Continuing The Downhill Road to A Doubtful Future
With the need to digitally transform everything and the possibilities which digitalization offers, a slowdown and then an eventual downswing in the printer market was very much expected since past few years. Now with negative growth, one cannot assume tha
As the world keeps moving towards the future every second, it is notable that digital technology is taking over with gradual developments. Office and home digitalization has no doubt increased, not only in the present global scenario but in India also where we have our government with one of its primary focus being on digital adoption.
Digital technology has evolved so quickly that it has fundamentally changed the way world works now. It is a general fact that printed materials like office documents, newspapers and magazines are getting phasedout following the ever-expanding digital sphere. Consumers are no longer consuming in traditional ways hence employees are also no longer employed to do their jobs the traditional way. This has led to an extreme slowdown in the printer market since past few years.
As a repercussion and amid the government’s push on Digital India initiative, the overall printer market in India registered a negative growth of 5%. It has plunged to 3,235 crore from last year’s revenue of 3,412 crore. The market has been going through a rough patch ever since digital became the new necessity. The dip in revenues is becoming inevitable and is only growing at large year by year.
Although one may feel that everything is turning digital but that is not the case when we talk about Indian organizations. Majority of industries are still largely paper-driven in India. Yet, the leading players of the paperdriven market are facing the dilemma of dealing with the increased impor-
tance of digitalization and the need of organizations to access information anytime and anywhere, with trying to keep the demand intact.
With the help of CyberMedia Research (CMR), Dataquest tried to examine the market figures of FY 201617. The estimates revealed that the overall Indian printer market suffered a negative growth of 5% this year. The demand was largely centered on Inkjet Multi-Function printers which rose above all as the only contender with positive growth in the market.
INKJET: A RAY OF HOPE
A4 Inkjet Multi-Function printers were the only growth drivers in the Indian printer market. Inkjet MFPs (Multi-function Printers) stood tall and strong in the digital age with an uptick of 19%. Epson is the leader with 52% market share, followed by HP with 33% and Canon with 12%, among other players. The vendors have been forced to abandon the traditional form of printers to stimulate the demand with cost-effective printing solutions to grow at pace with the digital trends.
However, the single-function market is acting motionless compared to its multi-function counterpart. Even the Inkjet SFPs (Single Function Printers) stood still with stagnant growth. The focus of the industries has been on multi-function Inkjets which lead to the sluggishness of single-function market. Epson is the definite leader in the SFPs with a major share of 92%, leaving HP and Canon way behind at 5 and 3 percent.
Laser printer market, single or multifunction, is also in deep water. Multifunction witnessed 12% growth in 2015 but could not live up to the ex-
pectations this year as it got only few takers. The overall multi-function revenue slumped 9% with Samsung being the last leading player having only 7% share, Canon took 12% share, and HP largely dictated with 68% of the market share.
Whereas, single-function laser printer market managed to position itself just above single-function Inkjet printer market in the list of worst performance for FY 2016-17. Singlefunction in laser declined a massive 22% this year.
DOT MATRIX: A DEAD END
In FY 2015-16, the dot matrix segment shrank 16% and the market continues to sink as the revenues dropped from
205 crore to 148 crore in FY 201617, resulting in a hefty 28% nega- tive growth. In the digital times, dot matrix is having the most difficulty in maintaining its position in the market among other printers. Yet, it is difficult to suspect when this printer segment might seize to exist completely owing to its loyal customers. Government departments, offices, ATMs, POS and the retail space in India still use dot matrix for being cheaper, taking number of copies, and versatility of documents which can be printed.
OUTLOOK: EXISTENCE OF PRINTERS
While multi-function inkjet is the only significant player with a positive growth in the printer market, the overall outlook seems disappointing as digital is taking over. Adoption of quick services through internet and ease of access is shaping a new dimension which might result in complete termination of printing business. In addition, India is witnessing an unprecedented wave of digitalization as the government’s focus to digitalize everything from a small document to huge processes is also affecting the printing industry in one way or the other. Digital India is poised to transform the printer industry as well.
There is no quick fix to these issues but there is perhaps benefit to look at them in a different manner. Vendors can explore the possibilities that digital solutions can bring to their products. At this juncture, it is important for the printer industry to step-up its competencies and delivery capabilities to meet the expectations of the digital world.