Eddie Udagawa , Vice President of Consumer Imaging and Information Centre (CII), Canon India, has been associated with the company for over 31 years. Udagawa has worked with various overseas markets for Canon namely the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, since 1995. In a chat with exchange4media, Udagawa tells us about the new campaign, why smartphone penetration is not a threat but an opportunity and the road ahead for Canon India. Excerpts:
Please tell us more about your campaign, Let’s Connect.
As Canon India is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, on this special occasion we want to connect with our customers and in order to do it, we have started our road show campaign to reach out to the customers directly. We started this activity last year and till now we have done 60 road shows and are still trying to do more. As we are present in 60 countries, we have seen the campaign achieve a lot of success and that more people are enjoying it because they are getting the opportunity to try and feel the product firsthand. Our priority is to connect people with cameras and recently we have launched a Photo Contest for which we got 60,000 entries, which shows people’s enthusiasm towards photography. Also, we are conducting several workshops for entry level camera users as well as advanced camera users and women-centric workshops in India. I am surprised to see that in India there are a lot of wedding photographers while several people want to be wedding photographers because they feel there is a huge potential and business opportunity in the market for the same.
What step is Canon taking on the marketing front to strengthen its presence in India?
Presence wise, a lot of Indian customers are interested in photography, that’s for sure, and that is one of the reasons our sales of camera products are increasing. At the same time we want more people to understand more about photography. So, that is one very big mission for us- to educate and inform people about the products. As economy is growing in India we have seen how GDP has increased to 7%. As a result, our potential customers are also increasing every day.
How has the growth of smartphones posed as a challenge for Canon?
Absolutely not a challenge, it is a good advantage for us; because of smartphones people already enter as camera users and they have the potential, also they are interested in photo-shooting already. Many times they find out that a phone is not enough for photo shooting and then they opt for a camera and sometimes they realise photography is their hidden passion.
Share some details about Canon’s efforts to drive the photography culture in the country.
We have been promoting photography culture in the country through various activities. Every year we organise an event called ‘Canon Photo Marathon’, a platform for people where they can come and shoot as per the given theme and the best part of the event is that you can bring any camera with you. Our vision is to arrange a platform for those people who have a keen interest in photography, where they can come forward and showcase their talent. We are sure that once they come and experience our event, the customer will move away from any other brand to Canon after seeing and experiencing the whole thing.
What is your vision for Canon India for 2017?
Luckily last year, according to the Import and Export data, we are No.1 in terms of DSLR and market share in India. So, our target is to maintain this position and capture more than 50% in terms of market share. Plus this year we will be focusing on the video business and doing a couple of activities around the same. Also, we will be focusing more on marketing initiatives.