Indian Wedding Albums: Big Potential in a Growing Market

Lior Meron
Mar 19, 2013

The Indian graphic arts market as a whole is fascinating and fast growing. However, there is one area of particular interest for digital printing: the wedding industry. According to recent research, there are around 12,000 weddings held every day in India and around 1.5 million photos are taken on each of these wedding days. All of these marriages have the potential to drive the production of multiple wedding albums and related photo merchandise.

Indian weddings are lavish affairs. It’s an occasion on which Indians do not mind spending generously. Some Indians spend as much as one fifth of their accumulated lifetime wealth on a wedding ceremony. The growing popularity of theme weddings has opened up new vistas for those associated with the industry. Over the years, weddings in India have become more organized as additional players have ventured into this rapidly growing market. This presents a huge opportunity for everyone related to the wedding industry, including print service providers. (Current estimates put the number of Indian print service providers offering this application at around 11,000.)

The importance of this segment was evident at the Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair (CEIF) held in New Delhi in January 2013 where many major vendors (either directly or through their local partners) showed wedding photo book applications. This included Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Sony, Xerox, and Zeiss among others. Interviews that InfoTrends conducted at the show indicate that a typical price per wedding album ranges from about 54,000 to 270,000 rupees (the equivalent of $1,000 to $5,000).

A February 5, 2012 article in Business Today reports that about 5% to 10% of an Indian wedding budget goes towards applications like wedding albums, photo books, invitations, and greeting cards. The average budget for an Indian wedding ceremony ranges from around 19 lakh (1.9 million rupees or approximately $34,000) to as much as 5.5 crores (55 million rupees or approximately $1 million) for an upper or middle classwedding. Indians are growing richer and this is another reason they are willing to spend more on weddings. As recently as fifteen years ago, it was common to spend around 10,000 rupees (approximately $185) on a photo album. Now prices between 50,000 and 300,000 rupees (approximately $900 to $5,500) are not uncommon. (Keep in mind that some wedding albums are extensively reworked with metallic effects and jewel work in addition to the printing.)

A July 27, 2012 article in the Hindustan Times reports that the Indian wedding industry is growing at 25% annually and puts the total size of the industry at $25 billion. With the increasing household wealth and more disposable income in India, the wedding market of the country could easily double within the next decade. Wedding albums and other wedding-related photo merchandise have a huge potential and are one of the big reasons for the success of production color digital print in the Indian market. InfoTrends estimates that around 60% of the HP Indigo presses installed in India are being used for these kinds of photo applications. At the recent PrintPack India show in February, wedding albums were a prime application on display, with examples from Canon, HP Indigo, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Scodix, Xerox, and others. Ricoh showed similar examples in an off-site facility during the show.

The opportunity for production digital color print in the Indian market is accentuated by the fact that many wedding albums today, as much as 70% of the total, are still being produced using silver halide processes. Silver halide, while producing high quality, has a significant drawback: simplex-only output. To make a photo album with dual-sided pages, silver halide sheets must be glued back to back.

This adds a workflow step and increases the thickness of the album with no true benefit. Over time it is clear that more Indian wedding album volume will shift from silver halide to production digital print. This represents another good trend for print service providers in India who have embraced digital print.

InfoTrends is increasingly active in India and other parts of Asia Pacific. We’ve published coverage of CEIF 2013 and other shows, and will be publishing a PrintPack 2013 show report shortly. We have also recently completed research on the production digital print market in India.

Lior Meron is InfoTrends’ Director of Asia Pacific. You can contact him at lior@infotrends.com. A show review of CEIF is available to InfoTrends clients.

 

 

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