India has come a long way from a meager 10 percent market share to top the photo
printer segment with 60 percent.
According to HP estimates, the overall Indian photo printer market is
around 3,500 — 4,000 units per month, and the company is growing in strength
in this market.
“Two-three years back, we were small with around 10 percent market share
and Epson was the number one company in this space. Q1 2005 IDC internal figures
showed that we had beaten Epson out. We had 55 percent market share in the
beginning of last year and have grown the share strongly,” said Rajiv Rao, HP
India IPG personal printing country category manager.
HP divides the photo printing market into three segments: Home users,
business users and profess-ional users. According to Rao, home is a nascent
segment, but has been picking up fast over the last two months.
“Home segment does not contribute significantly to the overall volume of
printers sold, and the biggest chunk of volume comes from photo studios now,”
The company expects the home segment to grow more than 70-80 percent from
the current base - depending on how well HP and other companies connect to image
“Our expectation is that critical mass in the home segment will be
achieved very soon because the image capture devices - digicam or mobile phone
- are gaining in popularity. Our own intentions are that we connect with the
devices well and bring a beneficial proposition for the home,” said Rao.
According to Rao, photo studio segment is more mature. “It is growing
and has some untapped potential as HP hasn't yet targeted all the parts of the
country. We have also not yet targeted all the photo studios in each geography
we target. I believe that we still have two-three years time where we will see
good growth in this segment,” he said.
Referring to the professional community, Rao said, “It is not too huge,
but it is well respected and looked up on. Professionals have loved our printer
and we expect that this would have an on the next segment down. And we see more
growth from this too.”
The company is currently using IT and photo channels to sell the product.
“We are trying to expand the photo channel in all places. We are also working
with local sales teams and interested photo partners to bring them into our
fold,” Rao added.