As I said, we offer solutions that starts right from identifying to conceptualising to producing and then to delivering. All this involves a great deal of design capabilities. Designing is just an observation and it’s a continuous learning process under which one can draw the inspiration from anywhere may it be the internet, travelling, self imagination, etc. I head a team of designers that include graphics & 3D. They are very creative guys and I feel lucky to have them in my team. It’s our designs that lead us to receiving numerous queries which we are continuously converting in to big ventures. All thanks to our diverse team of creative professionals from various disciplines. Working together, we create and produce imaginative solutions across different sectors and markets.
How do you ensure quality of your branding solutions?
The quality testing unit of our company is well-equipped with highly advanced along with all the modern machines which are easy to use and is managed by us with precision to leave no chances of defects in our offered collection. Being a quality conform organization, we assure that we maintain utmost quality of our products right from the procurement of raw inputs till the final delivery. Besides this, the inputs we use on the production process are also sourced from one of the genuine and certified vendors of the market after strict quality examinations. Additional to all our offered facilities, we offer these products in a variety of customizations at reasonable rates.
Where does Firefly aim to reach in near future?
There is a Polish company called Wilson & Brown, we at Firefly want to reach that level, say, in around five years from now.