Ricoh India: a well-planned remarkable growth!

Fast growing digital printer organisation Ricoh India is leaving no stone unturned to tap the expanding Indian market. Their installation base has risen remarkably and is entering new market segments, as revealed by Tetsuya Takano, managing director and CEO, Ricoh India Ltd, in an exclusive interaction with Print & Publishing editors SK Khurana and Varsha Verma. Excerpts.

With barely one and a half years of opening their India operations, Ricoh India boasts of 300 percent growth in installation and 240 percent growth in revenues for the year as against the six months ended in March 2011, told Avijit Mukherjee, chief operating officer, production printing – SBU, Ricoh India Ltd.

Supporting his statement, Tetsuya Takano added, “We have installed 40 units of colour digital printing units apart from 60 monochrome digital printing units this year and are hoping to install ten more colour machines soon.” Compared to the figures for their six months ending March 31, 2011, the installation of 10 colour units and 26 monochrome units, this year’ figures definitely seem promising.

Interestingly, geographically maximum installations of Ricoh machines have been in South and West, which is because of capacity utilization. “In northern India, a customer adds another engine when their page print count crosses 1,50,000 while in South and Western regions, a customer adds a printing machine when figure crosses 50,000,” explained Avijit. He also added that in South and West the price per print is higher than that of North by default quality is better.

Today, Ricoh is number one in the colour digital printing market segment with 38 percent market share, as revealed by Anjana Saha, marketing manager, production printing business group, Ricoh India Ltd, whereas previously Ricoh was enjoying a market share of 33 percent. Their printing engines are priced competitively vis-à-vis the counterparts. “We are very active in the mid-segment and have different models to suit multiple requirements. We have as many as five variants with prices ranging from Rs 40-70 lakh depending on the configuration,” shared Anjana. These printers also come with different finishing built-in options.

Besides, Ricoh’s marketing tie-ups with Heidelberg and Redington have positively added to their growth. “We have a symbiotic relationship with them and are hoping to reach more target audience. We will provide technology, service support and supplies for the machines sold by Heidelberg while Redington can handle the service part themselves,” told Avijit. Very recently Ricoh’s Pro C751 has been installed at the Heidelberg demo centre in Chennai.

Little wonder then that Ricoh is experiencing growth from segments like photo labs, graphic arts and offset printers (especially for short-run advanced copies). “Besides, we have good business from the government and education institutes like Kolkata University, IIMs, etc,” told Takano.

With the increasing popularity of ‘print on demand’ applications in the book publishing industry, digital printers have been growing tremendously. Some of Ricoh’s customers like Repro, SV Graphics, Seshsayee, Syndicate Binders, etc are using digital printers for this application. All this has been possible due to various factors and Takano attributes their success to targeted growth, efficient staff and good motivation from the management. Ricoh’s demo centres in Bangalore and Delhi are a hit with prospective buyers. “People come to our centres across the country, play and test with their files in friendly atmosphere. They are amazed by what the machines can do for them,” told Anjana proudly.

For the benefit of their Indian customers, Ricoh is planning Ricoh Asia-Pacific Days on May 4 at drupa 2012, Germany. Besides, May 7 has been earmarked specifically for Indian customers.

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