Skytek had been receiving a healthy demand of large format printers in India but had to halt installations due to the pandemic. The company resumed installations from September 2020 after the lockdown ended in India. Since then, it has installed several BigPrinter and Oric large format printers and is importing several more to keep up with increasing demand.
Started in 2018, Skytek signed dealership for BigPrinter – a Russian manufacturer of large format printers – in 2019. Soon after, the company signed with Oric, a Chinese manufacturer of large format printers, to target the lower end of the market.
After a difficult period during the lockdown, the company began installing its products in South India. The company has installed roll-to-roll and flatbed printers from BigPrinter in Mangalore, Bangalore and Chennai.
SM Basha, sales director of Skytek, says that the large format print market was growing in South India before the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
He adds that the company had been hoping for good business since the lockdown ended but the last one month has not been fruitful due to the second wave of the coronavirus cases in India. However, he hopes that the market might improve in the coming months once the wave subsides.
As a direct result of the recent spike, brands are hesitant in spending on print campaigns and Basha says that local jobs are decreasing. He is receiving several inquiries but a few of them convert.
Upcoming installations and trends
On the bright side, Basha says that Skytek is importing six more BigPrinter presses for installation in South and West India. According to him, there is a good demand in South India. Skytek will also be installing Oric printers in cities including Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Delhi.
The company is seeing high interest in UV printing technology. Basha is of the opinion that UV printing will grow in the future owing to its vast applications. It equips print service providers with the ability to diversify in new markets in case their main business suffers.
Another trend, Basha points, is fabric printing. ‘PVC and being banned in several states in the country. And brands are now moving to fabric which goes along well with UV printing technology.’
Additionally, he says that printing on fabric with UV offers high durability and brightness. The print can last upto a couple of years.
Speaking of the future plans, he says that Skytek will be pushing BigPrinter cutters in India. The market is already showing interest in the product. ‘We have already received two orders for cutters already and they will be installed in August 2021.’
He claims that BigPrinter offers high quality and robust products at cost-effective prices. According to him, BigPrinter has tied up with Toyo Ink to provide high-quality printing that is consistent and durable.
Highlighting the market trends in the large format print industry, Basha says that signages and billboards on foot over bridges is gaining popularity. However, the application demands high-quality print since it is to be seen from up close. Apart from that, other OOH ad mediums such as bus shelters are also growing.