Bill Gates understood the potential of the personal computer before many others, just as Steve Jobs understood the potential of mobile computing, and those visions helped build their respective companies. Arguably nothing is more important to a company than the person in charge who understands both the market today and where it will be tomorrow. Alok Bharadwaj is widely credited for building the Canon brand in the country. In recent months, the India executive vice-president of the $45.6 billion Japanese camera and printer maker has created a definite amount of buzz in the marketplace with new product launches, attractive pricing and retail expansion, enabling Canon India to grow by 21% and achieve Rs 1,850 crore in revenue in 2012.
“India is one of the most crucial markets in the Asia Pacific region for Canon,” says Alok. “Our growth in India is impressive, yet we want to set more ambitious targets.” A common face in many industry forums, Alok is a practical man with his ear to the ground and is abreast of ground realities. “The economic downturn impacted our growth to some extent. But the growth in India is better than other countries. About 50% of the company’s revenues in 2012 came from cameras, 20% from printers, 25% from copier and document management services and 5% from professional printing products business. Last year, we had announced that by 2015, our India sales would touch $1 billion; we have revised that target and plan to reach that figure by 2016,” he predicts.
Alok surely knows the tricks and tools of the Indian camera and printer industry. He has been instrumental in driving the company’s strong performance in India, which has been achieved on the basis of its marketing initiatives where it has expanded its retail presence substantially across the country. Last week, Canon India introduced a new series of printers for in-studio photo printing, designed to meet the requirements of photographers with no compromise on productivity and high colour accuracy printing.
“India has over 10,000 professional photographers and half of them are Canon users. Over several years, we have been addressing their strong