Bring­ing Cam­eras For­ward in an Age of Smart­phones

MR KEN­SAKU KON­ISHI PRES­I­DENT & CEO. CANON SIN­GA­PORE PTE LTD.

HWM (Singapore) - - Q & A - by Mar­cus Wong

What are the big­gest chal­lenges the cam­era in­dus­try is fac­ing to­day?

It would be the rise of smart­phones, and the im­pact it has had on world­wide cam­era sales, es­pe­cially en­try-level com­pact cam­eras. Smart­phones have evolved from be­ing a com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool to be­com­ing an es­sen­tial com­po­nent in the ev­ery­day lives of bil­lions of con­sumers. The good news is that be­cause of this trend, more people are tak­ing up pho­tog­ra­phy. Thus, we still see good po­ten­tial for high-end com­pact cam­eras and DSLRs.

What ini­tia­tives (or tech­nolo­gies) is Canon tak­ing to com­bat this trend?

Canon is one of the few com­pa­nies to har­ness orig­i­nal tech­nolo­gies. We de­velop and man­u­fac­ture the var­i­ous imag­ing tech­nolo­gies in our core prod­ucts like cam­eras. At Canon, we be­lieve in the in­vest­ment in R&D and to­day, re­main the third largest holder of patents in the world. This is a big ad­van­tage be­cause we are then able to in­tro­duce su­pe­rior qual­ity cam­eras that al­low users to cap­ture their vi­sion, share their feel­ings and to cre­ate mem­o­ries.

Be­yond the prod­uct, we also strive to pro­vide a su­pe­rior cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. We fo­cus on ex­cel­lent af­ter sales ser­vices like coach­ing users to help them get the most out of their Canon prod­ucts through our Canon Imag­ing Academy.

We are also re­vi­tal­is­ing the in­ter­est in both the am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy fields among con­sumers, as seen through events such as the an­nual Canon Pho­tomarathon, and through cre­at­ing plat­forms like EOS World for pho­tog­ra­phy en­thu­si­asts to share their work and pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy.

Print­ing is an­other in­dus­try that’s fac­ing a threat from in­creased dig­i­tal­iza­tion, what do you see in the fu­ture of the print busi­ness?

Due to the in­creas­ing vol­ume of in­for­ma­tion that we have to deal with daily, stud­ies have shown that de­mand for print is on an up­ward trend, with no vis­i­ble signs of de­cline in the near fu­ture.

We see an in­crease in on-de­mand dig­i­tal print­ing re­plac­ing tra­di­tional off­set print­ing. This pre­sents ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties for Canon to ex­pand its doc­u­ment man­age­ment so­lu­tion busi­ness, es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing economies where the need for print­ing is in­creas­ing. For ex­am­ple, our Man­aged Doc­u­ment Ser­vices (MDS) can help en­ter­prises to man­age their print and doc­u­ment work­flow en­vi­ron­ment and pro­cesses more ef­fec­tively, keep­ing watch on their print­ing costs and us­age pat­terns.

What is Canon’s key fo­cus area in the SEA re­gion?

There are two key fo­cus ar­eas which Canon is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing in the re­gion. Mov­ing for­ward, we will be in­no­vat­ing to of­fer smarter print­ing and doc­u­ment man­age­ment so­lu­tions. Coun­tries like In­dia, In­done­sia and Viet­nam present great op­por­tu­ni­ties for Canon in the next 3 to 5 years. In the next 5 to 10 years, coun­tries like Bangladesh, Pak­istan and Myan­mar which are also see­ing good eco­nomic growth will fol­low.

Sec­ondly, Canon will be en­rich­ing the way our cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­ence Canon, through the ex­pan­sion of our Canon Im­age Square net­work in the re­gion. These form a net­work of gal­leries that show­cases Canon’s in­no­va­tions at their very best – from cam­eras to print­ers. We are work­ing to­wards ex­pand­ing our Im­age Squares from 150 out­lets in the re­gion to 300 gal­leries in two years time. Canon has al­ways been more than de­vices. It’s about a ‘to­tal de­light­ful re­la­tion­ship’ and our Im­age Squares are bril­liant av­enues for us to sell the value of pho­tog­ra­phy to our cus­tomers and for them to ex­pe­ri­ence that win­ning re­la­tion­ship.

HWM

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