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|December 31, 1998||
Epson plans to go into marketing overdriveThe domestic printer market will witness intense competition in the next few months with Epson India aggressively pushing its multi-pronged strategy to take on market leader Hewlett Packard.
Epson India, the wholly owned subsidiary of the $7 billion Japanese conglomerate Seiko Epson Corporation, has drawn up a two-phase plan to increase its share in the inkjet printer market that is expected to grow to 515,000 units.
"We will focus on inkjet printers where we have tremendous potential to increase our share," Deputy General Manager Paresh Vora has been quoted as saying.
Epson will launch a promotional campaign and a thrust will be given to market development, he added. The company recently launched a series of new printers in the country for the office and home markets.
Epson has pinned high hopes on its range of inkjet printers and intends to grab over 30-35 per cent market share.
Market development, through more printer series and awareness campaigns, will be another phase of the strategy.
Epson's key advantage in this fight could be the 'micro-piezo' head technology that ensures photo quality in printouts. Its nozzle emits three sizes of ink droplets and with the printer's intelligent driver specifying the correct size of drop, the printer gives the best colour-photo reproduction.
Epson's new printers include what it calls the most-affordable printer, Epson Stylus Color 640 at Rs 12,900 and it is targeted at small and medium companies.
For entry-level users, the company has Stylus Color 440 with 720 dpi photo-quality colour, priced at Rs 7,900. The added attraction here, claims Vora, is the free extra colour cartridge.
Epson knows that it is pitted against the global peripheral giants, Hewlett Packard, which has strengths in market development, distribution and sheer volumes in all printer categories.
HP completely dominates the laser printer market and has well over 60-65 per cent share of the inkjet printer market. Vora says Epson "has a 30 per cent market share now and the target is 50 per cent".
In dot matrix printers, Epson competes against Wipro and TVS Electronics in the country. It has over 28 per cent share of this market that Vora believes will increase in the coming months.
"With the move to automate all bank branches, dot matrix printers will have tremendous demand and we hope to cash in on this," he said.
Dot matrix printers find use in back-office documentation. Dot matrix is facing extinction worldwide as most manufacturers have cut down or stopped production of these printers. Although they continue to support existing users, no more dot matrix printers are reaching the markets.
The global inkjet market is around 54 million units and is expected to expand to 60 million in 1999-2000. Epson hopes to improve its share in the international printer market from 27 per cent to 30 per cent in the next fiscal.
HP finance scheme Hewlett Packard India has introduced a zero per cent interest finance scheme for its design jet printers. The 12-month interest-free scheme is applicable on purchase of one or more printers totalling Rs 500,000.
The scheme, directly offered by HP, offers benefits like credit confirmation within two days, savings on interest costs and income tax and low initial outlay.
- Compiled from the Indian media
- Compiled from the Indian media
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