April 4, 2008
In a bid to tap the emerging SMB and SOHO market, Canon India will be
undertaking a number of initiatives this fiscal. The company is planning to
appoint partners in tier-2 cities.
Puneet Datta, Senior Manager-Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions
Division, Canon India stated, “We would be focusing on SMB in a big way
because it is the only space that is growing faster than the industry's growth
rate. But in metros, the growth is not more than 20 to 30 percent.”
He further added that at the moment, SMBs are in the purchasing mode and are
looking for products that will cater to their growing needs. In order to
strengthen their presence in the SMB segment, the company will rely on its
channel partners. Canon secured first position in the A3 digital copier category
in 2007, according to IDC figures. The company is targeting a larger marketshare
in the A4 category this year.
“We have 150 odd partners in the tier-1 cities. We have realized that we do
not have a strong base in the SOHO segment. We plan to appoint partners that
have set skills and focused approach. Also, we would be appointing 700 to 1,000
partners in tier-2 cities. We have also been conducting Canon empowered partners
(CEP) training programs to educate our partners,” shared Datta.
The company has CEP in tier-2 cities. It has CEP for divisions like inkjet
printers, laser printers, scanners and digital camcoders, among others. But the
company is planning to appoint separate set of partners to cater to the SOHO
The company has training centers in various parts of the country to educate
and empower partners. In addition, the company is planning to kick-start their
Gurukul academy program, which is an initiative to educate and empower the
channel. Canon will be holding seminars and camps in various regions across
India for the same. It will also be initiating a demo challenge in Gurukul
starting this year.
The demo challenges will recognize those partners who are good at giving
demonstrations and it will also educate partners on Canon products. “We will
have demo challenges in each region. These regional champions will then
participate in the national championship in June. We want to make this an annual
event so that we can keep partners motivated and thereby help them understand
what our product is all about,” said Datta.
Canon had institutionalized Gurukul academy for its tier-1 partners in