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Old heritages meet modern
infrastructures of signage in Aligarh

Located in the western Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh is a small historical city where old heritages meet the modern infrastructures and it boasts of developments on diverse fronts, including the signage market. Unlike those older days, signage players in the city have upgraded themselves with modern sign-making technologes, adding value of vibrant colours to the region’s old tradition in the form of display art and graphics. Age-old courtesy of the city is now met with new-age effect of signage. Witnessing this progression, ABHINAV MALLIK from SIGN & GRAPHICS walks down the bylanes across the city for one-to-one interaction with some select signage players responsible for the dynamic development.

Monica Digital Graphic
A forerunner among all

Gaurav Gupta
Being on top of all in terms of delivering quality graphic prints, Monica Digital Graphics has its old root in the signage market of Aligarh. Though the firm opened its signage production unit in the year 2004, its origin can be traced back to three decades when Satya Prakash Gupta, founder of the firm, started it in a small shop selling sign-making materials in 1989. After that, things got changed, upgraded and moved into a new direction, as Satya Prakash passing the business to his son Gaurav Gupta. “Since then we have been upgrading our infrastructure and overall business from one level to another, with the opening of our own production setup,” narrates Gaurav Gupta, MD, Monica Digital Graphics.

Today, Monica Digital Graphic is a two-crore signage firm, which boasts a huge infrastructure housing a string of state-of-the-art machines and technologies. The existing machine portfolio of the company consists of an EPSON SureColour, a ColorJet POLO Turbo with 512i KM printhead, a Roland VersaCAMM VP540 print & cut printer as well as a handful of other machines including a CNC router and finishing equipments. With its robust infrastructure and competencies, Monica Digital Graphic has been working for a host of corporate biggies for years—to name a few among them, the list may include Hero MotoCorp, Samsung, SBI (State Bank of India), Tata Sky, Bharat Petroleum, Dish TV and Fevicol as well as some others from the public sector, such as LIC (Central Zone Kanpur) and Bhopal Zonal Office.

When asked about any of the company’s landmark projects till date, Gaurav points at Hero MotoCorp, which had executed a nationwide campaign when separated from Honda in 2011. “We were very closely taking part in the campaign carried out all across the eastern and western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The campaign highlighted the newly launched motorbike company’s sales, services and spare parts,” he narrates adding that they had challengingly completed the project within five days. In the campaign, they printed, fabricated and installed hundreds of 100x80 ft ‘Asli Hero’ outdoor banners across the region.

“Ever since we have cemented our mutual tie with Hero MotoCorp, our relationship with the two wheeler company has been solid and steadfast. We keep involving in execution of the company’s landmark projects in and around Aligarh on regular basis,” says Gaurav, adding that they serve as printing partner in Khushiyaan Har Aangan (an annual promotional event of Hero MotoCorp) across western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In addition, Monica Digital Graphics has also tied up with SAMSUNG for the latter’s ubiquitous ‘SAMSUNG Blue Wave’ campaign in which more than 800 outlets across Aligarh, Etah, Agra and Bulandshahr.

Behind the overall activities and competencies of Monica Digital Graphic is its strong and experienced team of 19 sign-making professionals, which is capable to handle any given project, under any circumstance or deadline, at their well-equipped two production setups measured 2,400 sq ft and 1,500 sq ft. On quality control, Gaurav says they never compromise with what their clients require and the materials they opt for this includes Jindal (for flex), Avery Dennison/SRF for vinyl. He further says, “When it comes to LED-based projects, our ultimate choices of LED components are High Shine and Neenja. Next upgrade at Monica Digital Graphics will be inclusion of a laser engraving machine in the portfolio to push their activities towards a new vertical.

KP Flex Point
A big outdoor campaigner

Akash Singh Narendra Singh
Works of KP Flex Points can easily be seen to anyone strolling around the city of Aligarh, because this PSP has been a vendor closely working with a host of permanent clients, which include some leading political parties, whose outdoor campaigns are constantly flaunted all around the corners of the city. Akash Singh from KP Flex Point points out that they had worked for 25 MLAs for their outdoor poll campaigns during the recent State Assembly Elections. Likewise, he says the company has been a sole vendor for a number of clients from diverse industrial clusters, apart from political parties.

Recalling the earlier days of KP Flex Point, Narendra Singh, younger brother of Akash, says they first entered the signage or digital large-format printing market around six years back with the adoption of an AstroJet with KM printhead. After that, he says the machine lineup has been expanded with constant installations of a string of printers, which includes Roland VersaCAMM eco-solvent printer. In addition, for cut-signs, a line of AstroJet CNC routers and laser engraving machines is equipped at the production facility of KP Flex Point.

As on today, KP Flex Point has a clientele in which a host of long-time corporate companies are listed. Among the big names in the list consist of Adani Group, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and others. “For these oil companies, we keep making king size banners of around 70 sq feet as well as 100 sq ft in sizes, especially designed for installations on highways and such outdoor locations,” mentions Akash. The company has also extended their integration with corporate biggies by working with reputed brands like Dabur and Havmor Ice Cream.

