Established in 1873, Japanese technology company Konica Minolta is among the world’s largest manufacturers of business and industrial imaging products including photo copy machines, laser printers, multi-functional peripherals (MFPs) and digital print systems. The company which has been present in Nepal since 2010 partnered with its new in-country authorised distributor, the Sagar Group in December 2016. Sudhir Kumar, Zonal Sales Manager, Sales Division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions India was recently in Nepal to participate in CAN Info Tech 2017. Krishana Prasain of New Business Age caught up with Kumar to talk about the company’s products, partnership with the Sagar Group and business strategies, among other topics. Excerpts:
Konica Minolta recently partnered with the Sagar Group. How has the start been like?
Konica Minolta started its partnership with the Sagar Group in December 2016 and we are trying to strengthen our presence here with them. Nepal is a very competitive market and many other brands have been here for many years. So, we need to work very hard to further strengthen our position, and that is the reason why we participated in CAN Info Tech 2017.
What is the market like for photo copy machines in Nepal?
Nepal is a market very much similar to India. This is my fourth visit to Nepal and I have met a lot of partners from the photocopier industry as well as prospective customers and government officials here. Konica Minolta has done very good business in India and is one of the fastest growing companies there. Since its inception in India, the brand has been growing its market presence and share on yearly basis. We are rated in top three categories by research companies such as the IDC, India. We want to achieve the same position in Nepal also.
What products do you sell?
In the A3 segment, we have two categories- B/W (black and white) and Colour. The B/W category machines range from 16PPM to 75PPM, while the colour category has machines from 22PPM to 65PPM. So we have a very wide range of machines that are available as per the requirements of customers. If government offices want to have heavy duty machines, we can supply them with such equipments. Likewise, if corporate entities seek for duplex or other networking in-build machines, then we also have equipment for them. In this way we want to cater to government, education, corporate, jobbers, embassies and the events segments.
Since your brand is new in Nepal, what will your upcoming marketing strategies be like? What is your sales target?
We have high hopes here and we are very confident about the strength of our partner Sagar Group. We will be able to cater to all segments in Nepal because we offer good quality equipment’s that boost of having low total cost of ownership (TCO). Return of investment (ROI) is high for the businesses with our products. We will employ various strategies for different segments of the market.
What are the USPs of Konica Minolta products?
Customers will have higher levels of ROI and TCO with our brand. Through Konica Minolta equipments, we offer our clients with cost reduction by reducing TCO. Similarly, our machines improve streamlining of workflows in the workplaces. Konica Minolta uses Simitri HD Toner that uses small and uniform shape of polymerised toner particles. It helps in obtaining very high printout quality. Fused at very low temperature, it is to cost effective to the end users. We also have Toner Loop Mechanism which reduces zero the approximately 5-10 percent of toner that would normally be wasted, thereby saving resources giving a high yield output.
Likewise, Konica Minolta machines come with duplex and network facilities. With this, you do not need to waste pages to print two pages as you can go for back-to-back prints. Along with being user friendly and being robust, our products are also environment friendly as 75 percent of our machines are made from recycled parts. We always support the go green initiative.
How do you see the market competition in Nepal as other major brands are already present here?
Konica Minolta directly entered the Indian market in 2010 and our market share was just 3 percent in India back then. Within six years, we are considered a prominent player in photocopier business. There is the presence of other brands as well in Nepal, but we know our unique selling points and know how to hit the market. With proper implementation of our ‘Go-to-Market’ strategies, we are confident that our products will be successful here. We aim to have happy customers with our brand.