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Articles July-August 2023

Epson Captures Big Screen Mapping Projector's Demand at AV-ICN Expo New!

Yoshino San shared Epson's strategy, purpose, and exhibit display theme at AV-ICN expo with Chopra San. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Post Show Review: 11th PALM Sound and Light Awards New!

PALM Sound & Light Awards honoured deserving individuals and companies from the pro sound and lighting industry in its 11th edition. read more

Articles July-August 2023

AV-ICN Expo's AV Architect of the Year New!

In a dramatic moment at the 11th PALM Sound & Light Awards, Founder Anil Chopra announced Kelvin Ashby-King the 'AV Architect of the Year' 2023. read more

Articles July-August 2023

PALM Expo 2023 Achieves Recognition from Global Brands New!

PALM Expo 2023 returned with its 21st edition, drawing exhibitors and at¬tendees from around the globe, simultaneously placing the Indian pro audio and lighting indus¬try on the map. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Pro AV Mass Market Momentum Emphasizes AV-ICN Expo Success New!

AV-ICN Expo 2023 took place at the BEC, Mumbai, once again marking its presence as the torchbearer for the AV industry in India. read more

Articles May-June 2023

BenQ LH730 - The Next Revolution in High Brightness LED Projection New!

BenQ's 4LED High Brightness Projector is a game changer in education and the corporate customer segments that ensures a never-seen-before image clarity and increased lifespan. read more

Articles May-June 2023

Christie Griffyn Series Delivers Game-Changing Solution for Large-Venue Projections New!

A Christie representative explains why the Christie Griffyn Series is an all-in-one solution for large venue projections as one of the smallest, lightest, and brightest RGB series available. read more

Articles May-June 2023

EYTE Technologies Pvt Ltd Brings AV Hybrid Classroom for Indira Group, Pune New!

EYTE Technologies Pvt Ltd transforms the learning ways with the installation of cutting-edge AV systems at Indira Group of Institutes Management College. read more

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11 Questions with Pio Nahum ----- September - October 2018 Issue!

Pio Nahum, entered the lighting industry in 1990 and acquired top management positions in multinational leading groups. The lighting industry veteran has a wide experience in managing sales and marketing of high quality capital equipment and is now at the helm of one of the most successful lighting brands in the world – Clay Paky. In this lighting special issue of the magazine, Mr. Nahum sheds light on Clay Paky innovations through the years, the global stage lighting industry, the role Clay Paky has played in the global LED market, his strategy for the Indian Market and everything else in between.

1. From Nuclear Engineering to the lighting did this shift come about. Please tell us a little about your journey in the lighting industry.

CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CLAY PAKY

No industry is more dynamic and interesting than stage lighting. When I discovered Claypaky and its products in 1988, I fell in love with this world, and since then I have only worked in the lighting industry. After starting with Claypaky, I spent many years with Martin Professional. Then, when the LED boom started, I moved to the architectural sector, which is certainly a bigger market, but at the same time much less dynamic. That’s why I chose to return to Claypaky. I consider myself very lucky because I have experienced many exciting moments in my career related to the success of new products. Ours is an industry where the “right” product determines the success of a company, and - in the world of emotions - the right product can only be and always has to be an innovative product.

2. What was the main factor that helped Clay Paky become one of the topmost players in the professional lighting market and what according to you was the first lighting innovation by Clay Paky that established the company as a major brand?

There are no doubts that Claypaky has two success factors: its ability to create true innovation and the intrinsic quality of its products. Claypaky’s history begins more than 40 years ago, and in its first ten years of life Claypaky became known throughout the world for its innovative “moving” light effects for discos. At that time, we had no Chinese competitors. There were a couple of companies in Taiwan, and the other competitors were in Europe, especially in Italy. Electronics were not yet widespread due to the high cost. Claypaky was able to create some “electro-mechanical” products, which became icons like the Astroraggi and the Astrodisco. The second big revolution which Claypaky brought about was the moving mirror lights. It started in 1988 with the invention of the Golden Scan, which marked the arrival of electronics in our industry. The Golden Scan was the most famous Claypaky product for a long time. It was invented for the discos, but it also proved to be ideal as a moving light for rental companies and allowed us to enter the world of “professional show lighting”, which today accounts for almost all of our business. However the new generations know Claypaky for another great invention: the SHARPY. With this small light that generates a powerful, parallel beam, Claypaky invented a new category, which did not exist before: the “narrow-beam-light”, which joins the profile spotlights and wash lights. Today no one puts on a show without beam-lights, which - besides being spectacular - are the only ones whose aerial effects are visible against scenery full of LED walls. Dozens of Sharpy imitations have been made, with a huge impact on the market. Speaking of the Clay Paky innovations, we cannot forget the B-EYE, which revolutionized the world of LED wash lights, by transforming them from simple colour changers into spectacular effects lights for visual and aerial effects. And how not to mention the Mythos and the Scenius Unico, the first true hybrid lights, able to be a spotlight, a beam-light, and even a wash light at the same time.

So, in its history, Claypaky has been able to win over its customers precisely through innovation, which means knowing how to use the most up-to-date technology to meet the real needs of those who work in the business.

3. Clay Paky became a part of the Osram Group less than five years ago and two years ago acquired ADB Lighting Technologies. How have the mergers enhanced the Clay Paky manufacturing and R&D process or is there a downside? Please also elaborate a little on the Research & Development process at Clay Paky?

