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 user 2008-04-07 at 11:34:45 am Views: 32
  • #19663

    SMBs in India to Spend US$1.3B on Printers & Printing Supplies in 2008
    The growth in printer spending is being spearheaded by vertical-specific and need-specific printer usage, says AMI study
    KOLKATA, India–april 08/Small and medium businesses (up to 999 employees) in India are on track to spend US$1.3 billion on printers and printing supplies this year, up a healthy 16% over last year. Over three fourths of this spending comes from small businesses (SBs, or companies with up to 99 employees) according to the latest study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.“Increasing competition and globalization has forced SMBs to become more quality conscious,” says Swati Sasmal, Senior Manager for Research & Consultancy at AMI Partners, “which has resulted in increased focus on their quality of print outputs and printer usage. High-end printers like lasers are a key trend that can be highlighted as a result of this quality-conscious focus.”

    But greater laser printer usage by SMBs has hurt the inkjet. AMI findings reveal that around two thirds of SBs and half of MBs use laser printers. Some factors driving laser printer use are increased levels of networking and networked printers among India SMBs, and the gradual drop in laser printer prices—resulting in a reduction of the price differential with inkjets.“The retail and healthcare segments are driving printer spending in India,” Ms. Sasmal says. “This explains the rise in vertical-specific and need-specific printer usage, for instance POS-based printers (for retail), and label & barcode printers (for manufacturing/ logistics).” Some of the applications of printers in the healthcare arena include patient wristbands during admission, marking of samples, and billing.An interesting trend has been the growth of thermal printers. This has been driven mainly by the overall growth of retail and rapidly increasing customer footfall within the retail segment. A need for high-speed POS/bill printers that can enable better customer servicing and reduce waiting times has spurred thermal printer usage. Low-cost imports of thermal printers from neighboring countries are also adding to the growth and usage of thermal printers.Although more SMBs are using new generation printers, the dot-matrix printer still remains an important component within the overall India SMB printer market and accounts for a significant share of total printer shipments. However, this market is anticipated to remain stagnant and show a sluggish growth in the near future. Single-function printer usage is on the wane—SMBs are preferring multi-function/all-in-ones due to their increased versatility at an affordable cost.Although nearly 60% of Indian SMBs purchase new, original manufacturer-branded cartridges, a significant proportion still use refilled or re-manufactured cartridges. The retail channel remains the preferred mode for printer supply replenishment for SBs—as mentioned by 45% of SBs, whereas value-added resellers are preferred by the MBs (or companies between 100 and 999 staff). The local printer supply vendor is a vital influencer and often acts as a valuable source of advice and information regarding choice of nature and brand of printers—this is applicable mainly for SBs.

    Hewlett-Packard continues to lead the market in the Indian SMB printer space. Its wide range of products in both the mono and color categories has helped it to maintain the market leadership. Other players like Epson, Samsung, and Canon are behind market leader HP, but are gradually gaining market share. Further, new foreign players like Brother and Ricoh, with their aggressive marketing plans, may pose a challenge for the market leaders. The focus of most printer vendors has gradually shifted from metros to “B & C class” cities thus boosting the growth of printers in these areas.