Alok Bharadwaj, Sr. Vice President,
Canon has been showcasing their mastery over innovations in the year gone by, and is upbeat about the prospects of 2011.
Leveraging on the experience gathered during the 2010 initiatives, the company is looking forward to the challenges in the new year. Mathew Thottungal interacted with Alok Bharadwaj, Sr. Vice President of Canon India on the sidelines of Photofair 2011. Excerpts:
Canon India has revised its forecast for 2010 to Rs.1260 crore, which is 50 percent over and above the growth rate recorded during last year. Maintaining an
impressive growth of 56 percent in the first nine months of the year, Canon targets 60 percent growth rate in FY 2011. Could you please elaborate on this?
There are several positive things that happened in 2010 adding buoyancy to our growth. Of course, the first and most important part is the business environment and 2010 was a lot more encouraging and more buoyant than the previous years. Canon operates in four market segments, namely consumer market (B2C), business (B2B), government (B2G), and commercial printing or digital publishing space. We experienced buoyancy in all these market segments.
The second good thing that took place was our unique marketing programs such as Canon Image Express that helped connect with over five lakh customers and showcase our technology. Similar is the case with our next initiative, the Canon Image Square, which is our chain of Brand shop stores
launched during the later part of 2010. We have already opened four stores and are planning over 300 stores in the next three years.
We see a continued momentum in all these aspects as we enter 2011.
Canon India’s B2B domain is recording exponential growth with the enterprise division topping the chart, with more than 30 to 40 percent of the priority jobs. The CSP division has launched innovative products in the Selphy and Pixma Black allin-one ranges of inkjet printers. While the camera division is recording excellent numbers, how do you foresee the CSP division growth?
The CSP division managed over 70 percent growth over the previous year. This was the largest growing division for us and the basic growth came from increase in market share for laser printers. There was also a spurt in growth witnessed in consumable business, both for printing photos in Selphy photo printer category, as well as in inkjet and laser printers. Consumables emerged as the priority focus area for Canon and we rolled out Original Ink Centers (OIC) in India and opened 1000 such retail points. This thrust contributed to the growth to our CSP division.
We kick-started various initiatives to drive the business. Recently the CSP division introduced PIXMA
Black series printers with ‘Gen Next‘ technologies. Along with this, we announced a ‘100 percent Cash Back Offer’ under CLAP (Canon Loyalty Achievement Program) to boost laser printer sales.
Canon is believed to be targeting the next three years, with its new Brand Retail Business division
expected to contribute 20 percent to its overall revenues. What makes you so sure that the clickand-
print solutions along with the widening of the retail footprint will create the right impact?
Canon has over 165 products in its portfolio, out of which 80 products are in consumer and home segment. The biggest challenge is to showcase these products to consumers as desirable items and provide a hands-on experience. On one hand, consumer behavior is changing, and demographics
indicate that India is getting younger and international quality retail experience is becoming a big driver for consumer buying. On the other hand, retail platforms are not expanding at the required pace, this needs investment. Single store ‘MOM and POP’ outfits are not able to understand and visualize the implications of this big change. Hence, Canon decided to create retail platforms as specialty stores to showcase entire gamut of digital imaging products and applications. This involves both capturing and printing images. Our experience during the Image Express in 38 tier II and III towns, gave us encouraging confi dence that families and households are extremely keen in adding anything that helps their children learn technology and get educated. This aspect will drive penetration of PCs which would help in higher adoption of printing at home. One-third of our sale at brand stores is for printer products and IT peripherals. In fact, we are the only company who can showcase this unique advantage of complete digital experience.