Claypaky has always been a financially sound company. This means that joining the Osram group was important mainly because it allowed us to organize ourselves better by adopting the best practices that only a multinational group like Osram could bring. The second big advantage is that Osram is the most important LED manufacturer in the world and has totally mastered this technology. With Osram’s advice, we have completely reorganized our research and development, and today the processes are perfectly structured and we are able to manage many new product projects in parallel. We have added highly specialized engineers to our team, especially in the electronics sector and in digitization. On the other hand, the decision to take over ADB stemmed from our desire to enter the theatre world through the front door, by offering not only Claypaky moving lights, but also static lights, dimmers and control desks; in short, a complete package and a complete service. In the coming months, we will launch many new ADB products with LED technology on the market. Claypaky’s and ADB’s R&Ds have been merged to exploit all possible synergies.

4. Which other international lighting manufacturers do you consider as the closest competition to Clay Paky in terms of quality products and why?

In our industry, referring solely to the concept of technical product quality is - in my opinion - limiting. We are in the show business, where success depends very much on the “wow effect”. This ultimately means the ability to create innovation. I divide the players on our market into two categories: true innovators and followers, and my respect goes above all to the innovators, who are the ones you can legitimately compare Claypaky to. I have to say that our Asian competitors are virtually all followers, and it is no coincidence that Claypaky has always been the most copied brand by Chinese manufacturers. I could give endless examples. Fortunately the most important lighting designers cannot do without truly innovative products, and that is why they continue to specify and use Claypaky lights. You can also find decent products made in Asia, but they are never the newest. Rental companies investing in a Claypaky light know that they will have an immediate return on their investment, and will be able to satisfy the most demanding of their customers.

5. Clay Paky quality is well-understood across the world but how do you maintain that quality when using manufacturing locations located outside Italy? Are you also manufacturing in China?

In principle, the sales volumes in our industry would not justify production facilities outside Italy. However, there are customs barriers and local protectionism, which make it interesting to have a factory in certain countries. Claypaky is lucky to belong to the Osram group, which has production locations all over the world (including China), and above all a rigorous quality system that guarantees the highest quality levels, regardless of the manufacturing site. Our construction standards require us always to make products that meet international quality and safety standards, without exception. Wherever our lights are manufactured, they comply not only with CE but also with UL certification.

6. With the AXCOR PROFILE 900, Clay Paky launched a new course in its design research by using a LED light source, instead of a traditional discharge lamp. What do you think is going to be the next biggest innovation in lighting after LED?

The AXCOR 900 is only the first moving head LED spotlight we have launched. Just a few months after the AXCOR 900, we already expanded the family. It now includes the AXCOR Spot 300, the AXCOR Beam 300, the AXCOR Wash 300, the AXCOR Profile 400 and the AXCOR Profile 600. All this happened in the space of twelve months, and those who know our job can imagine the huge amount of work that went into this. Today Claypaky is able to offer two complete lighting fixture ranges, one with LED sources and one with discharge lamps. It is up to the customers to choose: whatever their need is, we have the right product. However, it is clear that LEDs are becoming more and more important, and this technology is continuously being improved. For many years, this will be the technology found in the vast majority of applications. In some, a few, for example in the very high power range, different technologies will be used, which are being experimented, but it is still too early to talk about it.

7. What excites you about lighting technology and the lighting industry today?

We have had more exciting times than today’s. Our business has become more mature, and a consolidation process is under way, which is more the job of a manager than a business owner. There is a great “flattening” among the products, which tend to resemble each other. This trend is made even more extreme by LED technology, because the sources and components used are all very similar. When product features were depending more on mechanical components, there was more space to create innovation and higher differentiation. However, there is one thing that excites me in today’s market, and that is the importance of time-to-market, communication and marketing. They are sophisticated tools, able to define a new level of differentiation between competitors. The complexity of the products has grown, and it is important to explain customers how to get the best from them.

8. How do you think the stage lighting industry has changed globally in the last five years? And how do you think India fits into this global scenario?

In general, the industry has become more professional both from a technical and a business point of view. We can see this trend in India too, but the change is slower. In India there is a propensity to accept more compromises on the quality both of the products used and the service offered.

9. Would you say Clay Paky is “extremely affordable” or “rather expensive”? Which international market is currently on top of the sales list for Clay Paky

We sell capital goods, tools for professionals that have to generate a financial return for the rental companies and satisfy their customers, i.e. the show producers and the public. Once you realize this, the price becomes a pure perception. I think that our prices correspond to the performance, quality and reliability we provide. That is why our most important markets are the ones where customers are more technologically advanced: the USA, Germany, Russia, the UK, etc.

10. In India, in which segment (fixed install, rental etc.) do you see most potential for Clay Paky lighting and how do you plan to infiltrate that segment and what are the company’s short and long-term goals for the India market?

We have a very wide range of products that fit all applications. However, the segment that is most interesting for us is that of rental companies and television. Our first project is to introduce our new products to all potential customers in India, and improve our presence throughout the country, which must be stronger and more widespread. We are arranging to visit more customers and create events where we can present our products.

11. Clay Paky story is one of constant innovation and forward transformation, what according to you are the three main milestones in terms of product development in the history of Clay Paky? And what is your vision for the company for the next five years?

I have already mentioned the products that have marked Claypaky’s history: the Astroraggi, the Golden Scan and the Sharpy. In 40 years, the market has changed many times, and Claypaky has been able to adapt to these changes and constantly remain in a top position in terms of size and reputation. The changes are ongoing and the future is full of challenges, but I am sure Claypaky will be able to overcome them, as it has done throughout its history. We have the resources, we have the know-how, we have mastered digitization, and we have the ideas. With the help of our parent company Osram, Claypaky will grow even more and will remain the industry leader.


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