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Enabling Work-For-Home Efficiency for SMEs: Konica Minolta

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In an exclusive conversation with SMEStreet, Mr Tai Nizawa, Managing Director at Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt.Ltd highlighted the evolving documentation and printers market of India. In the conversation, he touched upon several aspects such as COVID-19 impact, transformations of office printers especially in the work from home era. 

Here are the edited excerpts:

On Work from Home Phenomenon

How is the official documentation segment impacted with the exponential growth of ‘work from home’ concept? 

Our working styles have turned increasingly mobile, with most companies adopting work from home. This transition is attributed to COVID-19, and it is all the more important for businesses to quickly adapt to it or fail significantly. To become successful in these times, we must invest heavily in equipping ourselves with digital tools and solutions that ensure seamless collaboration and high productivity while working remotely. Digital awareness is equally important for businesses to run effectively in the post-pandemic world. The earlier companies realize the importance of going digital, the better.

According to you, how is print volume got impacted during the Pandemic?

In first Half of the year till July 2020, the Print volumes were low due to closure of offices. We have been fortunate enough to tackle the COVID-19 disruptions with our digital-first approach and ensure business continuity with stable revenue levels after July 2020. . During this phase, the only change we observed is consumers’ shift to black and white devices due to the increased adoption of WFH, thereby less demand for colour printouts. As we advance in 2021, with businesses reopening and employees returning to offices, we expect a notable surge in demand for Color printers as well.

On Konica Minolta’s Market Expansion

Please highlight some new product launches in OP business from Konica Minolta.

Yes. We are planning to come up with some new products. In fact last month we have launched our new models in 16&18 ppm category with Network capability.  We plan to launch some more new models in both Monochrome and color series in next 2 months of 2021.

The new launches will be based on our new concept of “i-series” that implies “Intelligent; Innovative and Interactive’


How Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is effective and getting calculated these days?

TCO i.e. Total Cost of ownership always plays a crucial role in taking decisions by prospective buyers, while selecting a specific model. With WFH as new normal, the TCO has become increasingly important. Thanks to our R&D based in Japan, we have been investing heavily in producing effective hardware and consumables, thereby trying to reduce the overall TCO. 

Our proprietary polymerized toner technology, Simitri HDE, is designed to consume minimal energy and mitigate carbon footprint. This helps in increase of the yield of toner and save energy. Our machines are dual component, which implies that each consumable part has its own life. This ensures that the consumer should not pay for the consumable part that has a longer yield. 

Targeting SMEs in India

What is your strategy for targeting SMEs in India?

Konica Minolta offers a complete range of products in both mono and color tones for the Indian SME market. Our office line printers have gained a lot of traction in fiscal 2020, primarily because of the unmatched offerings of these products. Majority of these models are a complete fit to SME market. Our products have a compact design, small foot-print, and are lightweight. The recently launched models bh165EN and bh185EN can be used as stand-alone and as Network device also. In nutshell, these are the perfect products to meet all the printing, copying, and scanning needs. Keeping the small footprint factor in mind, these devices can be used for home office purposes and in other segments like coaching centres, law, and CA firms, diagnostic labs, etc., thereby catering to the SME sector.

What product are targeted to reseller market who caters to IT industry?

We have recently launched bizhub 165en/185en in 16 & 18 ppm category. . It is a full-featured 3-in-1, economical, eco-friendly, easy to use MFP designed to meet printing, copying and scanning needs. The inbuilt network features in the machine connect accessing the device from anywhere in the office to increase productivity. This Device is a perfect fit for the reseller market besides other models in 20 and 22 ppm.

As part of our vision, we have been hosting reseller meets through virtual connect, where we educate them about the most frequent FAQs, give them a demo of our products, and train them on how to serve customers better. We have increased the level of connection to the reseller community through our team with consistent marketing activities and F2F meeting wherever possible.  We have got good success in increasing total no. of resellers and our sell-out has also gone up in last few months.

Strategy for reviving BIN as per the market condition?

To operate seamlessly, we need a hybrid strategy, where we can cater to both kinds of businesses – offline and online. Merely going digital is not enough. We must equip ourselves with tools to serve customers working from home and those who have returned to offices simultaneously. Businesses that follow this dual strategy can run successfully in the new world order.   

We are offering our solutions and services to all set of customers to increase their team productivity. In nutshell, we are bringing our business back to normal and are hopeful to revive the business.


Faiz Askari

Faiz is a mediapreneur specialised in Small Business and Technology domain.

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