Epson has announced that it has now sold more than 1 Million of its revolutionary and hugely successful InkTank printers in India. This has catapulted Epson into the No. 1 spot* for Inkjet printers in India. As per Cyber Media Research (CMR) the Inkjet printer market in India has been growing rapidly at 8% per annum for the last 3 years and is expected to touch 14.8 Lakh units this financial year (FY2015-16). This is largely on the back of massive demand for Epson’s InkTank printers. Epson sold 422,000 Inkjet printers in 2014-15 and had a value marketshare of 51% as per CMR.
Epson launched its InkTank Inkjet printers in India in 2011. Prior to this Epson says its focus was on creating excellent products that they believed consumers would accept and appreciate, without truly understanding what consumers really wanted. A few years ago, they say they realised that this approach needed to be modified. Understanding what the consumer requires is now the starting point for any new product development. Epson says they changed their approach to offer products that are focused on meeting stated or unstated consumer needs. This was also the approach used to design InkTank printers for India and other emerging markets.
Epson’s research in emerging markets like India showed that consumers here are quite distinct and that they are clear that the value proposition for any product must make sense to them above all else. In this context, Indian consumers indicated they wanted the freedom to print, without having to worry about high ink costs, the inconvenience of replacing cartridges and the environmental impact of lasers. Unfortunately all the printers available earlier in India were exactly the opposite. Indian consumers had therefore been limiting their printing requirements to cut costs. Epson knew they had to address these issues to be truly accepted in the market. These consumer insights made the Epson R&D team in Japan take a different approach to its product design.
Epson’s unique Micro Piezo printing technology, allowed them to create a solution that exactly met customer requirements. This solution was InkTanks. They did away with expensive and inconvenient cartridges. They made printers that could be refilled with ink simply, quickly and at an unbelievable low cost. They also made these printers highly energy efficient with the same overall quality of print that Epson was known for.
In doing so they brought down the cost of printing to an unbelievable 8 Paisa for B&W* and 28 Paisa for Colour*. They also ensured that each refill ensured a minimum of 4000 B&W pages and 6500 colour pages. Consumers could literally fill it, shut it and forget it. Epson says its printers are not just better than other inkjets but better than laser printers too. They offer high quality in addition to lower printing costs that even laser printers with non-genuine toners cannot match. They also boast lower power consumption, lower heat generation and more features than a laser printer for the same cost.
Consumers in India have been amazed that printing costs have been reduced so significantly and thankful to be released from the inconvenience of cartridges. SOHO and commercial customers were the early adopters. Home, Corporates, enterprise have followed. The product is also challenging the perception that laser printers, which are hugely popular in India, offer the most economic solution. As a result many laser printer users are shifting to this economical and environmentally friendly printing option. This migration is only expected to gather speed going forward.
Speaking about Epson’s success with InkTank printers in India and on its future plans Mr. Siva Kumar K – Deputy General Manager IJP, Sales & Marketing, Epson India said – “A continuous focus on creating customer value has helped Epson gain huge market acceptance within a short period, culminating in market leadership in the Inkjet printer category. Epson with our unique and highly reliable Micro Piezo technology were the pioneers and the first to launch InkTank printers in India. We have a built a huge amount of trust and faith in this product and the very fact that we have sold over 1 Million InkTank printers in India is a testimony to that fact.”
Epson India had a turnover of Rs. 1078 Crores in FY 2014-15 and expects to close this fiscal at a turnover of Rs. 1,300 Crores.