The imaging industry is changing rapidly with digital cameras making inroads into both consumer and professional segments of the Indian photography market
The photography industry seems to be on a positive runway, as the demand for cameras in other industries is increasing. The channel partners are also making profits through various ways like selling cameras, selling image-editing software, servers, storage devices and printers. The imaging industry is changing rapidly with digital technology being widely adopted. Digital cameras are replacing traditional roll-based analog cameras. They are making inroads into both the consumer and professional segments of the Indian photography market.
“Gone are the days when a photo studio was the first port of call to buy a camera. Largeformat retail (LFR) is fast emerging as a big sales channel,” says Sajjan Kumar, GM, imaging division of Nikon. He adds, “Photo studios and consumer electronic stores together account for 80-85% of our sales, but LFR already accounts for 10-12% and is growing very fast.”
Growing availability and accessibility is just one of the reasons for the stupendous growth that the digital camera market is seeing in India. In October-December 2010 alone, unit sales recorded 69% y-o-y growth, according to CyberMedia Research’s India Quarterly Digital Camera Market Review.
According to Anirban Banerjee, associate VP, research and advisory services, CyberMedia Research, “Multiple market forces have converged to drive the rise in sales of digital cameras in the India market. The most important ones are — increase in availability and sharing of digital content, increase in ‘real’ spending power and reduction in average selling values.”
Companies such as Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, which are big in the durables space, started using the consumer electronics stores (CES) as their distribution channels for cameras. Imaging majors such as Nikon and Canon, which had been relying on the photographic channels, followed suit. In 2009, Nikon had just 5% share of the market in the point-andshoot compacts. Today, with initiatives such as Cool Pix zones within retail showrooms, it has over 20% and is at second spot in the category behind Sony. It is also credited that the wide sales network (over 5,000 channel partners) as one of the factors for Sony’s top position in the compact camera segment.
It is a critical factor and reveals how it is putting great efforts in beefing up channel reach. Tier-2 and 3 cities are also coming into focus. According to Nikhil Khurana, lead analyst, India Digital Products Research, CyberMedia Research, the move to B and C towns is expected to help the penetration of digital cameras rise from the current level (below 5%) to 10% by 2015.
While online is a significant sales channel in developed markets, in India, Kumar says it yields less than 600-700 units for Nikon.
Alok Gupta, CEO, Softmart, says, “Any photo-studio needs software like CorelDRAW, illustrator, Photoshop and have huge add-ons and other plug-ins. There is a huge potential in the industry and partners can make good business out of that. However, the photo studios have to become more matured. It is also encouraging that companies like Adobe gives special offers to the members of photography associations.” Gupta also added that many photo-studios are unable to adopt the latest technology trends like buying new software. “The vendors can bring up with some affordable rates with limited versions at ` 15,000,” Gupta says.
“In the recent days you can never find a studio with negative and positive printing. All the systems have mostly either Epson or HP printing machine. However, the entities here are very small-time unlike in the United States of America where the branches were maintained by a big corporate company,” said Saket Kapur, CEO, Green Vision, Delhi. He also says that many of the studios does not use it more than the 20% of the applications. “In fact, by proper training, they will get to learn all the latest technologies and make good business. A proper training, awareness program from the vendors will help them know the advantages of having a original product,” he concluded.
Harinder Salwan, CEO, Tricom Multimedia, Mumbai, says, “The photography industry is not helping the channel partners really as piracy plays a major role in that. Even in the recent meeting conducted by ASIRT, we have made a joint resolution to stop promoting piracy.”
“Any photo-studio needs software like CorelDRAW, illustrator, Photoshop and have huge add-ons and other plugins. There is a huge potential in the industry and partners can make good business out of that”
“The photography industry is not helping the channel partners really as piracy plays a major role in that. Even in the recent meeting conducted by ASIRT, we have made a joint resolution to stop promoting piracy”
CEO, Tricom Multimedia