Canon’s Sure Shot in India : By -Puneet Datta Marketing Manager, DMSS, Canon India
India’s leading imaging company, Canon India is aiming to double its turnover in the next two years by leveraging an expanded product portfolio and enhanced channel management strategy. To get a deep insight into the company’s policies, VARIndia met Puneet Datta, Marketing Manager, DMSS, Canon India, who shared the details.
To move towards market leadership across product categories, digital imaging and printer powerhouse, Canon India has announced the restructuring of its internal sales and marketing structure into four new divisions. As part of its mega plan to achieve market leadership, the company has set a target of doubling its turnover in India in the next two years.
Canon India has decided to undertake several initiatives such as greater focus on the western market of India, increasing the number of product launches and doubling retail reach in order to double its turnover in the next two years.
“With the boom in the economy and increased buying power, we anticipate to double our revenues to Rs.800 crore by 2008,” said Kensaku Konishi who was appointed President & CEO of Canon India early this year. India is the fastest growing market for Canon globally, having registered 42-per cent growth in quarterly revenues, followed by China (38 per cent).
Canon has been present in India since 1997 and sells over 100 digital imaging products, including digital cameras, digital SLRs, laser printers and photo printers.
“The restructuring that has happened in Canon India is in line with the new President & CEO’s direction of doubling the turnover. That is the main agenda that he has in India,” says Puneet Datta.
“Canon which recently completed 10 years in India aims at capturing a larger market share, we believe this will be a big step in this direction,” adds Puneet. To increase the focus on the government and e-governance sector, a new Government business department with a five-member team has been created. BIS channel sales is currently witnessing 25 per cent of its business stemming from the government sector.
“We have established a small core team with Canon which is primarily responsible for government. We are participating in e-governance events as well. We definitely have strategy to enhancing our share of government businesses as well,” says Puneet.
“We can be sure that we will be increasing our market share in the government business in 2007 as compared to in 2006,” adds Puneet.
Canon has expanded its marketing team. There is a dedicated channel programme manager who would run channel programme and motivation. He will ensure that these partners will come through web portal partner excellence programmes. The company is also planning to heighten its partners’ skills by imparting them training. “We would also have a person dedicated to train the partners. He will be travelling across India to train channel partners. If we are adding channel partners specifically in the second tier, they would need to know our products,” says Puneet.
Canon has achieved remarkable growth in the Indian market, which can be attributed to the company’s go-to-market strategy in the country. The company has taken a proactive approach to expanding its distribution reach in the country.
Canon India runs channel partner programmes at regular intervals. Recently, Canon India rewarded the top 50 partners across its channels for all products under the Wings of Glory programme by taking them to Japan, including a visit to Canon’s global headquarters. Puneet says, “The most successful channel partner programme of Canon in recent times is Wings of Glory. After its great success, we have decided to extend the programme for the entire year.”
Giving a new dimension to its channel roadmap for Business Imaging Solutions (BIS), Canon India is adding 500 channel partners in the second tier. This action has been necessitated by the company’s mission of having its presence in each district of the country. “We are going for“massive channel expansion, we want to have our channel presence in every district of India,” says Puneet. “On the channel front, the biggest news we have in BIS is that we plan to go for a very big expansion in the second tier. We plan to have almost 500 partners on board by mid-July. This is for the first time that we are having a very planned approach to second tier recruitment and expansion. We hope this number will go up to close-to 1,000 or somewhere therefore by year-end,” adds Puneet.
These specialized partners will be known as “Canon Empowered Partners”. Currently, the company has a current base of 350 partners catering to BIS solutions. We have already started training of these partners.
We have successfully concluded training and meetings of heads of all these organizations in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. We feel it very essential that the partners and their sales teams are aware of what our products are and their strengths are. Canon is a very technology-oriented company. We are among the top three patent holders in the world. We command premium and partners should know what those premium are amounting to,” adds Punnet.
Recently, Canon India has set up an education academy named “Gurukul”. It is a two-day training programme, where partners are rewarded on the basis of their performance. Puneet says that the current year is a very crucial year for Canon India. “2007 is a very crucial year. Most importantly, we are looking at a very aggressive target with a new CEO at the helm, exploring every nook and corner in India.”
Canon will be unveiling some best graphic products in India at IPEX, one of the largest exhibitions of graphic art in South-East Asia, to be held at Greater Noida from 24th to 27th October, 2007.
Asked about the message he would like to give to the channel partners, Datta says, “All I can say the message is this restructuring will focus more on the channel partners. Channel partners are going to be more delighted than ever before and there will be immense focus on the products. There is a single-point authority.”
“When we are looking at doubling our turnover, we cannot do it without the channel strength, and that is why we have restructured our sales to ensure that each and every partner that is associated with Canon grows in the same manner, i.e. doubling their turnover.” “Unless and until they don’t, how can we?” adds Puneet.