Inkjet printer market in India has been majorly dominated by Canon since its foray into inkjet printer business three years ago. With the launch of PIXMA G Series printers, the brand has cemented its stronghold in this fastest-growing printing segment. Canon has been also very aggressive in bringing innovative laser printing solutions in the commercial segment, where they aim to further boost profitability and market share. C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products Division and Image Communication Products Division, recently interacted with DT and shared his entire channel plans for the India market.
Q: How was the year 2019 for Canon business in India?
A: We began 2019 on a very good note, when early last year, we extended our PIXMA G series with 5 new models, namely GM2070, GM 4070, G6070, G5070 and G 7070. We witnessed several milestones over last year, which were instrumental for our exponential growth in the country. Currently, our Consumer Systems Products (CSP) division contributes 25% to the overall business growth at Canon India. In the printing segment, inkjet has been a very strong segment for us which was largely driven by the CISS segment (Continuous Ink Supply Systems). Within three years of our foray into the ink tank category, we have achieved a remarkable growth in the inkjet printer segment in India, registering the highest growth in 2018 in the category amongst other brands. To boost our product outreach, we have established more PIXMA Zones and OIC Signature Stores in 2019. As of today, we have 78 PIXMA Zones and 511 OIC stores in India. We further aim to amplify our reach and cover 92 percent of the PIN codes pan India.
Q: What will remain key fuelling factor for laser market to grow in year 2020?
A: The increasing requirement for advanced printing solution is directly proportional to the rising business of the Laser Printer, which is aided by the latest technological advancements that the machines bring forth. The overall laser market size can be pegged at 1.1 million (Jan-Sep’19) and there has been a rapid rise in the market for laser printers in the commercial sector. Hence, our focus will be to grow within commercial segment with a strategic shift towards high value customers and maintain a profitable commercial market share in laser segment. There have been many market challenges since the past few years, but we believe in converting those challenges to opportunities and striving hard to continue with delivering better solutions. We are optimistic for the coming year 2020, as we plan to expand our retail footprint across tier III and tier IV markets to connect with consumers at every touchpoint.
Q: How do you see the adoption of Ink Tank printers (Inkjet) among SMBs/SMEs?
A: The overall size of the market of inkjet is at 1.4 million (Jan-Sep’19) and the industry is continuously evolving in the SMB/SME segment in India, and it has witnessed various technological innovations. Traditionally, India has been a laser dominated market targeting SMEs and corporates whereas inkjet printers was targeted towards home user segments. However, with the introduction of Ink Tank printers, inkjet printers have made their way to small and medium businesses. Our range of PIXMA G-series printers are equipped with a host of features that will cater to the varied print requirements of the SME and SOHO segment across India. With our launch of new monochrome printers last year, PIXMA GM2070, we reinforced our presence in the ink tank industry, with an integrated design, automatic two-sided printing, large paper feeding capacity, and full network compatibility, for high print volume demands, mainly targeting the SMB/office segment.
Q: What is your plan to boost channel strength in near future?
A: We have noticed that the consumers are adapting different channels for making their purchases, therefore, we ensure our presence across all the platforms. Over the years, we have extended and strengthened our outreach among platforms, including exclusive stores, large format retails outlets, e-commerce, TV shopping and IT Retail stores, etc. Channel partners have played an important role in our success story and as one of our key stakeholders, they have enabled us to strengthen our foothold in the industry and reach out to diverse range of customers. With a strong network of 100 distributors and 3000 channel partners across the length and breadth of the country, we endeavour to further consolidate our regional presence.