Epson India has changed its distribution strategy for selling inkjet printers, which fall under the consumer business division of Epson India. According to top officials from the division, Tech Pacific (now part of Ingram Micro) and Redington (India) would no longer distribute Inkjet printers.
The company has devised a new channel structure - something similar to the regional distribution model for moving inkjet printer in the consumer segment. The new structure will have 11 Epson Business Partners (EBP) serving around 1,300 Epson Channel Partners (ECP) across the country. These ECPs will in-turn cater to the small reseller, retailers, systems integrators and consumers.
The 11 EBPs include Neoteric Infomatique (for Mumbai and all India), CSS Microsys (Kerala), Creative Pheripherals & Distribution (Mumbai City & Suburban), Infotech India (North Eastern States), OA CompServe (Delhi & NCR), Pelikan Office Automation (Tamilnadu and Pondicherry), Ram Chander and Sons (Uttar Pradesh), Technocrat Infotech (West Bengal, Jharkand and Orissa), Data Care Corporation (Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad) and Magnamious Systems (Goa). The 11th EBP is yet to be finalized.
"The new channel structure for the inkjet business is aimed at eliminating some of the top and bottom layers of the distribution network, so that we can broad-base the last tier to reach out to a larger number of customers more effectively," said Epson India consumer products GM R Venkatesh.
"For distributing products like inkjets, the consumer doesn't require too many distribution tiers. The new channel structure will reduce a lot of time, money and efforts that we used to put in at the top tier. Now funding the last tier will become easier. This type of structure will also allow us to bring uniformity in marketing operating price (MOP) among all EBPs across the country as we will be closely working with them," said Epson India entry level Inkjets and All-In-Ones business manager SM Ramprasad.
Over the last few quarters Epson evaluated the performance of all it Epson Authorized Dealers (EADs) and finally selected 11 strong partners best suited for selling inkjets as the EBPs. A series of meeting with the partners were held before appointing both the EBPs and the ECPs. The company has plans to increase the current 1,300 ECPs to 3,000 by this year-end.
By changing its channel structure for inkjets business, Epson officials are confident that it will emerge as a strong #2 in the inkjet market in India. "Currently, we hold around 20 percent market share for inkjet printers, we will increase this to at least 27 percent to 30 percent by the end of this financial year," added Venkatash.