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Signage players in Kota
gear up to facelift the city

Replicas of world-famous monuments
on the bank of Chambal River in Kota
What sort of tasks it requires to make a city smart? The answer is: a tremendous assortment of innovative developments in all parameters that exclusively include ‘signage’. This is how Kota, a city sprawls on the eastern banks of Chambal River in southeast Rajasthan, is gearing up to attain its new stature, in which the role that signage players play is commendable. Signage players in Kota cater best of display solutions, fabrication and installation jobs, subsequently giving the city a brand new outlook. Putting some light on this, ABHINABH MALLIK from SIGN & GRAPHICS interacts with a host of select signage companies in the city to find out activities they grasp, machines they adopt and achievements they garner.

Innovation Choice
among corporate biggies

Jagdish Nama
A lot about Innovation can be discoursed when it comes to finding out what this leading signage firm is up to. Located in Gumanpura, a significant vicinity of the city in terms of transport and connectivity, this signage firm boasts its capability to capture big corporate clients with whom they have closely developed tie-ups for years. Jagdish Nama, director, Innovation, says they have roped in a good number of big customers, naming Airtel 4G, Oasis, BSNL, Vivo, Oppo and Gio, in their 15 years of presence in the city’s signage market. “As per the demand and requirement of our customers, we extend our footprints to all possible geographies all over Rajasthan, beyond Kota,” he says, adding that they responsibly did involve in creation of around 200 outdoor boards daily during the launch of Airtel 4G in the state.

Behind the innovative works at Innovation lies a strong team of 100 well-trained professionals—of them, 70 are deputed for printing, fabrication and installation tasks, and three in graphic designing, while the rest engaged in managerial jobs. Major activities of the company involve in one-way vision, ACP graphics and outdoor hoardings. In addition to Kota, Innovation has another branch in Jaipur, which is set to regulate business on a broader scale. Production facility of the company is equipped with a versatile range of high-end printers/machines including EPSON, Caldron, Picojet, a laser cutter and a line of finishing systems. According to Jagdish, the production set-up of the company will be upgraded as per the timely needs and requirements in the market.

When asked what Innovation is looking ahead, Jagdish says ‘updates of their machine portfolio’ as they are looking at investing in a new set of high-end machines. “What we are planning is to add a new set of machines with new technologies, which are not with us now, to accelerate our activities to a new direction,” he mentions, adding that CNC routers, UV flatbed and Latex technology systems will be the choices. He is also looking forward to add a channel bending machine for designing 3D letters and much more in the category.

Vijay Signage
Envisaging innovative ideas

Shailendra Vijay
Known widely for their on-time delivery and quick responses to specific demands and requirements of their clients, Vijay Signage has been proven to be a new definition of the role PSPs play in innovative sign making. Run by two brothers—Surendra Vijay and Shailendra Vijay—establishment of this signage firm is dated back to 13 years when the brother duo unveiled the company on Gumanpura Kotri Road in Kota. Being at the heart of the city, Vijay Signage gets extra mileage to rope in some big corporate honchos like Oppo, Vivo, Birla Cement, Gionee Mobile, etc.

As long as the client list of Vijay Signage is concerned, the company has an added advantage of being in Kota, a city known for homing high-end coaching institutes where munch up students from far and near corners of the country for IIT contending. “A number of local educational coaching institutes in the city have been closely associated with us for years; in addition, we are looking forward to catching some good projects emerging out of the government’s approach to make Kota a smart city,” mentions Shailendra, adding that they are now gradually gearing up for their contribution to it.

All vigor behind Vijay Signage is its well-equipped production facility where installed a string of high-end printers and machines, such as Caldron with XAAR Photon printhead, EPSON eco-solvent, Infiniti solvent and others including a CNC router, a cutting plotter for finishing jobs. For quality, according to Shailendra, they go only for branded inks and media, whether it’s about indoor or outdoor applications.

