The name Minolta is synonymous with photographic equipment and high end cameras. Few other than industry insiders might be aware that Konica Minolta has ceased its Camera, photographic equipment business way back in 2006. They live by their by line “Your need drives our technology”. Recognizing, the upward trend in usage of mobile phone cameras for quality pictures, the Japanese company aligned itself to the market sentiment. Having captured a substantial share of the market pie in the camera and photographic equipment market, they focused their energies on colour printers. The USP of Minolta printers is its high quality colour technology that gives a superior quality print as also the high printing speed.
Konica Minolta entered the Indian Market in August 2010 and has set up base in Gurgaon. The company operates through its India subsidiary Konica Minolta business Solutions India Ltd. The principals have been maintaining a keen interest on the India operations. The Indian market is teeming with well-established names like HP and Epson and Canon. However Minolta has managed to shake up these IT majors’ monopolies and garnered a 49% share in the market for their production printing product.Tadahiko Sumitani , MD Konica Minolta business solutions India Ltd. maintains that they are making inroads into the other products namely A3 black and white and A3 colour printer category with 18 and 25 percent market share respectively.
The positives for Minolta havebeen their positioning for the larger products designed for SME’s and large corporates wherein the margins are better. Furthermore, as they have a strong nationwide distributorbase this aids their coverage over a vast land like India.
The challenges that the company faces with its India operations can be primarily are uniform across industry. The operational cost would be prohibitive for a newbie entering the market as also the return on the investment would take a longer time to mature. Further regional diversity in demand for its various products would require tweaking of the production, supply and distributor base accordingly.
The company’s vision of harnessing technology to create new value for the society & people at large is also adding lucratively to their bottom line. Industry watchers are predicting a favorable future for the company.