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Canon’s Evolving Vision: Leading Trends in Imaging and Printing

Exclusive Q&A with Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director of Canon Middle East & Turkey

Following Canon’s recent Annual Partner Conference, we sat down with Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director of Canon Middle East & Turkey to discuss industry trends driving Canon’s growth in 2023 and beyond. His insights shed light on Canon’s strategies and broader industry dynamics steering the imaging and printing landscape.

With a focus on catering to the ‘Customer of Tomorrow, Canon Middle East and Turkey is eyeing substantial growth, forecasting 11% increase in revenue in 2023. Through investments in experience centres such as the Canon immersive showroom that National Store recently opened in Dubai Mall, as well as the Canon Experience Centre that was recently inaugurated in Riyadh, the company foresees double-digit growth across both consumer and business product segments in 2024. Canon’s growth mirrors global economic trends, with thriving markets such as the Middle East showcasing a robust 4.8% growth rate, surpassing the global average.

What trends are propelling Canon’s growth in the region?
The industry is evolving rapidly, especially in digital experiences enhanced by AR, VR, and Video Analytics. Canon is embracing these changes by integrating AI, deep learning, and machine learning into our products. In the realm of printing, our study, “State of the Middle East Print Industry,” highlights growth in wide format and book printing. Our Colorado M large-format printer has been a game-changer, and despite market volatility, our interchangeable lens cameras continue to perform strongly.

How does Canon’s ‘Rethink, Revive, Reach’ strategy align with industry trends?
This strategy reflects our proactive stance towards the dynamic industry landscape. ‘Rethink’ focuses on continuously evaluating market trends and customer needs. ‘Revive’ is about rejuvenating our offerings in line with these insights, and ‘Reach’ aims to expand our market presence. This holistic approach ensures we remain aligned with the emerging customer segments and their evolving preferences.

Can you discuss Canon’s commitment to innovation?
Innovation is at the core of Canon’s ethos. We invest significantly in R&D, dedicating over 8% of our global sales to it. In 2023, this led to the development of several groundbreaking technologies, like the Neural Network Upscaling Technology in photography and advancements in our EOS R3 Mirrorless Camera. In printing, our LabelStream LS2000 represents a significant leap, utilizing water-based technology for industrial-scale printing.

What importance does Canon place on skillset development?
At Canon, we believe in the power of human resource development. Our philosophy of KYOSEI – living and working together for the common good – guides our approach to nurturing skills and capabilities. We invest in our employees, partners, and communities, focusing on creating an environment that encourages learning and growth. This not only enhances our team’s abilities but also aligns with our brand’s purpose and values.

How significant is sustainability in your industry, and what is Canon’s approach?
Sustainability is no longer an option but a necessity. It’s a key focus area for us and the industry at large. Our goal to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions per product by 50% by 2030 is a testament to our commitment. We’re aligning our operations and products with this goal, ensuring that we contribute positively to environmental sustainability.

What emerging consumer trends are you observing, and how are they influencing the industry?
The post-pandemic era has brought several consumer trends to the fore, such as the rise of casual content creators and an increased interest in hybrid home environments. These trends are reshaping our approach to product development and customer engagement. In the business segment, there’s a noticeable shift towards Managed Print Services and a growing demand for security and sustainability in printing solutions.

Looking ahead, what are the anticipated future trends in the industry?
We anticipate a continued focus on sustainability, innovation, and security. Adapting to the increasing digitalization of our landscape while maintaining sustainable practices will be crucial. The industry is also adapting to hybrid work models, which has led to an increased demand for secure, cloud-based solutions. We’re at the forefront of these changes, ensuring that our products and services meet these evolving needs.

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