InterviewsSign & Graphic Imaging Middle East-SGI

Stakeholders of the Industry Should Work Together to Improve Market Conditions

ME Printer speaks to Sharif Rahman, the CEO of IEC, about the market trends in the regional print and graphics arts industry and the opportunities and challenges present

What trends have you seen in the regional print and graphics arts industry?
SGI Dubai has been like a barometer for the regional print and graphics industry. So it’s no surprise when the rest of the year starts mimicking the results of the show. Textile printers have been a huge presence in the last edition of the show and I believe that people associated with the industry will have a good year. The other trend in the print industry is the demand for personalized work. From packaging to fashion, since the rise of digital printing, the minimum batch size has reduced to one and can accommodate personalized jobs.

Is there an increased uptake of print or is it gradually losing to digital in the region?
The printing industry has definitely lost some ground to the rise of social media marketing and digital marketing. Many organisations have seen the benefits of digital marketing and have switched over from printing as their main marketing tool. But still, in many businesses, printing remains the same simple and effective way to mass-market your product. With advances in printing technology, retail printing and POS printing are going strong in making sure that marketers and promoters have the latest technology to help them promote their brand.

What, according to you, needs to be done in order to improve the market for printing and graphics arts industry?
All the stakeholders of the industry need to come together and work towards improving the market conditions. The manufacturers need to listen to the operators for their feedback about the demands of the end-customers. The distributors and re-sellers will know how any machine is performing and about the latest technology in any segment. By joining forces, the industry can make sure that they are able to share their wealth of experience with the industry stakeholders and thereby grow the industry.

How can events such as SGI help elevate the positioning of print related industry and activities?
SGI Dubai has been a part of the industry for over two decades. The show has grown from strength to strength and it has a part to play in the growth of the industry over the years. Being the biggest show of its kind in the region, SGI Dubai has the ability to attract exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. The show also provides the exhibitors with a chance to highlight new products with the latest technology. It is the perfect place to introduce your product to a new market. The show provides the exhibitors with an ideal platform to connect with the right customers and thereby give them an overview of the potential benefits of their innovations.

Do you believe there is a shortage of skill sets in the regional print industry?
I don’t believe there is a shortage of skilled personnel in the regional industry. However, in the next few years, the industry will require the next generation of skilled personnel’s who are equipped with the right knowledge and skill sets and utilise the power of artificial intelligence. The Middle East is a hot destination for obtaining employment and due to its no income tax laws, attract some of the best talents in the industry. That being said, the printing industry has always been more of a craft with operators that require particular skills.

The market of players in the traditional printing techniques is becoming smaller. In such a tight community, all the stakeholders such as industry associations, the manufacturers and the print shops need to come together to create training programs that would develop the skills required in able apprentices.

How can vendors, partners and other industry stakeholders work together to better the opportunities available in the print industry and solve challenges?
SGI Dubai has also created a ‘Knowledge Series’ platform for all our exhibitors and they are more than welcome to participate in the panel discussion and share their knowledge, challenges and solutions within the industry. Our industry is evolving each day and it is important for us all to keep up the pace to stay ahead in the industry.

What according to you, lies ahead for the print industry this year?
For the future of the print industry, eco-friendly won’t just be a buzzword but a minimum requirement. As time goes on, people have become more aware of the environmental issues and the negative impact of reckless consumption. The future will emphasize on more environmentally sustainable printing practices in the form of safe inks or reusable cartridges.

Tell us about the upcoming SGI 2019. Any new tracks or initiatives we can expect in the upcoming show?
The next edition of SGI Dubai 2019 will be back in the January of next year. This 22nd edition of the prestigious show promises to be bigger and better than before. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the exhibitors get the best in terms of space and visibility in front of quality trade visitors from all over the world. With respect to the activities, we aim to bring back all the major events and activities that took part in the previous editions, including the Wall of Fame, Masters of Wrap and the knowledge series.

The billion-dollar EXPO2020 event is taking shape and it is ready to welcome millions of visitors in the next couple of years and this is an opportune moment for all the people involved within the printing signage and digital signage industries to capitalize all the upcoming opportunities. However, they need to act fast.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker