Mr. V Balakrishnan EGM Konica Minolta India

Mr. V Balakrishnan EGM Konica Minolta India

1.How do you look at India’s MFD space and what would be the share of SMB segment contributing to the MFDs in India?

MR. Balakrishnan photoMFD’s are one of those technologies which are progressively being adopted and primary reason for the growth of MFD’s is its ability to augment the productivity, affordable printing, cheaper consumable cost, and easy managed print functionality.

Cloud printing services is another factor that has provided great market impetus and can be observed within the MFD market.

SMB, and IT segment has also led to the growth of the Indian MFD market. Small and medium businesses are understandably low on investment and infrastructure. They look at making smart IT investments. MFD, capable of being productive, affordable, and compact, provide them value for money. With small and medium businesses growing rapidly and their increased preference for MFD, the market for MFD is also steadily increasing and our strategy would be to tap that segment.

2.How do you position your products and solutions in this space of SMB?

Ongoing economic uncertainties force businesses to reduce costs and optimize their operations. This creates an opportunity for hardcopy vendors to promote their managed print services to a larger audience of small, medium, and large enterprises.

There is a continuous growth of print services as companies of all sizes recognize the benefits print services can offer. Customers need consistency of delivery and appropriate go-to-market strategy, which may be multichannel, direct, or indirect. Alliances and partnerships are vital to ensure the largest portfolio of solutions suitable for all environments. Organizations are moving above and beyond cost savings into document solutions; even SMBs are keen to benefit from MFDs.

3.What is your market share in this segment?

Konica Minolta’s market share in this segment is 30%.

4.What kind of value and advantage do you provide for channel partners to sell your MFD solutions in India?

In Konica Minolta, we consider our partner as an extended arm in the market. We provide our partners appropriate go-to-market strategy and regularly conduct road shows which help them understand the customers directly and built there trust. We understand partnerships are vital to ensure the largest portfolio of solutions suitable for all environments.

5.What are the big market segments or verticals that you are looking for pushing your MFDs?

We have focused on strengthening our channel partners and engage them in more channel programs initiatives, and also we are working closely with the education and public sector units in order to explore more into that zone.

6.What are some of the big challenges that you see in this space today in India and how can these be overcome?

The lingering economic uncertainties have led businesses to reduce costs and optimize their operations. This creates an opportunity for hardcopy vendors to promote their managed print services to a larger audience of small, medium, and large enterprises.

However many processes are still manual and paper based and therefore MFDs is still taking time to evolve.

There is paradigm shift in printer market setting in India as the new age printers are more than just a printing device; they are now one source solution devices. MFDs can reduce hardware cost options and gives you smaller footprints. Customers are now looking for products that are stable, efficient and at the same time affordable.

7.What kind of growth are you looking at from this segment of MFDs and what would be the contribution of SMBs?

At a practical level, we just can’t assess the opportunities that MFDs can provide to minimize printing volumes today. Beyond optimizing printing, MFDs can already help capture paper documents into digital form and expose the content of the document through scan-time character recognition and forms recognition. This applies to scanning and then searching paper documents, such as legal contracts and evidence, as well as to recognizing the cover sheets on incoming faxes and routing them digitally to the intended recipient’s email inbox.

At a strategic level, MFDs is purchased to reduce both printing costs and IT-side support burdens; one should also see it as a way to help organization carry out the document-centric aspects of its core business as efficiently as the peers or competitors, or more so. A major implication is that one must involve line-of-business people in planning MFDs, as well as usual IT and purchasing stakeholders.