We understand that 2012 was a tough year for photography but in your opinion, how was 2013? How did IMS fare?
The first quarter of the FY 2013-14 was exceptionally good with a growth of over 30 percent YOY. However since the beginning of the second quarter things have been very tough. The steep fluctuation in the exchange rate did not allow the price and the market to stabilize. The situation is such that we don’t see ourselves ending over 10 percent growth YOY at the end of FY 2013-14 against the projection of 30 percent at the beginning of the year.
IMS markets Digitek ashguns. With digital photography, many users feel that flashguns are not that important. What is your take on this and how do you counter the opposition?
No matter how much digital the photography becomes, ashguns have always been key to photography and it will always remain so. Photography becomes very dull without the right lighting. With the technology advancement in the ashguns, it is even replacing studio flash systems in many instances.
We are now making several exercises to educate the amateurs and the hobbyist to use Flashguns to get the right results. We are launching a new Flashgun DFL-008T at the Imaging India Expo which is an entry-Level TTL flashgun for the beginners, which not only suits their pocket but also will be a key to amazing Photography.
What is your market strategy for promoting your products in 2014?
Our focus has always been strengthening and streamlining the distributor-dealer network. Our key strategy in 2014 is to strengthen our service centre network. Since we have started to market products like studio flash, flashguns, video lights, and battery grips, it is a must that we provide local service centres to all the end customers.
What are the new product IMS Mercantiles is likely to market in the near future?
We have recently started to market mobile phone accessories and we see a big market for us into this category in the near future. With a very strong brand image and our knowledge on network creation, good quality products at competitive prices, service backup, we are very hopeful that we will turn out to be a key player into this category also. We are likely to add earphones, Bluetooth headsets, etc in the near future.