In Conversation with Digital Impressions, C Sukumaran, Senior Director- Product & Communication, Canon India, shares his views on the company’s performance and the road map to 2024 post drupa

What were the standout achievements in production printing for Canon India Limited in 2023, particularly regarding market performance and technological advancements?

In 2023, Canon India embraced a transformative journey with ‘Henkaku’ as its core vision, marking a pivotal year of innovation across product segments. The record sales we achieved last year has been a testament to the impact of our technologies and the value driven by our customers. The year also saw us strengthening our customer connect through various BTL activations.

With a quality-first approach, Canon has not only met evolving customer needs but has also revolutionized the printing industry, solidifying our position as a leader in commercial printing solutions. The year 2023 stands out as a testament to Canon’s dedication to excellence and empowering customers in their pursuit of business growth.

Can you highlight any notable new product launches or technological innovations that Canon India introduced to the Indian market in 2023?

One of the most notable product launch from 2023 has been the introduction of the revolutionary imagePRESS V Series printers, which highlighted our commitment to addressing evolving industry requirements. These printers offer an exceptional printing experience for businesses and is designed to address the challenges of the graphic print segment, such as consistent print quality, front-back registration, high media switching time, limited media handling capability, lesser productivity and so on. It has emerged as an ideal and perfect choice for light to mid-production segments, seeking efficiency and costeffectiveness in today’s competitive landscape, solving most of the requirements for our customers in commercial printing.

Similarly, addressing new age operational requirements from small workspaces or homebound offices, we launched the imagePROGRAF TC-20 series, Canon’s first desktop 4-color pigment ink large format printer with A1 plus capability. Designed to provide optimal productivity, the versatile printer is ideal for architects, remote worksites, small offices, and retail outlets. Furthermore, the imagePROGRAF TM Series is a line-up of large format printers that includes the TM-5240, TM-5340, TM-5250, TM-5255, TM-5350, and TM-5355 models. These printers offer various features and capabilities to meet different printing needs, from high-speed printing to producing vibrant, high-quality prints. Whether you run a copy shop, photo studio, corporate office, site engineering office, or print shop, these printers are an excellent choice for your large format printing requirements.

In what ways did Canon India leverage the opportunities presented by the evolving consumer demands and technological advancements in the Indian market last year?

The year 2023 saw a rapid transformation in the digital printing industry due to various innovations and increased customers’ adoption of digital experiences. This growth has expanded digital printing into several sectors, such as packaging, commercial offset, book printing, photo printing, and AECM.

In India, this transformation was made possible by the rise in the volume of commercial printing, decentralization of digital printing, and expansion into Tier 2 and 3 cities. These factors, combined with digitization, have significantly reshaped printing services’ production, delivery, and consumption, resulting in more personalized, targeted, and cost-effective printing solutions for end-users. We have been actively decentralizing commercial digital printing in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, optimizing service operations, and expanding our channels aggressively. Moreover, we are committed to extending our geographical reach, reinforcing our dedication to sustained growth and customer satisfaction.

Further, we have been well-positioned to benefit from this digital shift by expanding our sales reach, improving our product portfolio, and maintaining our commitment to growth and customer satisfaction. Our objective is to become a world leader in home and office printing, stay up to date with technological advancements, and facilitate digital transformation while strengthening our presence in industrial printing.

Looking ahead to 2024, what are the expectations regarding Canon India’s performance in the Indian market, especially with the backdrop of drupa 2024?

The printing and packaging industry is constantly evolving with new advancements being showcased at events like drupa 2024. The future of the industry will continue to depend heavily on technology, particularly the integration of digital printing across various sectors. Post-Drupa 2024, we can expect a greater focus on inkjet technology in digital printing, including B2 & B3 formats, which will significantly impact various printing domains, such as commercial, label and packaging.

Looking at the Indian market, commercial printing is expected to see further growth and expansion in Tier 2 and 3 cities driven by digital decentralization. Canon recognizes the transformative power of digitization and is committed to offering top-tier technology solutions for clients across sectors who are navigating the digital transformation through inkjet technology. The printing industry is already experiencing a robust 25-30% increase in equipment sales, highlighting the positive effects of digitization and the growing demand for cutting-edge solutions that meet evolving customer expectations.

In 2024, Canon aims to focus on technology development that can offer better efficiency, productivity, and quality to overcome the challenges of price pressure and, consequently, enhance profitability. By smartly and innovatively addressing these verticals, we are confident of offering customers greater value and satisfaction.

Are there any particular product lines or segments where Canon India plans to focus more attention or investment in 2024? If so, what are the reasons behind these strategic decisions?

In 2024, we are looking forward to build upon the achievements of 2023, by creating a stronger customer base for imagePRESS series through aggressive marketing initiatives. Further, we will strengthen our segment presence by amplifying our efforts in the offset vertical, penetrate into book & commercial printing with new launches and build competency for label printing.

We want to break new grounds into label printing with the introduction of innovative LabelStream LS2000, our new water-based inket label press, CMYK + White, with speed up to 40m/min and a maximum media width of 350mm. We understand label converters wishes to cater customers by producing diversified applications especially for short runs. We wish to cater to a broad range of vertical markets including food & beverage, fast moving consumer goods, personal care, pharmaceutical, healthcare, retail display etc.

How do you see the demand for inkjet production presses in India and where does Canon stand on introduction of these presses in this market?

Digital Printing market in India is still dominated by Laser/Electrophotographic Production Printers or Presses. With the advanced capability to produce high image quality & better anticipated cost dynamics, Inkjet Technology is certainly going to challenge Laser Printing presses. In future, many of the inkjet presses will be apt to print short-run print jobs that may no longer be economical to be produced on offset presses & we believe that Indian customers are gearing up to adopt inkjet technology soon. Even now, Canon has the one of the most comprehensive portfolios from toner to inkjet, from webfed to sheetfed to cater to Indian customers. Being technology leader, Canon also have plans to introduce Inkjet press which can print High quality commercial applications & we may witness them at drupa 2024..

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