JMD Printers and Advertisements
Redefining graphic communication

Jagdish Shringi
Established as a firm engaged in making premium range of gift items, crafted especially on the occasions of Diwali and New Year, for more than two decades, JMD Printers and Advertisers had changed its business track by taking up large-format printing around seven years ago for exclusive signage and display activities. Brain behind this development is Jagdish Shringi, founder of the company, who knows the market pulse and potential of sign-making business. “When we were into gift business, producing a range of articles such as key chains, purses, diaries, carry bags, stickers, plastic envelops, among others, it was ‘sign-making’ that hauled us towards a brand new business start,” he mentions, adding that in turn gave birth to JMD Printers and Advertisers.

Since Kota is at the cusp of urban transformation as the government is mulling over transformation of the city into a smart city. In this, a lot of development and integration of smart initiatives would be involved via the central and state governments, along with locally generated inputs. Taking on the initiatives, Jagdish says signage and display activities, both in indoor and outdoor parameters, will play a vital role in the move. When enquired ‘how?’ he replies appropriate signage systems are essential elements in beautification of a city.

For the new venture JMD Printers and Advertisers, Jagdish in the year 2009 adopted a Picojet with XAAR printhead from Macart. Then in the very subsequent year, the facility had been upgraded with another Picojet printer with XAAR Photon printhead. With its well-equipped production facility, JMD Printers and Advertisers has a small but robust team of sign-making professionals, which include graphic designers. For future expansion, Jagdish is eying another vertical to be added in the company’s activities, which will be dealership of printing materials, particularly quality papers.

Kohinoor Publishing
Complete solutions provider

Mussavir Asif (sitting) with management heads
Being one of the oldest printing firms in Kota, roots of Kohinoor Publishing can be traced down to three decades when there was hardly any large-format printing machine in the market. Under the aegis of Asif Khan, who instituted the firm from a scratch level in 1987, the company has been growing from one level to another in due course of time. “In our first landing in the signage market, we adopted a 10 ft Caldron C4000, which is still running without any wear and tear in our production facility,” says Mussavir Asif, director, Kohinoor Publishing. Next to it, furbishing the company’s production set-up, is Xuli X6 1600s sublimation printer.

Backed by a crew of 80 well-trained sign making professionals, Kohinoor Publishing handles everything in-house, be it printing, fabrication and OOH installation. “Our overall activities are segregated into two broad categories—printing and outdoor installations, such as rooftop hoardings, mobile vehicle campaigns—attracting customers of all sort from diverse market clusters,” mentions Asif. Some of the major and regular customers of Kohinoor Publishing include Resonance Coaching Institute, Allen, Bansal Classes, among others. He adds that the clientele comprises a host of academic institutes and coaching classes as Kota being a launch pad for IIT aspirants.

Talking about some unique activities that make Kohinoor Publishing standout in crowd, Asif mentions their mobile advertising vehicles designed for brand promotions around Kota and other cities in Rajasthan. The mobile ad vehicles ply on roads connecting to remote outskirts, carrying out public campaigns spreading awareness as well as brand promotions of advertisers’ products and services. Kohinoor Publicity has set a benchmark in running successful outdoor campaigns for some kingpins like Big Bazaar, V-Mart, Reliance and many others. Above all, the company is an INS accredited ad agency too.

Sambhav Graphics
One the way to perfection

Praveen Soni
Yet another fresh player instituted just a few years back in the block of Kota’s signage market is Sambhav Graphics. Praveen Soni, a curator behind the creation of this new firm, first adopted a cutting plotter with which they just began crafting signage and display items of all kinds using acrylic sheets. “Jobs depending only on acrylic sheets couldn’t provide us absolute freedom to unfold our creativity; and sometimes we failed to meet the need of our customers with such constriction in infrastructure,” explains Praveen, when talking about how they went into constant machine updates.

In addition to plotting jobs, Sambhav Graphics has recently installed a Picojet printer with XAAR Photon Plus printhead from Macart and a new laser cutter in their production facility. It’s not only the machine portfolio, but also the size of their production facility the company has expanded with the opening of a new division. They have opened the extended division to boost production volume with an attempt to meet the increasing demands for quality signage graphics from their customers. When inquired about their customers, Praveen mentions only ‘walk-in horde’ which primarily forms the company’s current clientele.

