Indian pre-media firm opens for UK business

Hannah Jordan
Thursday, September 30, 2021

SGO, the packaging repro services arm of the Chennai-headquartered pre-media training firm YesGo, has opened an office in the UK as it sets its sights on growing its business here and in Europe.

Furlonger, left, with YesGo founder and CEO Nizam Appas
Furlonger, left, with YesGo founder and CEO Nizam Appas

Opening its doors last month, SGO UK is headed by European commercial director Stephen Furlonger who told Printweek the business was predominantly targeting brand owners, with in-house design facilities, and small businesses in the packaging, artwork and creative markets that are interested in taking advantage of the benefits of off-shoring repro.

“SGO as a business is ready and able to service the requirements not just of brand owners who want to go direct but also organisations, perhaps smaller firms that have seen the advantages of off-shoring, like rapid turnaround, overnight delivery, quality work and lower pricing,” Furlonger explained.

He said the initial focus of SGO UK would be on offering pre-media services but that as time went on it would look at placing print production and finishing services too, with geographical placement of work dependent on the job.

“There are some things that are easier to do on a remote basis than others. As technology develops, some of the things that are tricky to manage in that way will become easier.”

Furlonger, who has a broad background across advertising, marketing and designer packaging markets, latterly as UK managing director for SGS & Co, said that aside from the UK he would be targeting clients across northern and eastern Europe.

He said SGO India was already well-established in providing pre-media services to global brand owners and other companies wanting to take advantage of local labour costs and expertise and that rather than the ‘traditional’ model of international businesses setting up in-house Indian offices to benefit from off-shoring, they were turning it on its head.

He said: “There are perfectly good, technically-advanced and infrastructure-ready organisations within the region that can service the requirement and the need. What they lack is the ability to communicate and penetrate traditional domestic markets on the same footing.

“So, instead of being a large European or US company wanting to set things up over there [in India] to lower their costs, SGO is saying we’re an Indian company bringing what we do to you. Instead, they can tap into an existing resource such as SGO Premedia which has gone through the growing pains and established the expertise and readiness and is fit for purpose.

"What SGO is doing is incredibly brave and I think will be incredibly successful,” he added.

Other firms are recognising opportunities in the UK as well, with Indigo Premedia, which outsources work to India and other low-cost economies, also recently opening a UK operation.

Furlonger said competition in any market could only be a healthy thing.

“If we have competition that is wonderful. It will turn the existing establishment on its head, which would be a great thing.”

Founder and chief executive of the YesGo group, Nizam Appas, said SGO Premedia UK aimed to provide UK and European businesses with direct access to highly skilled, experienced and motivated teams of operators in India.

“High end infrastructure solutions such as [those from] Esko ensure that we deliver with total confidence, including complex automated workflow solutions,” he explained.

“This is offshore with a difference; our clients and teams are supported with experienced technical and management personnel in the domestic country. We may be offshore, but our relationships are real time and on the ground.

“Pre-media plays a pivotal role in the delivery of consistently perfect final output print and packaging. Plenty of global pre-media houses have operations in India, often outsourcing work which lengthens the process and reduces efficiency.”

He said that SGO was “reversing the process by building its own service capability in the UK, directly and fully integrated with the India-based production facility for a seamless, efficient and accurate workflow”.

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