Friday, July 30, 2010

Hidehiko Tanaka

The Managing Director of Nikon India reveals to neha saraiya how, after entering India just before the slowdown, they managed to rewrite the competition game

B&E: Your competitors have introduced various innovative features in their product line like underwater photography mode, pet (dog/cat) detection feature, blink detection et al. So what innovation are you planning to introduce in your product range?
HT: Innovative technology in a user friendly package is by far the most important element in any camera in this new era. This is what Nikon cameras deliver. Some of the unique features introduced in the COOLPIX segment are Smile Mode, Food Mode, Wide Angle, Fast Start Up Time, D-lighting, Face Priority, Vibration Reduction, Voice Recording, Video Recording etc. We also have recently made a path breaking innovation like World’s first Compact camera with in-built projector. Built-in projector enables consumers to share their images and videos in an all-new fun way. Further adding to our technological advancement EXPEED digital image processing concept ensures high-quality pictures with stunning color and sharpness. Thanks to our strong R&D team that these features originally meant for D-SLRs are now available in the COOLPIX cameras too, allowing an amateur as well to capture the best images with utmost ease.

B&E: Do already existing big players, like Canon and Sony pose a big threat to you?
HT: Competition helps companies to continue innovating and bring the best for end consumers. Indian camera market is growing and so is the focus of different companies towards this huge untapped market. In that case we believe that the market will purely get driven by, reach, great product and image quality followed by an effective marketing communications. It’s more than imperative to bring more features and technology upgrades to remain competitive in the industry. It’s just a matter of who brings them first and the best.

B&E: Last year, you revamped your retail presence in India and adopted the shop-in-shop retail concept to reach out to your consumers. How has the transition been and has it worked for you?
HT: By doing so we have increased our brand visibility and presence across the outlets. Nikon lays emphasis in increasing the number of Nikon shop-in-shop stores, which are based on Nikon’s core belief of providing touch and feel experience that facilitates buying decision of the discerning customers at point of purchase.

B&E: You have also revamped your distribution strategy in India. What is the rationale behind it and how do you seek to leverage it?
HT: Recently, Nikon has undertaken an initiative of moving from a national distribution network to regional and channel specific distribution hubs ensuring its customers receive enhanced services. This means that Nikon has come closer to its end-users to facilitate the company gaining strength in each potential region. The will also further contribute to camera sales across the Photo, IT & Consumer electronic channel.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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