Canon ROCKS channel

DQW Bureau
New Update


Canon posted a healthy turnover of Rs 665 crore in FY'07-08, a 31 percent

growth over the previous year. For the vendor, being in the consumer business,

which was relatively unaffected by the slowdown, came as a blessing in disguise.

Canon phenomenally grew its marketshare for printers, and finally, its steadfast

focus on the government vertical proved to be wise decision.

Looking back on last FY, Alok Bharadwaj, Sr VP, Canon India said, “For Canon,

it will be a year to be remembered. We have looked at it as a time when we

reflected on some areas that required tweaking and many that required


Having realized that the first mile, which basically involves communicating

through mass medium, is the easy part, Canon is all set to focus its efforts on

last mile this year. “The last mile is the biggest challenge in shaping the

marketshare, and this year has shown most companies the importance of last mile

activation. In the past few months, we have test launched a program which we

will build as an important last mile program for our B2B division,” said



The program has been christened ROCKS (Reaching Out to the Channels for

Knowledge and Sharing).

The idea to introduce such a project germinated from the need for a mechanism

through which Canon could share complete technology knowledge of all its

products at the last point in sales.

“We first needed to find out how many people were selling our products. At

the beginning of this year we did not have the answer. We only knew that 118 of

our partners were selling Canon products. Below them how many people are

selling? What are they selling? And how much do they know about us? Finding

answers to these questions became important for us,” he added.

Canon announces a channel program-Reaching Out to the

Channels for Knowledge and Sharing-to empower partners with knowledge

The vendor was witnessing growth in three dimensions-verticals, geographies

and product portfolio.

“Whether it is telecom, government, education, healthcare or insurance, we

are noticing many verticals showing positive momentum. New verticals are also

becoming important. ITeS and BPOs, that were new verticals some years ago are

now standard verticals. Now education is becoming a big opportunity. The second

dimension is geographical expansion. Some time back, about 50 percent of our

business came from the metros. Today, in our BIS division, only one-third of our

business comes from metros. Our product are available in 300 towns. Finally, the

third dimension we were expanding in was in terms of products range,”

highlighted Bharadwaj.


The aim of ROCKS is essentially to enhance the involvement and engagement of

the channel. “The four pillars of this program consist of activities that not

only make partners and their sales people as knowledgeable about the products,

but also boost their involvement by as much if not more than our own staff,” he


As the first pillar, Canon is extending the concept of Know Your Customer (KYC)

to their channel in a program called Connect. “Not many in the industry have

adopted KYC concept but very soon will have to. So far, we have only known our

primary dealers. We are taking the KYC concept to get to know our secondary

channel partners as well. We are doing this through our Partner Excellence

Portal (PEP), where our 118 primary partners log in orders and interact with us.

We have now extended this to our secondary partners. The primary partners

register whatever they sell to the secondary partners on the site,” Bharadwaj


Through this portal, Canon can gauge trends, know about the channel and

business health.


Under the Channel Connect Program, the vendor is registering Canon Empowered

Partners (CEPs). So far, 250 primary partners and 1,215 secondary partners have

been registered. “Under this program, we conducted meets in 18 cities this year,

where partners and their sales people were invited. We ensured that in terms of

knowledge sharing, both the partner and their sales people are fully tuned to

Canon's technology, products and approach to business.

The second pillar of ROCKS is 'Gurukul', a program that was started last

year, and is continuing this year with a few modifications and reconfigurations.

“This program is for the first layer of 118 partners and their sales people. The

chain involves the Canon sales people, partners, partner sales people and

secondary partners and their sales people,” said Bharadwaj. The program is a bid

to engage, involve and share knowledge with this chain.

Going beyond knowledge sharing, events are also undertaken to incentivize the

channel and last year partners were recognized with a trip to Cairo.


One feedback Canon has got from its channel is that being in the business of

technology, there is a lot of complexity involved. Hence, they needed help in

explaining the technicalities to their customers and understanding the benefits

they can draw from the technology. Under the third pillar-Impressions, Canon

undertook nine technology roadshows, through which they provided partners a

platform where they called their customers for an explanation about the product.

The fourth and final pillar of ROCKS is Bizshot, Canon's print communication.

“Bizshot is an attempt to build knowledge by communicating with channel partners

regularly. We will be looking at taking this as a two-way feedback mechanism. We

will also be extending this to start a business blog on the portal,” stated


These four pillars together make up Canon's channel plans. With a strong base

of channel partners in place and having identified last mile activation as a

focus area, the vendor is all set to reach its Rs 800 crore target for the next



Targets for next year

Channel Connect

2008-09: 50 cities; 1,200 CEPs

2009-10: 55 cities; 2,000 CEPs


2008-09: 250 registered sales people

2009-10: 300 registered sales people


2008-09: 15 seminars covering more that 800 customers

2009-10: 50 seminars


2008-09: A one-way communication

2009-10: Two-way with feedback mechanism. Will also extend to business blog on