Work from Home & the Growing Need of Printers

A strategic business leader with two decades of experience in B2B and B2C spaces in enterprise, solutions and consumer industry, Sukumaran has deep understanding of P&L, customer segment based on consumer insights and more.

siliconindia questions Sukumaran on the new work culture and the increasing use of printers at home.

According to you what are the important key trends of the print industry?
The pandemic has made every industry evolve and adapt basis the new market dynamics and the printing industry is no different. Over the past five months, India’s workforce has been coming to terms with the new normal of working from home. As a result, several companies have now come forward to offer allowances to help employees configure their work-from-home setups – be it fast internet connections, printers, or ergonomic furniture. This trend has not only increased the demand for home printers but has further proliferated the adoption of connected and cloud-enabled MFDs that are cost-effective and offer an all-in-one solution.

With remote work here to stay and the network perimeter disintegrating, IT teams are struggling to maintain visibility through remote monitoring and threat detection. Hence, we foresee a shift in organizations preferring a printer fleet that meets the latest security standards along with advanced technology that allows speedier and more verified printing.

What are the three technology trends that the channel community should be focusing on, and why?
The channel industry has been evolving rapidly as IT technologies continue to evolve. The trends that we can foresee is the increase in the adoption of Cloud MPS by SMEs as it is less CAPEX intensive and low on operational costs. Secondly, with everyone struggling to adapt to a hybrid working environment, we expect Wi-Fi enabled ink tank printers to become standard equipment across each home which will lead to a surge in the demand for home printers and consumables. Furthermore, with people spending most of their time at home, we are witnessing a keen interest and popularity in home photo-printing as customers are spending both time and effort in capturing their lockdown memories. This will result in an evolving demand for photo-printers this year. Adapting to the changing dynamics of the market, studios are also offering quick photo printing services to customers leading to an increase in demand for inkjet printers.

How's been the growth of home printers in India during COVID-19? What kind of opportunities are you seeing at the moment?
The pandemic and the resultant lockdowns have changed the way people work and have made work from home an imperative for several industries. With everyone adapting to the new normal and seeking solutions that provide ease of connectivity while adapting to a hybrid working environment, one of the biggest potentials for us lies in the home printing solutions. As per our studies and market feedback, we are seeing a surge in demand for laptops and home printers. We are estimating a double-digit growth in printer given the current scenario and are optimistic that the printer segment in India will continue to grow and expand its user base, as more and more people understand the convenience of owning a home printer.

Did you observe any shift in usage patterns?
The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior with ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Study from Home’ bringing a considerable shift in the usage pattern. For instance, customers visiting copy shops for their print requirements are now adapting to get a quick fix solution at the comfort of their home. The implementation of virtual classes has further proliferated the growth of home printers as parents are wary of exposing their kids to too much screen time and hence taking hard copies of documents to reduce eye strain.

Working from home also demands high-speed cloud-enabled network printers and Wi-Fi enabled ink tank printers that give them the ease to initiate print outs directly from their smartphones and laptops. Built to cater to such needs, our PIXMA G Series has been gaining good response in the market and is widely accepted at home as well as office segments because of its lower running cost and a higher return on investment.

The trends that we can foresee is the increase in the adoption of Cloud MPS by SMEs as it is less CAPEX intensive and low on operational costs

Do you think that the WFH model has propelled the demand for printers in India? Which out of inkjet and laser printers has observed a more increase in the demand?
The ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Learn from Home’ models, have together propelled the demand for printers in India. Interestingly, home printers were amongst the top 10 most searched products on e-commerce platforms during the lockdown, and ink tank printers are specifically the favorite choice among the home consumers. The preference for inkjet printers is more as they provide Wi-Fi connectivity, support wireless printing, and are more economical over laser and existing inkjet cartridge printers. The Canon PIXMA G Series ink tank printers are the preferred choice for every printing need from business proposals, projects, homework, photographs, or recipes.