Canon aims at 20 percent share in inkjets

Juhi Bhambal
Bangkok

For its inkjet printers in India, Canon is aiming for a
market share of 20 percent during the calendar year 2001. This will translate
into one-lakh printers, as compared to 45,000 last year. Though it has a 35
percent market share in the Asia-Pacific region, in India with a share of just
eight- percent, Canon lags behind HP by 71 percent and Epson by 12 percent.

According to Ravi Bhatia, GM (Marketing and Sales),
Canon India, "With printers, we entered in India quite late, only in 1999.
We wanted to come in with 100 percent ownership. Now we will hit both HP and
Epson."

Canon plans to achieve this ambitious target by focusing
on its channels and services, as it is currently weak in the former. From its
present two distributors (Redington and Tech Pacific) and 800 resellers, the
company plans to expand its base to 3,000 resellers by the end of the year. This
will extend its presence to 23 cities. Also, it is introducing a call center in
April, where both dealers and customers can call in for service or help. This is
being outsourced and will initially be available in five major cities.

It also plans to reposition itself as a provider of
cameras and copiers–a common perception in India–to also one of printers and
scanners. Since it entered the Indian printer market, the company has focused on
the low and high-end segments with gaps in mid range. Its BJC 4310SP, for
instance, is targeted at the SOHO user and is priced at Rs 6,995. It is here
that it has lost out to HP, which is spread out in all segments. This year Canon
plans to change this by introducing a slew of new products, which will be
launched in April that will cover all three segments.

(CNS)

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