Masatsugu Naito said that we may think about manufacturing in India, However, he added that the supply of components remains a concern
In a digital world, one might be forgiven for thinking that printing documents is a thing of the past. However, for Japanese firm Fujifilm, the printer business will be a big bet, at least in India. The company recently announced its foray into the office printer business.
There are reasons why Masatsugu Naito, president of Fujifilm Business Innovation Asia Pacific, is bullish on the Indian market for printers. According to IMARC Group, India’s commercial printing market size reached $33.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $41.6 billion by 2028.
In an exclusive interview with Outlook Start-Up, Naito talked about Fujifilm’s long-term strategy for the Indian market, plans to start a manufacturing facility, and the major challenges it is facing.
In a world that is going paperless, are there takers for large format and multi-purpose printers?
While the demand for printers is reducing globally, the Indian market is still growing. We don’t expect this demand to decrease in the country in the future. Though we are a newcomer in the printer segment, we're not going to go out of the market from India.
Many companies are looking at India as part of their China + 1 strategy. Does Fujifilm intend to also set up manufacturing facilities in the country?
With everyone talking about the risk of having their manufacturing facilities only in China, companies are thinking about shifting these facilities to other countries. India is the obvious destination. Fujifilm Business Innovation, which is a part of Fujifilm Holdings, may also think about manufacturing in India.
However, one of the factors that could impact this decision is the supply chain of components used in the manufacturing of printers. Our spare parts and input materials come from many countries. So, the import of these components from different parts of the world is not economically feasible yet.
What sets the Indian market apart for Fujifilm in comparison to other countries in the Indo-Pacific region?
In terms of the market size, the Indian market is unique for us. Of course, China is a larger country than India. However, we are confident that the potential in the Indian market is huge compared to the other markets in the Indo-Pacific region.
What are the strategies the company will adopt to strengthen its network in the market?
We have witnessed sales growth of 37 per cent between 2021 and 2022 in the printer segment. The demand for the A3 colour multi printer witnessed a major surge in the country. Several factors have contributed to this growth. We can take into consideration the data released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs which reveals that India saw 1,50,000 new companies getting registered in 2021. This helped the growth of the company's new business which is targeting corporate and government sectors, with a focus on MSMEs.
We possess strong customer leadership with over 15 years of experience in different divisions. We are active in healthcare, digital cameras, data, and cloud storage. By combining all our businesses, we will be able to strengthen our network in the market.
What are the key areas that the company is targeting for its new business?
With the development in different sectors, we see that there has been demand for high-quality products. There are huge opportunities developing in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. We are going into the market with multiple channel partners who will be spread across India. We have our branch offices in almost all parts of the country. Our teams will assist businesses in grade A and B cities in India.
How are you going to target the government sector?
The company is planning to use the government e-marketplace (GeM portal) as the major portion of demand we expect would be coming from the government sector and SMEs. We have our two partners who will engage with the regional partners to channelise our new business