Epson Takes On Laser Printers With Cheaper Ink Tank Technology


New Delhi, Sept 4: For long Indian printing market had been dominated by the laser printers, but with the recent trend of rise in the sale of it’s inkjet printers, Epson India is looking at it’s Ink Tank series to make some serious inroads and is even planning to manufacture it locally.

By embracing the philosophy of ‘Customers First’ approach, Epson has been making efforts to make printing hassle free and economical for all the segments. The company believes with Ink Tank, it can capture 15-20% of the laser printers market share by 2017.

Broadly,the introduction of Ink Tank Technologies has helped Epson India to grow its revenue and market share doubled at the time when the market of Inkjet grew single digit.

“In last two years, we have grown our share value size of the Inkjet printers from 25% to 45% and achieved turnover of Rs. 8840 Million in 2013. We are projected to achieve Rs.10,000 Million turnover in 2014,” said Global president and CEO Minoru Usui during his visit in Delhi.

Buoyed by the local growth, the Global CEO is also looking at the local manufacturing of their printers in India in future.

The total Indian printer market is 3.1 million units (Rs.22,880 mn) and is expected to grow to 3.4 million units (Rs.25,883mn) in FY2014, while the Inkjet printers are making strong inroads into laser market offering greater value to SOHO & SMBs.

“India plays a very important role in our global vision and we are very focused for the emerging markets and its customers. Our endeavor is to understand the pains of the customers and develop products around their needs. Having said so,the expectations of the emerging market consumer are very different from developed countries. They perceived value for money in terms of both Cost Per Page (CPP) as well as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) a key requirement,” said Usui.

So far, laser printers have enjoyed the perception of lowest CPP & TCO (attained only through refills), but Epson claims its Ink Tank is going to change the rule of the market. It claims that these inkjet printers compete with the laser printers in areas like high print quality, low printing cost per page, good speed and energy saving with low environmental impact.

“Epson’s advanced Micropiezo technology made an interesting solution possible – Ink Tanks, which is an alternate of cartridges. Ink Tank printers are easily refillable and give high volume printing of 4,000 pages from a single ink bottle in just 12 paise per page for B&W prints & 25 paise per page for colour prints,” said Sambamoorthy.

Making inroads into corporates

“In the past there were hesitation among users for printing, with Ink Tank, we have seen there is a sheer increase in the volume of printing. There is significant shift from mono to color printing. “We have already broken the rule that soho and home are no longer laser printers driven, with our inkjet printers. In the last one we are slowly getting into office space replacing the conventional laser printers. After attaining No. 1 position in inkjet printers, now we are keeping an close eye to dent the laser printer space with our entry level mono inktank based inkjet printers,” added Ram Prasad, Deputy General Manager, Epson India.

There is a shift from single to multi-function printers(MFPs) in both inkjet and laser, however, laser MFPs are growing stronger. “Today our mono inkjet printer has several advantages as compared to any of entry level laser printers. The total laser printer, the entry level laser printers constitutes to over 75 % of the total market size. Our current two models M 100 and M200, address the 75% of laser printers in terms of reliability, power saving, cost per print is unbeatable, or even users compare it with the refill,” added Sambamoorthy, director sales and marketing.

In last one year, the company says its Ink Tank printers has changed the premise of MPS in the large corporates houses. “Today, there is a big shift happening in large corporates, they have become technology neutral specs, earlier they were only asking for mono laser printers for their printing purpose. We have set target to convert close to 250 big corporates for our inkjet printers as part of our seeding program. The seeding started last year, corporates who do not want to use the cartridge version, now we have ink tank solution. Currently, they all are at evaluation stage, having demo. The assortment has started with few units and now they are going for big numbers,” said Sambamoorthy.

Epson has also seen some of the MPS partners are also offering Epson’s Ink Tank printers, in place of Laser based printers. The company has also planned to convert all its cartridge based printers to Ink tank, and going to launch A3 Inkjet printers with Ink Tank and other range of products in the month of November.

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