Expressing desire to amplify their existing profile of clients, who are predominantly of local retail stores, cultural organisations, sporting associations and others, Praveen is planning to form a new marketing team to land directly on the market to rope in some big corporate clients. “It’s not just expertise in marketing, but also an infrastructure boost that we require to make the overall growth,” he states, adding that their next step expansion plan will be set to adopt some high-end machines with which they would able to capture corporate clients in near future.

Ainan Exterprises
Value of innovative outputs

Navneet Nagar
Ainan Exterprises, one of the distinguished PSPs, in Kota has garnered its popularity within a short span after its establishment. It has been just a matter of six years in the region’s signage market, but this signage company has impressed a number of corporate players. In this respect, Navneet Nagar, chief curator, Ainan, says all credit must go to the portfolio of machines they own. “We belief in quality outputs; so, right from the beginning, we always planned to adopt high-end machines that could meet the need of corporate customers,” he mentions, adding that they go as per the trends drifting in the market.

So far, Ainan has adopted some of the versatile high-end printers, namely, Mutoh ValueJet 1604 K4, Monotech Pixeljet and a solvent system with XAAR Proton printhead. In addition, the facility is also equipped with a line of finishing equipments like cutting plotters, laser engravers and radium cutters. So far, Ainan has tied up with a number of customers whom they call long-term acquaintances. To name a few, the list may include Skyksa, Oppo, Sony India, Fastrack and Kalyan Jewelers.

Ainan has two separate production setups of 1,790 sq ft and 1,000 sq ft respectively, which according to Navneet are meant for meeting the increasing demands for innovative outputs. About future expansion plan, he shares that they are planning to upgrade both the production setups with some brand new UV flatbed printers and CNC routers. The company is backed by a strong team of 14 professionals, among them are three designers. To fulfill the versatile needs of their clients, the production facility of Ainan is equipped with a single-colour offset machine, which is for some additional commercial printing job.

Bits Soft
One-stop shop for cut signs

Hemant Nigam
If experiences matter in bringing perfection to business, Bits Soft is an example as this two decades old signage firm is considerably one of the oldest and experienced players in the region’s signage market. Under the aegis of Hemant Nigam, this celebrated modular and cut-signage maker provides a plethora of display solutions under one roof, meeting all that required by their clients from different market clusters. Their job profile includes jali cutting, display boards, name plates and mementoes all crafted using highly-automated CNC and laser engraving machines.

Bits Soft boasts of its well-equipped production facility where installed a best-of-class GCC laser engraver and a CNC router. “Apart from the cutting and engraving machines, we have also a solvent printer with XAAR Proton printhead, which we particularly install for flex job,” says Hemant, adding that they have adopted a cutting plotter too for ACP applications. Kota being a city full of academic coaching institutes, signage companies work with them for projects of all kinds, be it promotional campaigns or interior classroom designs and graphics. Coaching institutes like Allen, Resonance and a chunk of food corners around the city are regular customers of Bits Soft.

Mentioning a landmark project they are proud of, Hemant says they have created five feet high and 35 ft long channel letters for Resonance, which had marked the largest of its kind in the city. Conclusively, he mentions about their expansion plan, which he says will be in terms of infrastructure. In this, the production set up of Bits Soft will soon be equipped with a line of UV and Latex printing systems. “Not only the technologies, we are also looking for updating our manpower,” asserts Hemant, explaining, “Absence of skilled workforce may lead to tardy production.”

Chishti Graphics
Young and forward

Being a new player with barely a couple of years of experience in the market, Chishti Graphics in Kota has a lot to accomplice and a handful of plans are kept in pipeline for future expansion. Under the leadership of Ali, a team of four well-trained sign making professionals forms the backbone of the company. The production facility of the company is now equipped with a Picojet with XAAR Photon printhead from Macart. “Our strong point now lies in our capability to meet delivery deadlines and commitment to installation services,” says Ali, adding that they expect to magnify their clientele into new size.

Apart from Kota, customers of Chishti Graphics can be traced down to neighbouring cities and town, such as Jaipur, Bundi, Jaisalmer, among others. According to Ali, a number of key projects for their customers have been accomplished in different parts of the state. That’s why they need to mark their presence in other parts of Rajasthan too, in an exclusive manner. “What we need to boost now is our production team, which is now quite small, but planning to make it bigger and stronger. As of now, when we handle big projects we hire a third party,” mentions Ali. When it comes to counting some of the leading customers of Chishty Graphics, a few names that can be enumerated may include Reliance Digital, Whole Mart and Reliance Communication.

