Hannu Marketing ready for the big leap
The company’s story is that of thoughtful and committed partners who dreamt of professionalism and modernisation in the rigid and conventional print business mind-set of Kolkata. Words: Dibyajyoti Sarma
18 Aug 2021 | By PrintWeek Team
The 30-year-old Delhi-based company is all set to serve its clients as soon as the market opens, with a focus on green technology and with an ambition to be a one-stop solution provider for all branding solutions.
Established in 1993, at a time when OOH was still a nascent segment, Delhi-based Hannu Marketing has today emerged as one of the biggest digital printing and signage solution companies in the country, with a production unit spread across 50,000-sqft area in Udyog Nagar, a strong nation-wide network and best-in-class technology.
Hannu Marketing was started by Vinod Gupta, “with the technology available at the time,” says Vinod Gupta, managing director, Hannu Marketing. Shalu Gupta, director, Hannu Marketing, the second-generation of the company, adds, “The credit for investing in technology goes to my father. He is completely future-oriented. He has a vision, especially for what is coming next.”
Vinod Gupta explains: “Investment in technology always give you the first-mover advantage, and an edge over the competition. Our idea is not to solve just the price problems. Our idea is to offer and manufacture what a customer can afford. I believe, this is the reason we are still in the business after 30-odd years. And it’s not an easy task, especially in the segment we are in. In our business, every day is a struggle, and we are on it for the last three decades.”
So, here’s the secret to Hannu’s success: Keep finding new technologies that can help the company grow and benefit the customers.
Even the current pandemic and the ensuing downturn hasn’t failed to dampen the spirit. Thus, late last year, the company invested in an HP Latex R2000 and Esko Kongsberg X-Series cutting table.
“With these installations, we are prepared to serve our customers whenever the market opens,” Gupta says. “After the pandemic, only those who are prepared and quipped will survive, as there will be no time once the market opens and things are streamlined.”
Another aspect of this preparedness is the company’s willingness to offer green production to its customers. “We are willing to offer our clients 100% eco-friendly solutions. Going forward, we want to become a green organisation. And we urge people in this industry to become more concerned for the environment,” says Gupta. “This is why we invested in the Kongsberg cutting table, and wide-format printers from EFI and HP. We want to expand our client base and expand our portfolio of services to include green printing.”
“At the moment, both our HP Latex and EFI machines are Greenguard Gold certified. So, this aspect is completely green. Now, if a client wants to opt for green media, we can offer a 100% green solution,” he explains.
This is the vision. But Gupta is realistic. India being a price-sensitive market, it’s very difficult to jump to a technology in one go. But he is hopeful. “Slowly and steadily, it’s changing. Especially after Covid-19, people are giving more importance to green technology. We have customers who are opting for green technology, not many currently, but the number is increasing,” he says.
This adaption to green technology will also need education, and Gupta says, the company does try to educate its clients. “In India, we have this mentality to first see what others are doing, before deciding to do the same.
So, the technology adaption is less. Its time, people took the lead towards adopting green technology,” he adds.
Woman on top
Another new at Hannu Marketing is the induction of Shalu Gupta, the next-generation, as director. Printing as an industry, and the signage segment, in particular, is traditionally male-dominated, but Shalu Gupta believes as the segment is all about how things look and how you present a product before your target audience, a woman can play an important role because “women understand it in a deeper manner than men do,” she says.
Also, knowledge helps. “If I’m technically sound, it will increase my confidence while dealing with clients’ queries or any issues that may come upon the shopfloor. If we don’t have the knowledge, it would be difficult to represent ourselves in front of our customers and the market,” she adds.
She explains: “Earlier, lack of information was a big issue for women. But now, things are improving, and information is becoming more accessible. Now, I see more and more women joining the industry. As we work with all the major brands, on the other side of the table, we have seen a lot of women in the marketing department.”
Gupta says awareness and knowledge are the basics. Then comes acceptance. “When I joined, I was not familiar with many people. But when I started meeting and interacting, people from the industry gave me positive responses. I think they have accepted the fact that a daughter can also join this kind of business,” she says.
And at the end of the day, gender doesn’t matter. What matters is work ethics. Every day, there is something new, and you need to go out there, find a solution, adapt to it, and see what you can offer to your clients. You cannot just install a machine and sit tight; you have to go out and sell it.
A strong academic background helps. Shalu Gupta comes from a finance background. After her MBA from IIFT, she was taught to be an investment banker and landed herself a job as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs. “The job was good, but then I realised that instead of doing a job, I could help my family business. I was interested in this because I’ve seen the journey since my childhood. I have seen campaigns happen in front of me. I’ve seen my father teach people about colour and everything related to job,” she says.
A woman’s perspective
The first thing Shalu Gupta did after joining the company was to increase Hannu’s online presence, which was very minimal. “Right now, we have a dedicated and separate team for online activities. A lot of players in our industry don’t feel the need to have an online presence. But we are in a connected world, and we need to have our presence on all platforms. For example, if anyone is looking for an assignment, I should be on the list.
Getting business is another thing, but at least your presence must be there,” she says.
She explains: “The idea was to have more online presence for educating people about what we do and what services we provide so that we can increase the reach and probably also expand into different sectors. We can expand into the areas, segments and markets which are on our radar for a long time and we couldn’t enter. We can help people offer out of the box solutions in terms of solutions we provide. This is the reason I’m convinced that putting up a flatbed printer and finishing equipment is cool.”
Ultimately, Hannu Marketing wants to establish itself as a one-stop solution provider. “If you want branding solutions, we should be able to satisfy most of your needs, if not all. That’s the idea,” Shalu Gupta says.
She gives the example of a shopping mall as the kind of service provider the company wants to become. “The idea is to go beyond being a printing facility. We want to associate with brands for all their branding requirements. When a brand comes to me, I should be able to give them different types of signage, display items, point of sale items, and so on,” she explains.
It was the same idea behind the company’s investment in India’s first of India’s first HP Latex R2000. “Its architecture makes it is a robust, lightweight and modern machine. It is a very versatile hybrid printer,” she says.
Now, the goal is to be present in as many sectors as possible. “I would like to have a variety of clients because we are in a dynamic industry. If one sector doesn’t perform well, another will help us to survive and grow. So, we would want to keep an array of different clients in different sectors,” she says.