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Canon keen to promote photo culture in India

In a chat with VARINDIA, Eddie Udagawa, Vice-President, Consumer Imaging & Information Centre, Canon, discusses about the company completing 20 years in India, camera market, its strategy and roadmap   

By delighting people for the last 20 years, Canon has come a long way in India. It has created its unique position in the market as well as in the hearts of customers. With its innovative product offerings especially in the camera segment, Canon has carved its niche in the market. According to Eddie Udagawa, Vice-President, Consumer Imaging & Information Centre, Canon, this success has been possible because of the love and support of the Indian consumers.           
“I like to appreciate that we are celebrating 20 years here, but without the Indian people, customer support, we could not have survived. So at first I would like to thank everybody for the support and I hope for the next decades all the Indian people love and support Canon. In the past, of course at the beginning it was challenging. Canon India started its operation 20 years ago but camera wise the company started its journey in 2003. At that time, professional customers want to buy DSLR but the high-end and the customers who wanted to buy were price conscious. But since then we have started our journey in photography culture in India and all the middle standard is getting higher and people have moved on to photography which has helped our sale to grow higher,” says Eddie Udagawa.    

Camera market 
These days, smartphone camera has captured the market of compact cameras, but often people are not satisfied with the result of smartphone cameras and want to buy DSLRs. So Canon sees the potential in these people.    

“Actually, the compact camera has been replaced by the smartphone camera. So Canon is trying to promote our high-end compact camera, DSLR and mirror-less camera. Though a lot of people use smartphone camera for capturing photos but then also customers are not so much satisfied with the results. Those people want to buy DSLR for capturing much better images. So that is our potential area of customers,” explains Eddie. 

Further, Eddie adds, “Last year, we had a campaign comparing a smartphone photo with a DSLR. How high quality of photo customers can take by using DSLR so we want to promote this kind of comparison to understand how beautiful photos they can shoot. The entry-level DSLR is priced at Rs.29,995 which is right now within the purchasing power of the customers who are planning to buy DSLRs.” 

Talking about the trend Eddie mentions that Canon is observing an increase in sales in entry-level cameras and last year the company witnesses a good demand of high-end cameras.  

“In terms of quantity, the entry-level camera sales are high. I was actually surprised with the last year’s sales results of 5D which is a high-end camera and was more than my expectation. Lots of people love high-end cameras also,” states Eddie. 

To strengthen its contact with customers, Canon has kicked off a pan-India roadshow, where customers will have hands-on experience of the products and the company is targeting customer base of tier-3 and -4. Moreover, Canon is also following the strategy of NCU to CU. 

“Taking this opportunity of 20th Anniversary, we have flagged off a roadshow to strengthen our contact with our customers. It has started from 10th of March. Customers will have hands-on experience of compact to entry-level to high-end DSLR cameras. It is a pan-India campaign where 60 cities will be covered throughout the year.

This year, our direction is NCU to CU which means Non-Camera Users to Camera Users and also it means Non-Canon Users to Canon Users. All the marketing activities that you see this year will either be following into creating a new customer base or to converting or upgrading people from other brands they are using. In this roadshow, we are targeting Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities because there is scope for new customer base. There is a market which gets stagnant at one particular point, we do not want that. We think there is a huge potential and scope for people to have a DSLR right now. So we are going to those markets, lay down our entire range,” discusses Eddie. 

Canon wants to promote photo culture as it will increase camera sales. So to boost the culture the company organizes Photo Marathon every year.  
“We have several schemes to maintain the sales, but the important thing is we need to increase the contact with the customers by organizing workshops, roadshows and Canon Image Square (CIS).  First, we want to promote photo culture and this will increase Canon sales. We have an event called Photo Marathon which happens every year in all South-East Asian countries. We have been doing it for eight years now. It is something like where you are not only supposed to get Canon camera you can get any brand camera, compact or a DSLR. It is a whole one-day- long contest. 

As long as people are clicking, Canon cameras will be sold. So we are trying to seed in that particular photography culture. Secondly, we are the only imaging and printing company which can give you both. We are the only one who say we can give you input through an imaging device and can print through a printing device,” informs Eddie.  

Canon is aiming for a double-digit growth in the camera segment. The company is optimistic to capture a lion’s share in the market. 
“In the camera division, sales-wise we want to grow more than double digit compared with the last year. We are handling camera DSLR, compact, video and some selfie printer. Last year, we captured 50% market share already, according to import and export data. This year also we are aiming to achieve more than 50% market share,” concludes Eddie. 

Aparna Mullick


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