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Looking To Build New Businesses In India On Top Of Existing Verticals: Canon

The Japanese firm, which has presence mainly in camera and printer segments, introduced its flagship camera product EOS-1D X Mark III priced at Rs 5.76 lakh on Wednesday.

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 Imaging products major Canon India on Wednesday said it is looking to build new business verticals with focus on security and health equipment to add to its existing divisions to further drive growth, a top company official said.

The company, which is witnessing "maturity" of its existing businesses globally, is seeking to future-proof its operations in India for long term growth.

The Japanese firm, which has presence mainly in camera and printer segments, introduced its flagship camera product EOS-1D X Mark III priced at Rs 5.76 lakh on Wednesday.

"Except for the commercial printer, rest of the three segments are already reaching a stage of maturity in the global sense even though in India there is still some space left. So we are now trying to build new domain and new businesses on top of our existing businesses with focus on security and health equipment," Canon India President and CEO Kazutada Kobayashi told PTI.

He was responding to a query on the company's growth strategy in India going ahead.

"We have to make the shift happen (towards new businesses)," he said, adding building capabilities in new segments was part of strategy to de-risk its business in the country over the long term.

Kobayashi said globally, Canon has acquired assets in medical and surveillance segments and is now keen to focus on these segments in India as well.

"Safety and healthcare are two major segments that we are looking at in India right now," he noted.

In addition to seeling camera units, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 6 lakh, Canon also has huge presence in printers. The company sells various kinds of printers, ranging from personal to mid size to large commercial ones used in bigger set ups.

Terming the current year as challenging, Kobayashi said the company would look at expanding sales network for existing as well as new verticals during the year.

"We aim to spread network in tier 3 and 4 towns. We would also look at scaling up new business verticals in these locations as well," he added.

Commenting specifically on the camera business, Kobayashi said the company is going to focus on mid to higher range cameras in the country with market shrinking for point and shoot digital cameras with the coming of smartphones.

He said customers were still willing to buy "value added products" despite them being slightly costlier than the smaller units.

"Camera business market character is changing rapidly from quantity oriented low end market to quality oriented mid and high market. Off course market share is market share, still our way of doing business will go through an evolution," Kobayashi said.

Canon India has a market share of around 45 per cent in the camera segment in the country. Nikon and Sony are other significant players in the vertical.

On the current slowdown in the Indian market, Kobayashi said growth would return in the market as the issues affecting the economy were not structural.

"I still believe the basic demand for the cameras and B2B equipment solutions is very strong in the country so eventually when the situation improves and the people get in mood to spend some money the growth will return," he noted.

He further said: "Although 2019 was not that favourable year which we had expected in the beginning, but 2020 is I still expect another growth cycle will start."

He said factors like young population, more nuclear families and increase in income of middle class would help in reviving the economy.

In 2018, the Canon India reported revenue of Rs 2,600 crore.

Kobayashi said he expects similar kind of revenues in 2019 as well.


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