Located in the city’s strategic OP Complex, KP Flex Point has a production facility of 1,200 sq ft where everything is designed and produced under one roof. Latest project, which Akash calls it landmark, by the company was the production and fabrication of 150 banners of 10x6 ft and 40 banners of 20x10 ft all installed around Aligarh during the recent maiden visit of UP CM Yogi Adityanath in the city. About the next-level development of the company, Akash says they are planning to add a channel-letter bending machine to their portfolio, to take on new pathway of innovations in cut-letter signs.

Super Advertising
A PSP known for consistent outputs

Anil Kumar (right)
Located at the heart of the city, in the strategic Bhagwati Palace area, Super Advertising is known for its exemplary outputs. Escalated gradually from a very scratch level, this signage company has been in the industry for more than a decade, serving some regular clients who have been with them right from the very beginning days of the company. In this, Anil Kumar, director, Super Advertising, says they at the first place thoroughly did a proper pilot survey on the growth prospect of the region’s signage market, which they found quite dynamic with wider scope for future expansion.

It was in the year 2009, when the region’s signage market was gaining new ground for innovative signage projects, Super Advertising inaugurated its production facility, keeping in mind to tap some good clients from the corporate arena. Equipped first at the facility was an ordinary China-made solvent machine, which was closely followed by a branded one from Astro Jet with KM 512i printhead, capable to print 1,800 sq ft/hr. Anil, who has sound knowledge of wide-format printing technology, always pledges to maintain consistency in quality production.

Some of the major clients of Super Advertising, who are in top slots of the company’s roaster, include a number of corporate players like Indian Oil, BSNL. In addition, some other popular brands from diverse market clusters are also in the list. Mention of a few may count Heera Sweets, Mangalayatan University and Delhi Public School (DPS). “These customers come to us anytime throughout the year, bringing periodic projects, whether it could be for promotional and public announcements, such as educational conventions, admission notifications and such kinds,” says Anil, adding that walk-in customers are also counted in big number in their client list. About quality in their outputs, he says it all depends upon selection of media as they always go for select range of unconventional printing materials viz. Starflex, SRF, and Kiian Digistar Hi-Pro.

Shree Ji Digital Graphics
A newbie with big future plan

Shashank Sharma
It has been barely a couple of years since its arrival in the signage market of Aligarh, but Shree Ji Digital Graphics is a widely popular PSP in the city, for they have redefined sign making in the region by introducing an efficient cum highly qualitative print solutions. Shashank Sharma, founder of this popular signage firm, had come up with full of innovative ideas in mind when they opened their facility with the adoption a Galaxy solvent with KM printhead in their 1,500 sq ft setup. “We are going to upgrade our machine portfolio soon with another solvent printer, probably an AstroJet solvent with 512i printhead,” he mentions.

So far, so good, Shree Ji Digital Graphics has tied up with a number of corporate clients, among which some leading newspaper brands are included. Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran and Hindustan are some big dailies whose city-wide campaigns have been printed and installed by the company. Apart from this league of newspapers, Shree Ji Digital Graphics has been sole vendor of some reputed corporate firms, such as Senco Gold and Diamonds, Ultratech Cement. “We make outdoor hoardings of sizes ranging from 3x2 ft upto 100x20 ft,” says Shashank.

While talking about the current signage market scenario of Aligarh, Shashank says there is a high prospect of growth and room for innovative signage solutions in the region. For the welfare and understanding among the industry fellows, he says there is need for an association for PSPs in the region and every member in it must maintain consistency in print quality and other allied activities to maintain a common standard. He says many in the region are ready to move towards this mutual effort.

Laxmi Flex Point
An offshoot for signage

Deepak Agarwal
Diverted from its parent company GK Graphics, Laxmi Flex Point has been in the industry for about a decade. GK Graphics deals in pre-press equipments and consumables, such as films for offset printing catering to a host of clients based in more than 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh. It was the richness of the wide-format printing market that instilled Deepak Agarwal of GK Graphics to move towards the new domain for new business. After that, Laxmi Flex Point was incepted under the aegis of Devendra Varshney.

Opening of the production facility of Laxmi Flex Point was marked with the installation of a Caldron CJ solvent printer in 2006. “When we first landed in the signage market of Aligarh, there were merely three PSPs in the city. Our aim then was to do something innovative in sign making or printing that any other traditional sign shops could ever do,” says Devendra, adding that they have gained their ‘reputation’ within a short span as they work under the ‘quality-first’ principle. He also quotes Caldron for everything they have achieved—quality prints and a trusted brand of their customers.

Laxmi Flex Point has a production setup of 3,600 sq ft. In addition to their versatile Caldron printer, another AstroJet printer with 512i KM printhead has recently been installed as backup alongside a cutting plotter (from Banyan Solution). Some of the big clients in the current roaster of the company are Great Value Mall, V Mart, Mark & Spencer (M&S) and a chain of Bikanerwala outlets across Aligarh. Moreover, they also serve for some political parties as the firm has worked on a series of landmark campaigns for politician Satish Gautam during and after several elections. Depending on the sizes of projects, Laxmi Flex Point produces banners ranging from 10x20 ft upto 20x40 ft in maximum. Next level expansion plan of the company is towards LED board making with fresh investment in a CNC router as well.