Making it in India – Interview with Metamark’s CEO Phil Wild

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Metamark is among the world’s most progressive and respected materials brands. The company, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, manufactures the materials it sells in its Lancaster-based factory and has a second UK location dedicated to its marketing function in the South of England near London in Woking. Metamark is expanding its global reach and now makes its products available in over fifty countries – including India. Metamark’s CEO, Phil Wild had an exclusive interview with Sign & Graphics and shared the company’s plans involving new partnerships, new products and its ongoing organic growth among other things…

Sign & Graphics: How long have you been leading Metamark?

Phil Wild: I joined Metamark as its CEO at the beginning of the year and before that I spent more than three decades in director level roles at 3M and FTSE listed businesses. I’ve joined the company at an exciting time in its growth as it enters new markets and expands its international presence.

S&G: Well, what’s your first impression of the Indian signage market?

PW: My impression is wholly positive. There are commonalities with other large markets in Europe and North America, but the modern Indian sign industry is emerging with its own personality and needs. It’s a very vibrant and energised market – something in which India can be proud.

S&G: What do you say about the prospects in the current Indian signage market?

PW: In a word, exciting. India is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing economies and lots of brands and businesses want to be a part of that. This means they have a need for local promotion, something the sign industry here certainly has the skills to fulfil. With all the inward investment here and a very educated and industrious workforce, the prospects must be good.

S&G: Can you say something about Metamark’s products that are now available here?

PW: Sure. We have some very exciting things that we’ve recently introduced and a wonderful portfolio of legacy products for signage that are used around the world. I am very positive about our MiA textured films for architectural applications. Sign-makers can work with those using skills and tools they already have and deliver amazing transformation of things like walls, partitions and furniture. Our window films will be very popular here and I’m sure as they help with both branding and human comfort in buildings. We are also delivering innovative signage solutions to customers across India, for example, combining our Backlit Flex and Translucent products to meet the needs of demanding specifiers and applications. We are very proud of our environmental credentials too, which is central to our company’s values and is represented in our products.

S&G: What products are in demand?

PW: Because our products are designed to reflect real needs in the market, demand is very consistent. For example, our digital media, quite aside from delivering superb results, is very easy and trouble-free for people to work with. That’s the way we design and make products. It’s a big part of what makes Metamark special.

S&G: How do you maintain Metamark’s dealership in India?

PW: We partner with a few selective dealers in India who we consider having the capability to work jointly with us and grow the opportunity in the Indian market together. Despite being a UK-based company, we believe in acting locally by teaming up with local specifiers and customers. Our team in India is wholly composed of Indian staff who professionally represent Metamark (India) and understand the local market very well.

S&G: Are you planning to expand the dealership network in India?

PW: Rather than expanding the regional network initially, we are currently focused on building awareness of our products and the Metamark brand. This will ultimately enable us to gain a wider reach in the market and establish our credentials as a high-quality supplier

S&G: India is a price sensitive market – what challenges do you face in that regard?

PW: India may well be sensitive to prices but it’s no different in other discerning markets. Our products can be trusted to perform. Metamark quality, leading-edge performance and versatility, and service are our priority, often with an improved value compared to other brands.

S&G: What’s your goodwill message to the Indian customers and partners?

PW: We have been here in India for a few years now, we are growing, and our brand is gaining popularity. We are local, and we are happy with our local customers and partners. We would like to grow together with everyone involved. We value long-term relationships with converters and sign makers. Whenever there’s a mistake let’s resolve it together! And whenever there’s success let’s all celebrate it!