Canon enters the ‘leadership phase’

DQW Bureau
13 Nov 2003
New Update


Canon India calls it the ‘leadership phase’setting pace for three-fold revenue growth and leadership by a third of the marketshare in all markets.

At the Canon Leadership Summit 2003 in Goa, Yokoru Adachi, President, Canon Asia Marketing Group, officially kicked off Canon India’s ‘second’ phase of growth in which the company plans to grow over thrice its current size in the next five years. The milestone set is Rs 700 crore in revenues by 2007 with a 30 percent market share in the Indian digital imaging industry by 2005. He called it the start of the ‘leadership phase’.

Canon India, after starting operations in 1997, has grown to be a Rs 230 crore company in 2003. During this time, the company started with direct sales operations and appointed C&F agents to service the market. In 2000, it ramped up its copier sales through significant build-up of copier channels. In 2001, the IT channels were set up for its PC-driven products like printers and scanners. And earlier in 2003, Canon India debuted its digital camera range marking its entry into emerging growth segments. Said Alok Bharad-waj, Director & GM (CIID & Volume Products), Canon India, “The first phase of Canon India involved the setting up of infrastructure and rolling out product capabilities. The sec-ond phase is that of expansion and accelerated growth.”


What are the segments that promise accelerated growth? Answered Alan Grant, President & CEO, Canon India, “We have identified three products–laser multifunction devices, all-in-ones, and digicams.” Accord-ing to IDC India, each of these product segments are projec-ted to grow in excess of 40 percent annually by 2007. With the overall industry growth rate for digital imaging products at 20 percent, Canon India’s acceleration comes from the targeted 25 percent growth for the next five years. And to sustain this growth, its market share in all digital imaging product categories has to be sustained at 30 percent from 2005.

“The short-term strategy is to focus on increasing market share in the rapidly expanding printing and MFD segment, while the long term perspective is to invest in becoming a market leader in the high potential digital camera and commercial photo studio solutions,” revealed


Beyond the numbers, Canon India has been smart at selec-ting the right products for the Indian market and timing the market with the right pricing. Rapid product introductions followed by cascaded price-drops helps push the perfor-mance envelope higher. Fur-ther, the company’s markets are distributed between the professional/business appli-cation markets and consumer markets.


One of Canon’s key differen-tiators is its leadership in product development. Stated Adachi, “Worldwide, Canon is second only to IBM, in filing patents–and all the compa-nies that follow us are much larger than we are.” Which means, Canon’s spend on R&D as a percentage of sales is among the highest in the industry. One of the most recent innovations is the ‘PictBridge’ standard that helps transfer of digital image files without the need for a PC in-between. The standard also speaks about Canon’s view on how the market would evolve.

Canon’s foray into digital cameras is founded on the notion that the PC need not remain an interface for long. Similarly, photo-output or the printing of photos calls for a photo-printer; a laser or inkjet wouldn’t do. A convergence of sorts between normal printing and photo-printing is also happening.

At the Leadership Summit, Canon launched 20 new pro-ducts–six Bubblejet printers, two scanners, 2 flatbed all-in-ones, five digicams and cam-corders, one projector, two laser-beam printers, and two dye-sublimation printers. Priced between Rs 3,995 and

Rs 2.75 lakh, these products straddle Canon’s entire range of digital imaging solutions.

Easwar S Nair

Cyber News Service