The digital signage industry in India is looked upon as the solution to the alarming hazards posed by the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flex signage industry in India. A digital signage unit like outdoor LED display board is essentially a capital equipment requiring substantial initial investment. This is a challenging proposition for most Indian out of home (OOH) media companies that manage hundreds or thousands of display locations across the country. A business can’t make such capital investments without adequate funding or bankrolling followed by comprehensive insurance coverage of the expensive assets.
Is a blanket ban on PVC flex signage helpful?
At least two Indian states, Chattisgarh and Karnataka that had tried to impose a blanket ban on PVC flex, was unable to gain much success from the exercise. They are facing strong resistance from the formidable PVC flex industry lobby which has grown very big today with sustenance of hundreds of thousands of folks at stake. The ban came down like a bolt from the blue and completely disrupted the market in these two states. A well-entrenched industry showing strong growth year on year can’t be locked down overnight without a viable alternative at hand.
Importance of domestic manufacturing capacity
The Indian OOH market is among the largest in the world with tremendous potential for growth when digital OOH (DOOH) products like outdoor LED video wall takes over the billboards. Currently, it is less than 5% of the country’s OOH market and is almost totally dependent on costly and complex imports, mainly from China. Ösel is one of the few indigenous manufacturers of world class digital signage products that are making a dent in the monopoly of overseas suppliers and it has already made a good impact on Indian customers.
Subsidies from the government are vital
The government must offer attractive subsidies to indigenous manufacturers like Osel who take the initiative of setting up well-integrated production units in the country. This will enable the Indian manufacturers to pass on the price advantage even for large outdoor LED display board units to the customers. It will also help them build up sizeable servicing support infrastructure, which is critical for customers’ optimum return on investment (ROI) from such capital intensive products. This is how the PVC flex signage manufacturing base in India grew so rapidly to dominate over two-thirds of the market in the country.