Riddhi Siddhi Carving
Innovative routing works

Riddhi Siddhi Carving’s some standout routed works
Meeting demands for all kinds of variegated range of CNC-routed designs from a number of customers rushing from diverse market segments, Riddhi Siddhi Carving is one-of-its-kind signage firm with a specific focus area. Job profile of the company consists of spectacular designs ranging from two and three dimensional display items, which include everything right from mementoes up to wall panels of office buildings. “It’s quite exciting to work in this parameter as we are quite removed from what conventional sign or display item makers do. The excitement is for the fact that our outputs engross people’s eyeballs in the first place,” says Veer Kothari of Riddhi Siddhi Carving.

Incepted in the year 2013, Riddhi Siddhi Carving has been serving the industry under its mission statement ‘to maintain people’s choice’ at a sheer level of creativity, using an Excitech E-2-1325 CNC router. When enquired about the clients buzzing around their reception lobby, Veer says they are of local horde or just people who normally come down for jali, engraved doors, ceilings, walls and wood panels. The company is now planning to grab some good clientele sooner than later.

Preet Signage
Looking forward for update

Sherpal Singh
He began his career in the industry as a graphic designer, working in one of the popular PSPs in Kota; but Sherpal Singh always had a dream of opening his own sign-making unit. Just a few years back his dream came true when he eventually decided to open Preet Signage, unveiled with the accumulation of some big projects from various customers. “We are now in the very nascent stage; our aim is to make our production facility brawny by adding some new high-end machines for diverse applications, whether it could be printing or routing or engraving,” says Sherpal.

In addition to serving a lot of walk-in customers rushing from different parts of Kota city, Preet Signage has been closely associated with a bunch of mid-agencies based in big cities like Delhi. As long as the manpower at the signage firm is concerned, a small team of sign-making professionals at Preet Signage takes care of everything, right from designing (if required or requested by their clients) upto installations. “Further, we are now looking at the enhancement of our production team in which separate divisions will be formed for mixed purposes,” mentions Sherpal.

Apart from prints, Preet Signage is equally focusing on illuminated display systems. “LED jobs are just a new addition to our job profile; but we are planning to expand it further in near future. For this, we have to do some research and development work,” says Sherpal, adding that illuminated sign systems, based on LEDs, are what the industry is expecting for a next-level boom in the market, because a lot still remains unexplored in this domain.

Paliwal Traders
Vendor of corporate biggies

Sandeep Paliwal
Having been in the region’s signage market since the days when there was hardly any large-format printing machine around, Paliwal Traders had marked its establishment around 25 years ago, with the adoption of merely a plotting machine. “In the first place, we had engaged in a few limited jobs that mainly comprised making of name/vehicle number plates and a few signage items. But in due course of time and changes keep ushering in the tradition of sign making, we have upgraded ourselves to provide complete signage solutions,” says Sandeep Paliwal, founder, Paliwal Traders. Now that the company has upgraded its production set up to a new level, a line of capable machines are running, and planning further for more to be added to the portfolio.

Job profile of Paliwal Traders as on today is defined to be a complete signage solution provider. Its customers, which include right from walk-in crowd to corporate biggies, are constantly thronged at the company’s reception lobby to grab anything they require, be it printed graphics, LED-embedded sign systems, outdoor hoarding, engraved metal letters, and more. A well-established vendor for corporate leaders, Paliwal Traders has been associated with a number of leading companies, such as Adani, Oppo and Vodafone, in the company’s current client list.

Production facility of Paliwal Traders is equipped with a set of quality printers/machines, which include a Gongzheng Solvent and a GCC Laser Engraver from Mehta Cad Cam Systems, all equipped in a state-of-the-art setup of 5,000 sq ft. The company caters a wide range of applications including vinyl graphics, backlit items, etc. In addition, Paliwal Traders is an expertise in making LED boards. A team of 13 adept professionals forms the backbone behind all competencies in production, fabrication and installation jobs of the company. In their future plan, Sandeep is thinking of adopting a UV printer and a four feet CNC router.