RICOH poised to introduce economical machines

Focusing on tapping educational and financial institutes Sensing the current market pulse of the country, RICOH India Limited has outlined new business strategies to tap fresh domains with the launch of a set of economical machines to meet the needs of Indian customers. In this context, Avijit Mukherjee, chief operating officer, Production Printing - SBU, RICOH India Limited talks about the company’s aggressive move to double its overall activities by the next fiscal in an exclusive interview with Print & Publishing. The fresh challenge in RICOH India’s strategic plans to introduce a new range of economical machines and penetration into newer domains would be an endeavour to boost the company’s overall business into ‘double’ by FY 2014. By and large, the company’s new move is to fortify ‘value for money’ in the gradually growing Indian printing industry. “We have started all our budget, strategy and our sale force is growing, sales models are adding up and utilising alternate channels to extensively reach our customers,” said Avijit Mukherjee adding that the biggest challenge is to reach the customers in a prospective and productive way. He further explained that India is home to more than 1,50,000 offset printers and the new mission of RICOH would be directly reaching to all these companies based unnoticeably in far and away corners of those less-explored destinations like Nagpur, Raipur, Kochi, Thirupur, Shivakasi, etc.

Exploring new domains

Avijit MukherjeeRICOH India boasts of one of the largest networks and direct presence to its customers. Entry-level, mid-level and high-end machines of the company formed a complete portfolio which comprises the entire range of colour and B&W multifunctional systems, cutsheet colour and B&W production printers, continuous colour and B&W production printers, copy printers, etc. RICOH India has a strong network of 14 branch offices and 230 dealers across the country. “We have sufficiently covered tier I cities so far, now is the time to target tier II & III cities,” remarked Avijit.

Yet another domain which RICOH India is targeting to push business to a new level will be the government and private educational and financial institutes across the country. “We are going to give concentrated effort on this and we have received a couple of orders to be delivered soon. It can be college, university or any institute, we have been associating with to deliver arrays of machineries for their central reprographic departments,” asserted Avijit. He added that most of the financial institutes adopt digital presses to print reports, portfolios and other documents in colour.

Fresh advantage

Institutes like Franklin, Stanley and others have already installed RICOH colour presses. Financial institutes are the main target which RICOH India is now planning to rope in. In this respect, Avjit said, “If we refer RICOH’s performance across Asia (except India), 70 percent of digital presses have been sold to educational institutes, universities and financial institutions. Look at the old universities in India, they all have their own printing presses. Be it University of Calcutta, University of Bombay, University of Madras, they have central reprographic departments for exams, results and other documents in need, they never outsource these printing tasks.”

These days, most of the boards of educations in India own printing presses to print all their internal documents. “Of course, if you outsource exam question papers to an offset printer, there is high chance to get it leaked,” explained Avijit adding, “In worst case of ‘leaking’ while printed in an in-house digital press facility, it’s quite easier to rearrange a fresh set of the documents immediately.” He thus explained that digital press has revolutionised this market and RICOH India would embark upon this tremendously expanding segment.

Needs of applications

The next year will witness a series of RICOH India’s economical machines which would be launched in different cities. Sales force of the company will be doubled to successfully implement the new launches. The company has sales and re-sales teams in Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and other parts of the country. “With the introduction of our new and economical range of printers, our reach to the customers will be expanded to newer extent,” said Avijit. “We have established our leadership in the mid segment. We have unearthed the needs of applications of customers when it comes to referring our upcoming economical machines,” he added.

RICOH has partnered with Heidelberg to focus on photo labs. “Partnership with Heidelberg is a self indication that RICOH wants to be very strong in graphic arts under a long-term strategy. Similarly, our introduction of new economical machines would bring in new momentum in book printing market. We will help our existing partners to involved with printing documents of volumes which particularly come from banks, insurance companies and multi-programme companies. In this connection, we have started the activity, which will be expanded more strategically next year.”

Another fresh upsurge at RICOH India is that the company’s Pro L4000 series large-format Latex printer, which had successful showcase during drupa 2012 at Dusseldorf, Germany, will hit the Indian market by the end of FY 2013.

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