Riding on a 30 per cent growth in all business categories, Canon India is aiming to become a Rs 700-crore company this fiscal. Last year, the company had clocked revenues of Rs 510 crore.
Talking to exchange4media.com, Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice-President, Canon India, said, “We are targeting to grow to Rs 700 crore this year. Our focus for the next six months is B2C business, which includes videocam recorders, digital SLRs and digital cameras. Videocam recorders are a big opportunity. We have launched our Flash Back cam recorders – one of our big focus areas. We are going a bit against the industry direction.”
About the communication strategy for cam recorders, Bharadwaj informed, “The theme of our campaign is ‘Skip the hard disk’. We are doing a print and outdoor campaign all over India focussing on the advantages of compactness, lightweight and long battery life of Canon cam recorders. The transfer of images is as easy as a flash drive. The campaign was done by Dentsu Marcom.”
Canon is also banking heavily on digital SLRs. Said Bharadwaj, “We are looking at making professional products more consumer-centric. We are positioning the entry-level digital SLRs at photo enthusiasts – the single software engineers and young, single earning working professionals. Bangalore has emerged as a good entry level city where these are in high demand.”
To promote this category, the company has launched a programme for its digital SLRs called Cannon Edge. “A portal, Canonedge.com, has been created where our customers can become part of our online photo community and can participate in contests, etc. We have formed a Canon panel of photographers, who will give weekly tips to members. We have 2,500 members on our portal and hope to add 5,000 more by the end of this year,” Bharadwaj informed.
There are some new retail initiatives too. Said Bharadwaj, “We have just launched Canon Image Lounge in Gurgaon and will open such lounges in Mumbai and Bangalore by the end of this year, where we will display our cameras and accessories. The thrust is not to sell from there but to create an ambience and awareness. The idea is to provide consumers a friendly environment where they can feel and experience the product.”
Bharadwaj informed that the third area of focus was digital cameras. The aim is to increase their availability through more retail points. “We have just signed 13 national retail chains in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and retail chains in the top 10 cities. Our distribution network reaches out to about 800-1,000 retail points,” he said.
Regarding advertising, Bharadwaj said, “We are increasing our investment in advertising for digital cameras. Recently, we had taken up sponsorship in IPL for our Power Shot brand. We released a TV campaign with Sachin Tendulkar a month back.”
Canon is also pushing its printing accessories business as it is the “other side of imaging”. Said Bharadwaj, “We have sub-brands called Pixma Inkjet printers and Selphy photo printers. One of the thrust areas is to leverage the different distribution channels to do cross-promotions. One of our thrust areas is to get cameras into IT channels and printers into photo channels.”
Bharadwaj disclosed that the company was already gearing up for Diwali. “We have put regionalisation, localisation in promotional marketing communication. We have customised our promotional message starting from Onam in Kerala to Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai to Dussehra in Bangalore, Kali Pooja in Kolkata, Navratra in Ahmedabad and Diwali in Delhi,” he added.