Digital media is becoming more dominant

Channel Post recently spoke to Ravinder Kumar, the General Manager for the Business Solutions Division at Sharp Middle East to speak about the trends in the regional digital signage industry.

Ravinder Kumar, the General Manager for the Business Solutions Division at Sharp Middle East.
Ravinder Kumar, the General Manager for the Business Solutions Division at Sharp Middle East.

How important is digital signage solutions for the business solutions division at Sharp Middle East?
The Business Solutions Division at Sharp Middle East focuses on a wide range of products and solutions. One of the major focus areas for us is the regional digital signage solutions arena. We recently represented this business unit and solutions at Infocomm, and we have been participating in that event for the past three years.

The digital signage solutions we offer today include different kinds of displays such as multi-display products, interactive displays, see-through displays, mirror displays , and so much more.

As for industry sector, we cover a wide range of verticals such as education, health, tourism, food industry, entertainment, retail, hospitality, and so on. We also have in-house capabilities to offer various content solutions, and hence Sharp can offer end-to-end solutions as far as digital signage is concerned.

What sort of trends do you foresee for digital signage solutions in the region?
More and more digital media is being embraced now, and hence it out-beats feasibility. If you are running a retail store for example, the print cost is much higher than digital media.

This is because digital signage solutions are becoming more dominant and with the dynamism they offer, you can change the content suiting the current trends with ease.

Imagine if you had a chain of say 25 restaurants – how tedious would managing various promos be. If you were using print media, imagine the amount of money that would go into producing flyers, posters and so on.

On the other hand, if you use digital media, the cost is minimised and deploying such promos would be a walk in the park. Digital media and signage solutions offer the flexibility of deploying such solution instantly.

What is the USP of your products compared to the competition?
We have some products which are unique in their own right. Sharp currently offers 60-inch video wall panels and we are the only company that sells 90-inch LED screens.

We are also selling out of the box interactive panels and we have been selling the largest display, which is 108-inch LCD panel for the last six years. We are bringing our customers some unique products.

What sort of channel strategies do you follow?
We have a very open channel strategy. We always go through our channel partners. We do not sell the products directly to the customer. We also have some regular induction and orientation programs that are conducted quarterly.

We also run specific promotions for system integrators regionally. We are the regional headquarters for Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. Currently we cover over 80 countries across the region.

We are also starting to operate small offices in Morocco, South Africa, Kazakhstan, and so on. We are educating the market more and more so latest technologies are adopted faster. We are also producing volume-centric products for markets that do not spend a lot on newer technologies.