The 2012 International Business Forum – India, an industrylevel platform for exchange of views on creating opportunities in the professional and consumer photo markets, was held at the Courtyard Marriot, Mumbai on January 4th, 2012. The forum was organised by Photofinishing News Inc, an International Consulting Group, in association with Next Gen Publishing Ltd on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair and Photofair 2012. Don Franz of Photofinishing News Inc. and Hoshang Billimoria, CEO of Next Gen Publishing Ltd. spoke on the occasion.
Don Franz, in his presentation, observed how imagers have learnt to develop good prints. Today, most customers know how to work with images, and the software for the same is readily available. On the other hand, retailers have become very customer oriented, capable in technology, and skilled in marketing. Comparing the extent of minilab use in USA, China, and India, he observed that while the minilabs in the USA and China have reduced, the figure for India remains more or less unchanged.
Peeyush Rai, CTO of Canvera gave a presentation on opportunities and challenges in the Indian photobook market. He also shared with the audience, the unique business model of Canvera. The delegate from Venice Albums announced the intention of his company to launch in India, with an impressive and detailed presentation on how albums are made. A well-researched picture of the Indian wedding industry and what it means to the photofinishing industry was sketched out. Representing Kodak, David Santer, Regional Director of Asia Pacific Region, spoke about consumer influences and technology trends that will shape future consumer printing behaviour. He observed that less than 40 percent of Facebook users are interested in printing their images in the US market, while only 18 percent are interested in ordering photo gifts and merchandise. He also observed that smartphones will grow to 30 percent of all handsets by 2015. A brief summary of prominent cloudbased applications available to the customers was presented. The presentation gave a very wide view of the importance of community participation in taking the photofinishing industry to the next level.
Prasad Parulekar of Digiflick focussed on driving modern customers to traditional photo business. He stated that demand for digital albums is increasing, and so is the competition in the field, but the consumer printing business is on the decline. Vimal Parmar of Technova gave a very educative presentation on printing and the various types of media used. Sunil Chhugani, Director of Print on Demand Services, based his presentation on the power of personalisation.
The session ended on a positive note, with all the delegates emphasising the importance of such forums in the future. The session included breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.
Sujith Gopinath at the IBF seminar