Bringing Cameras Forward in an Age of Smartphones
MR KENSAKU KONISHI PRESIDENT & CEO. CANON SINGAPORE PTE LTD.
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.