Hetul Thakkar: In retail space, the major challenge is finding skilled professionals

In a conversation with the PrintWeek India team during In-Store Asia 2019 in Mumbai, Hetul Thakkar, founder, Gallant Printing Solutions, shares his views on retail space trends.

25 Mar 2019 | By Sujith Ail

Hetul Thakkar, founder, Gallant Printing Solutions

What’s the big take away from the retail space in the past 12 months?  
For us, the past 12 months have been a steep incline in terms of growth. We excelled in our focus areas, which were signage. The key takeaway was the tier I and rural market spend, and urbanisation at a rapid scale that fuelled our growth.

What is tough to produce in this day and age when you have to compete with international design expectations for Indian conditions?
Today, every kind of technology and material is at our disposal. Thanks to our neighbours, China, who have grown substantially in this space, minimising the effort for us to reinvent the wheel. Today, the challenge is finding skilled professionals, as there is no formal education in implementation. Our skilled staffs are yet to evolve compared to their counterparts in the international markets.

Large-format creative indoor displays for shops and giant POS props and floor-standing units, vinyl hoardings and signage, screen and digital print for windows or shop in shop? What is trending?
POPs, FSUs and digital screens.

UV inkjet flatbed has been disrupting the market with superior window dressing and retails products with 3D and thermoforming and doming. What has been your experience?
UV printing has matured to its prime now, but the substrates sometimes are still challenging. Thermoforming and doming is still a niche and it's enjoying a premium position in the POP market, as there are very few players.

Your take on the online versus offline retail shoppers!
Online has disrupted the urban space and they still face a huge last mile challenge. India has huge potential left for offline retail.

Any project that you are proud of?
Foodhall in Bandra.