With around 130 Canon Image Square stores in 65 cities, Canon India is growing fast across the nation.
Andrew Koh, Senior Director, Imaging Communication Products Group, Canon India Pvt. Ltd spoke to Ekta Sharma Verma about his views on franchising and plans ahead.
Tell us about your strategies for the Indian market?
This year, we are focused on expanding our Canon Image Square stores to tier II and III cities. First, we wanted to introduce a much wider audience to our products and services, as well as give them a place to get hands-on experience with our latest cameras and lenses. Secondly, we feel there is huge untapped potential in these regions. As compared to other countries, India has a very fast moving market, requiring quick decision making and strategising.
What is your target group?
Canon has always been a sought after brand for seasoned photographers and professionals. Over the years, our loyal customer base in this target group has only increased. In 2014, one of the biggest trends has been the sharp rise in the sale of DSLR cameras and lenses.
Via which business model do you operate in India?
Canon India started in 1997 and up until about four years ago we were selling through MBO's alone. It was in 2010 that we set up the first Canon Image Square in a bid to expand our retail presence. Currently, we operate through both Exclusive Brand stores (EBO) as well as Multi Brand Stores (MBO). In addition to the exclusive Canon Image Square stores, we have approximately 500 primary channel partners, 14 national retail chain partners, and over 6000 secondary retail points. All of these help Canon consolidate its retail presence in the Indian market.
Tell us your views on franchising?
Franchising is a very effective way to leverage the local knowledge and know-how of the large pool of partners that we have. We are keen to generate more awareness about Canon products and services and also be available to customers across the country. Over the years, we have successfully accomplished this via the franchising route.
Do you think Digital imaging Industry is well progressing in India?
Digital Imaging is a robust industry worldwide and India is no exception to this. According to a study "India Camera Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2017" - by Research and Markets - the digital camera market will witness phenomenal growth, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 per cent for next five years. Particularly in tier I cities, we see that more and more people, with large disposable incomes are skipping the entry-level compact cameras for our more advanced series. But if we move down to smaller towns, there is still a healthy demand for entry level point and shoot cameras, with a developing aspiration to own and use a DSLR camera.
What are your expansion plans for 2015-16?
We will continue to invest more in taking our retail presence i.e. our CIS stores to smaller towns and cities across India. From the current 130 CIS stores, we hope to take this number to well over 200 in the coming year.