The printing industry in India has witnessed a huge transformation in the last few years. Markets players are investing a lot to develop innovative, cost-effective, and customized printing machines that meet the customers’ expectations. Canon has been the leading player in global printing space and leveraging the expertise to develop state-of-the-art printing machines. Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, and Publisher, Digital Terminal recently had an exclusive chat with Puneet Datta, Senior Director – PPP Division, Canon India. Puneet shared his thoughts about the industry landscape, canon’s success, and product strategy. Read below the excerpts:

Rajeev: Canon imagePRESS C10000 VP has witnessed a lot of installations recently.  What according to you has been the reason behind its success? 

Puneet: The industry has witnessed a distinctive change in the demands of the end consumers. Initially, the end customers were not as specific or demanding about their digital needs. However, today the customers are more informed and educated about different aspects. They have specific requirements for every print such as color consistency, print quality, front/back registration, and use of textured media which indeed is very crucial for any business. 

In line with these evolving requirements, we are proud to house state of the art machines like the imagePRESS C10000VP to cater to varied segments while strengthening and further consolidating our presence pan India. Built to deliver production printing excellence and meet the increasing demands of its users, the printer is specially designed to meet higher production volumes for both commercial printers and print service providers with industry leading uptime, reliability, color consistency, registration and media versatility. Validating our efforts, our customers have observed the printer perform exceptionally well as compared to the competition. 

Rajeev: How has Canon brought the revolution in professional printing space? What are your further goals and plans to keep growing as a true leader in the market? 

Puneet: The professional printing industry has been amongst the fastest growing verticals for Canon in India. We are in the era of the fourth industrial revolution and as pioneers in the printing industry, we have the responsibility to elevate and revolutionize the professional printing space. At Canon, the focus has been to deliver a complete solution portfolio along with delivering reliability, convenience and accountability to our consumers. 

In the coming years, we will continue to focus on the evolving needs of the industry and introduce technologies, which are not only helping the industries move ahead, but also create products that are aimed at providing cost effective solutions that are read to tale on the creativity of the professionals. Today, we are proud to house some of the cutting-edge products catering to varied segments, strengthening our customer outreach and further consolidating our presence pan-India. All our efforts are dedicated to help our customers by prevailing the benefits of the radical market scenario and offer them new applications, solutions as well as technological advancements through our product portfolio. 

As of now, our focused products include the imagePRESS series which brings a revolutionary offering in the cut-sheet digital production printing space and our flagship DreamLabo which is a high definition photo merchandise and high quality merchandise printing marvel from Canon India's Professional Printing Products portfolio. 

Going forward we are also introducing state of the art inkjet sheet fed systems which will revolutionize the book printing market with its changing trend from mass production to POD to book of one concept. 

Rajeev: If we talk about the digital print landscape, so how has been the results so far for Canon? How much satisfied are you with the acceptance of your digital presses in India? 

Puneet: The Digital printing landscape has grown significantly in all areas—be it in toner-based or inkjet-based applications. Toner-based technology is far more evolved and newer applications in this segment are trending in the market.  We are witnessing digital prints being used for short-run packaging these days and in fact there is hardly any arena of print application which is untouched with digital as on today, which was not witnessed before. On the digital side, post-press innovations have increased significantly. Earlier, we could only see the typical lamination, etc., but now we see a lot more excellent value add work being done on digital prints to enhance the overall look & feel of the print. Canon prints works very well with such value add printing equipment. 

At Canon, customer feedback is of utmost importance as it helps us to cater to them better. For example- over the past two years, we have been receiving inputs from the proprietors of digital printing about specific challenges in managing their operations. Taking the feedback into consideration, we developed CLICKTRACE – a digital workflow automation software. With this software, we integrated their print workflow needs under a simple and single solution.  

The other focussed products such as the imagePRESS series as well as the flagship DreamLabo have received overwhelming response from all our customers in India. Our printers have been widely accepted for their reliability and the cutting-edge technology they offer to meet the ever-evolving demands of our valued customers. Over installations at customers and especially repeat orders for upgradation of their Production Digital printers is a testimony to our efforts towards acceptance of our reliable solutions. 

Rajeev: How do you see the response in the market regarding DreamLabo press? Please brief about its success in terms of installation in the various regions. 

Puneet: DreamLabo is Canon's first-ever high quality inkjet production photo printer, which provides the new alternative to conventional silver halide technology, delivering a wide range of premium photo merchandise. We are meeting expectations in terms of the existing installations and have eight installations of DreamLabo in India. We are in advanced discussions with some of our valued customers for its installation and are hoping to see many more installations of DreamLabo in the coming year. 

Rajeev: How do you work to provide the best service & technical support to your loyal customers?

Puneet: At Canon, customer delight is not just a tagline for us, it is a philosophy which we abide by, leading to a strong bond with our customers. We truly believe that happy and satisfied customers contribute immensely towards the growth journey of a brand. Our customers speak for the products that we offer and consider to be more reliable than the rest. Therefore, along with providing world-class products and solutions, it has been our constant endeavour to come closer to our customers through our robust service support. 

We have a well-established structure and mechanism to standby by our customers in case of any exigency. We also have a well-established 3 tier service structure in terms of spare parts and also provide remote diagnosis, provided the machine is connected with the internet. In addition to this, we also have direct service network that caters to more than 100 locations for our professional customers. The service team uses our infrastructure and technology extensively to achieve new benchmark in Service Quality.

Rajeev: How do you see the importance of your traditional channel partners in the age of disruption from digital platforms? 

Puneet: India as a country has abundance of opportunities. It is not one market, but many markets rolled into one. Online is a great experience leveller and has been able to bring in newer consumers to the fold however there is a large market that still exists where consumers like a personal experience of them making a purchase decision. Hence, we firmly believe that traditional channel partners still play a significant role especially while buying professional printers. For customers, it is a huge investment and they want to experience the product before making a final decision. We at Canon India understand this and therefore work very closely with our channel partners in all the major cities for our extensive product portfolio. We plan to further strengthen our reach to tier 2 * tier 3 markets through channel partnerships.