DT: How do you see the YoY growth for Canon’s printing business in India?
Sukumaran: With the evolving technology landscape, consumers are looking forward to innovations that bring ease and connectivity to their everyday life. At Canon, we are committed towards the cause of making printing an enabler of creativity for consumers. In this endeavor, we have seen positive growth in the country when it comes to the printing segment ever since our inception. Going forward too, we are expecting a significant increase in our YOY growth in 2019. The InkTank printers contribute 70% of the inkjet market, which would be about 1,200,000 units and we foresee immense growth in this segment in the future as well. We are optimistic that we will witness steady growth in terms of products sold, from 200,000 units last year to 300,000 units this year.
DT: How do you see the adoption of Ink Tank printers (Inkjet) among SMBs/SMEs?
Sukumaran: SMEs have begun to understand the importance of maximizing productivity and ensuring profitability. Traditionally, India has been a laser dominated market targeting SMEs and corporates whereas inkjet printers have always 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. These high capacity ink-tanks will enable an increase in the overall yield, which has brought down the cost of printing. Each of our PIXMA G-series printers feature a front-facing, built-in refillable ink tank system along with a 1.2’ inch LCD enhancing user experience. Paired with the ink bottle’s spill-resistant tops, the system is designed to provide seamless and clean usability at home and office. At Canon, we are optimistic that 2019 will see increased adoption of InkTank printers in the SME/SMB segment, adding on to our success story in the country.
DT: Please brief about your channel ecosystem in India. What is your plan to boost channel strength in the near future?
Sukumaran: Channel Partners have played an integral part in our success story in the country and as one of our key stakeholders, they have enabled us to strengthen our foothold in the industry and reach out to a diverse range of customers. With a strong network of 2500 channel partners across the length and breadth of the country, we endeavor to further consolidate our regional presence. Regional penetration is one of our core focus areas as we want to make our products and services available to the farthest geographies in the country. Moving forward too, we would ensure our presence on platforms where our customers are present, aligning with our corporate motto of always ‘delighting our customers’.
DT: What is your current retail plans across India?
Sukumaran: As we have a diverse consumer base with varying buying patterns, our go to market strategy focuses on expanding touch points for increasing access to our consumers. After the introduction of the CISS technology, our printing business has definitely expanded across regions. Earlier the printing segment was limited to metros, tier 1 and tier 2 cities, but now CISS has helped us penetrate further into the tier 3 and 4 cities. Also, the launch of PIXMA Zones across India to enhance the customer experience is a way to connect with customers.
We are available across all channels for providing the best of product availability and service to our customers. We have expanded our reach with over 2,500 retailers across the country today, along with tying up with national retail chains and e-commerce chains. Currently, we have a strong presence in over 600+ towns, regional penetration being our focus area.
DT: How do you assure the best service support to your large customer base?
Sukumaran: Service support is extremely critical to our growth and I can proudly share that our strong service network expands to over 600+ towns, covering the length and breadth of India. Additionally, our online feedback system enhances the quality and lets us stay more connected with our customers.