Canon Middle East and Turkey eyes double-digit growth this year

Imaging major sees rise of smartphone photography as opportunity


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 5:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Jun 2024, 5:23 PM

Canon Middle East and Turkey achieved an 11 per cent revenue growth in 2023. The Japanese imaging major anticipated double-digit growth across consumer and business product segments in 2024, Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East & Turkey, told Khaleej Times.

Excerpts from an interview:

How does Canon stay relevant in the age of smartphone photography?

Canon remains at the forefront of innovation, proactively addressing the evolving needs of modern visual storytellers, vloggers, and content creators. Our cameras are designed with the future in mind, featuring cutting-edge technology that enables high-quality imaging, seamless connectivity, and effortless sharing capabilities.

There has never been a time when so many people are taking photographs. We see smartphones as an opportunity for the high-end camera segment, as they introduce more people to the joys of photography. If even 20 to 25 per cent of these smartphone photographers seek better quality and move to high-end cameras, it could trigger a significant demand in the market.

We have introduced groundbreaking products like the Canon EOS R50 and the Powershot V10 vlogging camera, catering to the unique requirements of visual storytellers and vloggers. The Powershot V10, designed for on-the-go shooting and live streaming, ensures content creators have the tools to engage their audience effectively and make their mark in the digital landscape.

Beyond products, we are dedicated to supporting regional creators through impactful initiatives. The “Make Your Mark” campaign, now in its second year, aims to uplift and empower the region’s vloggers and content creators by equipping them with the latest in Canon’s vlogging technology, such as the newly launched PowerShot V10. This initiative showcases our unwavering commitment to nurturing creative endeavors and fostering a thriving community of visual storytellers.

What will likely be the main focus areas for Canon in the UAE and the region this year?

Our journey towards robust growth is underpinned by a dedication to serving the “Customer of Tomorrow.” Our commitment to innovation is reflected in our significant annual investment of over 8 per cent of global sales in R&D. This dedication resonates strongly in the thriving Middle Eastern markets, where our growth rate surpasses the global average.

When it comes to the business sector, we recognise the increasing demand for managed print services integrating security and sustainability. Canon stands at the forefront of this trend, enhancing our offerings in image capture, digital printing, and connectivity solutions to empower businesses in the digital age.

Canon Middle East is home to a diverse culture while developing an inclusive workplace and contributing to a more equitable society. With over 22,000 employees from 102 nationalities across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 180,000 globally, our company celebrates diversity in all its forms. Furthermore, we are passionate about nurturing the next generation through transformative initiatives like AKTASHIF, inspiring youth to discover their passions and become tomorrow’s storytellers and content creators. Our Young People Programme (YPP) empowers them to leverage visual storytelling for positive environmental and social change.

Besides imaging and printing, are there new areas Canon plans to focus on?

The future is exciting – on one hand, we’re serving our customers with a robust product line up across our core businesses that cater for their current and future needs. On the other hand, we are focused on developing our new businesses, such medical equipment and network video solutions. We are also looking at new applications that our camera and optical technology can be integrated into, for example, cameras for robotics and autonomous vehicles, advanced night-vision cameras and products that support public infrastructure.

Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East & Turkey. — Supplied photo
Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East & Turkey. — Supplied photo

In addition, at DRUPA, visitors will witness firsthand the revolutionary FLXflow technology integrated into our Arizona 2300 series flatbed printers. This innovation introduces unparalleled productivity features, including the original ‘Hold’ functionality for enhanced media handling and the optional ‘Float’ and ‘Instant Switch’ functionalities, setting new standards in media handling efficiency.

We are steadfast in our commitment to becoming a trusted leader in the label and packaging markets. Our showcase will include the LabelStream LS2000 digital label press. This water-based inkjet label press, designed for industrial-scale printing, embodies cutting-edge Canon technologies, and meets stringent food safety standards, demonstrating our dedication to quality and reliability.

Furthermore, our advancements in professional AV and streaming technologies offer transformative solutions for various industries. From facilitating efficient internal communications and events through video conferencing to enabling educational institutions to deliver high-definition online lessons and tutorials, Canon’s imaging ecosystem is driving seamless connectivity and innovation.

How is Canon incorporating AI into its business?

The growth of AI has been rapid and looks to continue this way, meaning its potential is still an opportunity for the creative sector to unveil and discover. We are committed to supporting the creative community in their exploration of the possibilities of this new evolving technology, while still providing the world with leading technology to continue to capture those special moments on camera.

From enhanced focus software in our consumer cameras to provide unrivalled subject accuracy, to cutting-edge medical imaging that is helping scientists solve some of the world’s greatest healthcare challenges, we’re already embracing the transformative power of AI across our portfolio and continue to seek new streams of innovation with this technology.

How is Canon pursuing sustainability?

We are committed to delivering a 50 per cent reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions per product by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement and are currently on track to deliver this, having achieved a cumulative 43 per cent reduction since 2008, with a yearly average reduction of 4.1 per cent against a 3 per cent target.

To reach net zero CO2 emissions, we will continue to focus on the use of innovative manufacturing to design out waste and use materials responsibly. We aim to keep all of our products and materials in use for longer and work towards becoming a more circular business. In addition, we strive towards making both B2C and B2B consumables 100 per cent recyclable or reusable.

In the Middle East, Canon is leading the charge towards a sustainable future in the printing sector. Our partnership with the Arab National Bank to offset the bank’s emissions from print operations exemplifies our commitment. This groundbreaking initiative, the region’s first climate project contribution in ink, paper, and electricity, empowers businesses to offset greenhouse gas emissions generated through Canon products, paving the way for a greener and more responsible future.

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