Quality of labour in India is better than China

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Nov 5 2012, 08:22am hrs
Pantum might be a new comer in India, one of the top five markets for printers globally, but the Chinese brand has a clear vision for growth here. It has set a target of 5% market share through its presence in 500 towns and cities by 2015. With a distinct focus on SOHO and SMB segments, Pantum aspires to be among the top five printer brands in the country by 2015, says Jackson Wang, chairman & CEO, Pantum International, part of the Chinese group Seine Technology, in which Lenovo sister concern Legend Capital also has a stake. Pantum aims to cover 64 top cities in India by the end of this year and expects to cover over 100 cities by the end of 2013. Globally, Pantums success cannot be complete without success in India, he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

What are the opportunities that you see in the Indian market

India is one of the top five markets for printers globally. Pantums success cannot be complete without success in India. We have a clear vision for growth here which includes a target of 5% market share through our presence in 500 towns and cities by 2015. This will also make us one of the top five players in the market by 2015 and the India market will contribute 10% of our global business.

Initially, we are going to make Pantum available across top 64 cities and expand to over 100 cities by 2013. We will initially launch Pantum in North and East India in October followed by West and East in November. Overall, we plan to have consistent investment and long-term commitment for the India market.

What are the growth plans for the company in India

As a new comer, we are extremely confident and well prepared to enter the Indian market. We have robust products as well as marketing strategies for the market. With Pantums experience in the supplies business coupled with our manufacturing capabilities, we can provide complete end-to-end solutions to our customers. This also allows us to provide the consumers with more reliable products.

Rashi Peripherals, our partners in India, are a key part of our go-to-market strategy. We will be using the unique experience and wide reach of our channel partner to touch more than 500 towns and cities in India by 2015.

Tell us something about Pantum International

Pantum is a brand of printers created to serve the global printer market with reliable and affordable printing solutions and services. It provides printing solutions to consumers, home offices as well as businesses and governments with a full range of laser printers from single function laser printers to multi-function printers (MFP) and colour printers.

Seine Technology, the manufacturer behind Pantums printers, is a joint venture with Legend Capital and has been named the fourth Top 100 most promising Chinese companies for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). Adhering to the tenet of Delivering Real Value, based on its strong innovation and R&D ability, Pantum is focussed on discovering the current market needs and precisely turn the needs into series of cost-effective, durable and environmental-friendly laser printers and MFPs.

In the early stages of entry into the market, Pantum will emphasise on SOHO and SME users with its entry level products. In the next three years, Pantum will produce a full array of mono single function, MFPs, high-speed printers (HSP) and colour laser printers to satisfy all the customer groups. Pantum products will offer cheaper costs-per-page over time than other printers available in the market.

It is said that all technology innovation comes from customer requirements...

Absolutely. Customer requirement is indeed the most important requirement for us and we believe in providing a complete printer solution to the end users instead of just restricting it to the product. India is a vast country with each region providing a different challenge. Some of the challenges include extreme weather and dust conditions. We solve this by providing extremely robust print engines with at least 50% improvement in engine life and substantially low rate of paper jams.

Also, the Indian consumer is extremely value conscious. To address that, we will be providing printers with at least 10-20% lesser total cost of ownership.

There is a lot of talk about 3D printing. What is Pantums view on this

3D printing is a new application and phenomena that everyone is talking about, We have an extremely able research and development team that is always experimenting with new technologies. However, the scope of 3D printing is limited and currently it is not our focus.

How does India fare from a manufacturing point of view in your sector

The population of India has crossed China, hence it goes without saying that the manufacturing potential in India is very high. It has bigger marketing opportunities now than ever before. The quality of labour in India is perhaps even better than what is available in China.

India and China are strong players in the IT space. Why do you think they havent produced a great technology company like Google or Facebook

It is quite challenging to answer this question. However, going forward integrating resources would be imperative for more and more countries. I believe that in the near future, countries like India and China would soon see products like some of the companies you mentioned.