Regional Director – Retail
Systems Solutions, Asia
We have read reports that 2012 has not been very kind to Kodak worldwide. How do you look forward to 2013?
We had a very successful 2012, and are looking forward to an equally successful 2013 too. We have lot of satisfied customers in India, and Kodak is committed to serve these customers. Also, as you can see from the announcements that the business nosedived in 2012, but it is also clear from the announcements that we are looking for a re-emergence in 2014. Kodak has also announced that the photo imaging business is up for sale and this process (of sale) will occur throughout 2013. All I can say for now is that we have some potential buyers who are interested, and it is a growing business with lot of potential.
How was 2012 for Kodak in India?
We have significant launch plans for India and Asia Pacific region, promoted by robust sales in printing paper and we expect to do good business in thermal printing as well. It is not enough to do traditional printing, so last year, we launched Wi-Fi printing through Smartphones via kiosks and are coming up with many new network printing solutions such as printing from facebook and Android and Apple devices. Many new products will be launched in the professional market because that is where the (real) business is. We launched professional products such as special papers for wedding photography and DP so ware for pro labs.
What are the main solutions that will be showcasing in Photofair?
We are showcasing the Wi-Fi and thermal printers. We have showcased double sided thermal printer for instant photo book and the facebook and Wi-Fi printing solutions. We launched four new papers last year and one again in this show (expected to hit the market in April). There will be a software for professional printing also on display. The software is known as DP2 and we have invited a gentleman from the U.S. to talk about it at the show. The thermal printers shown here can print up to a size of 8×12 inches.
Kodak invented the digital camera. Then how did it slip on the digital photography sphere?
Kodak has been concentrating largely on the point-and-shoot market. Later on, the convergence of technology in mobile phones and other devices. Then the point-and-shoot market started collapsing due to the launch of smartphones and other devices. So last year we launched Wi-Fi printing and network solutions. So it is not just about capture devices, it is also about what you do with the photos. So it is now also about Facebook and other social networking sites, as well as real time imaging.
Where is the Imaging industry going? And what are your plans for the future?
We have launched some very key projects in the Indian professional market. Our plan is to listen to customers, especially professional photographers and deliver what they want. These include colour
correction and printing solutions including papers and software. Social networking-based printing and connectivity are going to be key. We are looking at professional studios to improve the consistency of colour and optimise manpower in their organisations through DP2 software. We also inked a new partnership with Jindal Photo in 2012, which has been very successful, and we are very optimistic about cementing this partnership.