We spoke to VP Sajeevan, Director – Consumer System Products Division, Canon India on the printer business and some initiatives in the country.
Don’t you think that point and shoot cameras priced below Rs. 10,000, are getting stagnant? Aren't all the manufacturers fighting the megapixel battle?
Customers want something that others don’t have. I want something better than others. If his friend or brother owns a 14 MP camera, he wants something higher. Camera manufacturers differentiate their products from mobile phones by their higher sensor resolutions.
Canon launched a Green Cycle Program in June last year. One year down, how has the feedback been on that program?
Canon was one of the first imaging companies worldwide to drive the green initiative. Canon took a call to ensure that all their products would be green and eco-friendly. All our processes, office, the way we talk, we communicate, everything has a green thought. 90 per cent of laser printers and 80 per cent of inkjet printers support duplex. Canon is continously promoting and pushing for duplex printing and for saving paper in the process.
Mr. VP Sajeevan, Director – Consumer System Products (CSP) Division, Canon India.
Canon Green Cycle Program was launched in a few cities to start with and now we have 16 cities. Counters are kept in these centres where Canon as well as non-Canon users can come and drop cartridges. We have a tie-up with a national agency which will collect these cartridges and take them to their local centre were the scrapping is done safely. The process is monitored to ensure that cartridges are scrapped properly. Similarly, used Canon printers can also be dropped off at the three centres in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
How eager would a typically Canon printer owner be to drop off a cartridges at one of the Canon centres? What does the consumer gain from this?
Unfortunately, the case in India is different unlike countries like Japan, countries in Europe. Canon does not want to incentivize, instead drive it as a social cause. People are getting more and more aware. Canon spends nearly 2 per cent of the marketing cost on the Green Cycle program.
HD Movie Print – Print photos from a video
How is Canon doing on its sales target for 2015?
Canon’s plan is to hit 1 billion dollars (4,600 crore Rupees). If things go as planned, by 2014, we’ll hit be hitting our goal. Our plan was to have a 1,000 crore in 2010, we revised that figure 1,100 crores and we hit 1,257 crores.
As of now, we’re climbing at a rate faster than the industry is. As a company, we have achieved 24 per cent growth over last year. PC growth is much lower at some 6 per cent as compared to last year.
Which products from Canon’s portfolio are seeing the most growth?
In India, unlike any other country, it’s a truly seasonal business. There are several segments of Canon’s business. If you look at cameras, in the home and consumer segment, DSLR cameras are going a bit weak. If you look at the government segment, the use of DSLRs in UID project itself has helped. The months from January to March are better for the business solutions such as the high-end printing solutions but in the months of April to June, the camera business springs up. From July to September, printing business grows and October-November is again a consumer-oriented month.
It’s a balanced business for Canon and printer growth wasn’t very good in the first quarter due to a low PC market growth. Camera products have really grown.
Canon's MX886 – Canon's affordable office printing solution
What about pricing of cartridges themselves? Isn’t price of cartridges very important for a consumer?
Today, value for money is key. All of Canon’s cartridges are high-capacity ones with 9 ml whereas our competition sells 3 and 5 ml cartridges. Entry-level cartridges will be able to give around 800 prints.
Can you tell us if Canon is researching on 3D printing technologies for the future?
It’s being experimented on. We spend a lot on R&D and we are observing. I don’t have much information on it, as of now.
What is your favorite Canon technology this year?
The Movie print feature that lets the user use a camera to shoot high-definition videos and then be able to print stills from that clip is really exciting.