Canon to introduce laser printers in June

DQW Bureau
New Update

Canon India Ltd, which has, till now been

talking only about inkjet printers in India, is now planning to launch a range

of laser printers in India. The launch is slated to take place by June and

initially only two-three low-end models would be introduced. It is still in the

process of evaluating the models, which in all probability will be of 8 to 10

PPM category. Also, the channel partners would be different for these printers.


However, at present, infrastructure is

where the main focus of the company is. Channel expansion plan is also on the

cards. Currently Canon has just 30 Canon Premium Partners (CPP) and there are

plans to scale this to at least 300, with 100 coming in the next couple of

months. Manpower capacity has been ramped up in the organization. From earlier

just three people managing the entire Indian operations, 22 more people have

been hired. There are six business managers now and 10 merchandisers.

In addition, service infrastructure has

also been taken care of. The company has tied up with Redington for 15 service

centers across the country in addition to eight of its own service centers.

Plans are now afoot to open 100 service centers across India. "Today we

have 23 centers whereas the desirable number is 115 in this country. So our

reach is a limiting factor and we would try to overcome that," explained

Ravi Bhatia, GM (Marketing & Sales), Canon India.

Simultaneously, Canon has consolidated its

operations in India. Till July last year, Canon's business was controlled from

Singapore and hence it was not so focused. But in July after getting the FIPB

permission to control the Indian operations, company has become very focused.

"We can now import the boxes and sell on back-to-back basis," said

Bhatia. "The result was apparent when we achieved 12 percent share of the

inkjet market in December and reached the number two position."


More commonly known as a copier and a

camera company till now, over the last couple of months, Canon has consciously

tried to change the focus from being copier-driven to a company which is

identified with multi-function devices. "If you have seen our latest

banners, we have tried to change the focus. We have also used radio as a medium

to extensively market that with a lot of success," said Bhatia.

The third thing, which Canon did, was

taking the show to the road. It was titled as the home show. "I think two

things are happening. We at Canon believe that home system would become a center

around which people would spend money. Digital camera, scanner and a good

quality printer would come in here. This would probably give rise to home photo

lab in future as well," elaborated Bhatia.

There are also plans to unveil fade

resistance ink. Bright color ink has also been launched for the photographs.

"When you want to deliver very photo kind of images, you need a ink which

is much smaller. So the ink size has become much smaller. As the home system

would become a photo lab for the person, people would do these kinds of

things," added Bhatia.


Canon is also planning to have full

bundling strategy. It has already worked with Mahatta & Co during a photo

exhibition. The company believes that a high-end DTP printer that are inkjet

printers, which were demonstrated along with a digital camera and a high-speed

scanner, will become something like pro photo lab. "We are trying to do a

home photo lab and pro photo lab to attract the home user as well as the

professional shopkeeper."

Side-by-side, Canon is planning to build

support around its inkjet printers. "Inkjet is becoming the way people will

print in future. There is lot of development happening on the inkjet head. We

believe that inkjets would become fast. They will touch the laser printer speed

and their cost. Add the networking card to that and you replace the laser

printer," hoped Bhatia.

Advertising meanwhile has taken a backseat

and the company plans to resume high-decibel advertising after it has the right

people to work with--in channels as well as the organization. "We don't

want to advertise heavily before we have proper channels to supply our products

and a proper infrastructure to fulfill the same," conceded Bhatia.