Opportunities In Mobile Printing Solutions


5 Aug 2011
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With mobility defining the trend for today’s entrepreneurs and businessmen, the need for portable devices is on an upswing. Mobile printers and scanners are gradually finding a place in various sectors including BFSI, telecom, education, event management, advertising, pharma, travel and law.

Addressable opportunity
“The total addressable market of mobile scanners in India is Rs 10 crore and mobile printers Rs 2.5 crore,” says Nitin Hiranandani, Director, Laserjet Enterprise Solutions, IPG, HP. “With potential growth at a CAGR of 15 percent, we see a clear utility of mobile printers and scanners to capture customer information for processing applications and providing quotes or receipts to clients on the spot. At the end-customer front, the mobile printer can act as a photo printer on the go. Executives can print business plans to discuss with their stakeholders. At the same time, they can scan any important document for later reference.”

Rajeev Mehta, CEO, Innovative Enterprise, agrees. “Mobile printers and scanners are mainly adopted by senior executives, lawyers and sales professionals who are traveling. These devices function as an add-on to conventional printers, scanners or MFDs. In FY2010-11 we supplied 90 mobile scanners to one travel company and 50 mobile printers to another. We also sold mobile printers to various pharma companies and law firms. Out of the total of 4,000 printers, scanners and MFDs worth Rs 18 crore we sold in the year, 130 were mobile printers and 90 were mobile scanners.”

“Mobile printers have a niche market, and, with features like Bluetooth, cater to the needs of certain users,” says Rajeev Mehta, Director, Zest Systems. “We sold 21 mobile printers to Eventpro, a Delhi-based event management company. We sell 65 mobile printers in a quarter to various event management and advertising companies as well as educational institutions. Professors and project guides use them for print-outs, while traveling and delivering guest lectures. Mobile printers contribute 7-8 percent to the unit-wise sales of our printer portfolio, and may reach 15 percent in the next 2-3 years.”

Mobile vs conventional
Though there is acceptance in large enterprises and some SMBs, the high prices of mobile printers and scanners are a major deterrent in the retail market.

“Price-sensitive consumers prefer to buy conventional inkjets, lasers or MFDs which are available at fairly low prices such as Rs 2,300 for inkjet printers and Rs 3,300 for scanners,” says Dere Pramod Prakash, MD, Cyber Peripherals, a sub-distributor based in Aurangabad.

By contrast, HP sells its Officejet 100 mobile printer at an MRP of Rs 17,999 and HP Scanjet Mobile 1000 scanner at an MRP of Rs 10,499. The Canon P-150 mobile scanner is available at Rs 19,000 and Pixma iP100 mobile printer at Rs 15,695. Kodak offers its Scanmate i920 scanner for Rs 12,500. Scanners imported from countries like China and Taiwan are also available at street price of around Rs 6,500.

Partner play
Partners allege that the kind of vendor seriousness seen for regular printers, scanners, and MFDs is missing when it comes to the mobile devices. They want the vendors to lower prices, and increase promotions for these devices.

“While the principals are not much focused on promoting these devices compared to other printers and scanners (that fall under the volume business), partners are also not inclined toward promoting these products due to low [public] awareness and low push from the vendors,” says Pankaj Bandlish, Director, Compro Computers.

“Mobile printers can be a huge success story if the prices of the devices and the cartridges are reduced and made comparable to the other options available,” states Mehta of Innovative Enterprise. “Customer demos must be given in the outlets to explain their usability.”

Comments Mehta of Zest Systems, “Mobile printers and scanners need time to become popular with the masses. Reasonable prices as well as aggressive marketing by vendors would help to increase their penetration in the retail market. These devices can also be offered through the telecom channel as they go well with mobile phones having Bluetooth.”

source : CRN
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