Naohiko Hayashi, senior director and general manager for consumer imaging and information products group at Canon Singapore. Hayashi currently oversees the division’s sales and marketing operations across 14 countries in South and Southeast Asia region, including Bangladesh. He started his career with Canon Inc’s camera products group as R&D engineer in 1987 after completing his graduation in degree in Physics at the Osaka University. After working for four years in the R&D, he was promoted to the Product Planning Department. Considering his dedication he was promoted as Senior Director & General Manager, Consumer Imaging and Information Products Group, at Canon Singapore and has been working in this position since last one year. During his 11 years of working period with Canon he worked at Canon USA & Australia in different department including the Imaging Communication Products Division that he loved most. To enhance the business communication with community Mr. Hayashi visited Bangladesh on April 13, 2016. Techword Bangladesh got an opportunity to had an one to one session with the movers & shakers. During the session the TW corresponded with him about some business issues and marketing movements of Canon in South East Asia including Bangladesh. The session details are sharing below for the readers.
TW: Welcome to Bangladesh. So how are you feeling these hot summer days in Bangladesh?
NH: Thank you. Yes the days are too hot to reminding the global warming and climate change. This is not first time for me to visit Bangladesh but enjoying the heat is for the first . Bangladeshi people are really amicable and extrovert , they are not shy like Japanies and other. So I feel happy and feeling full of life here . Enjoying the summer hot staying inside the hotel ha. ha
TW: Well you are coming with the background of core science but working in core business and communication . What create a center of attention to marketing?
NH: ha ha.. True I was in engineering that just opposite of public dealings . but to do something innovative an engineer should understand the peoples choice and has the expertise to understand their demand and affordability. That help me to decide work with people and I love to work with people in communication. It was interesting to me to meet people and community, hear them and understand their feelings towards canon . And that practice help me to guide or advice my engineering team to innovate something that my people want. And having the knowledge of engineering it comes easy to me to draw the product picture and architect the business plan accordingly. This is really interesting for me to work with people that I love.
TW: Using smartphone for general computing and shoot increasing gradually worldwide. Is affecting the sales of your digital camera products? What is Canon’s plan to counter this problem?
NH: It is true that smartphone sales is higher than anyother consumer product , and oviously it affect digital camera market but not negatively rather helps the market to grow. It develops people deepen interest in photography. That transforms into demand. So it has became an opportunity for us specially towards the emerging market like Bangladesh. The population itself an asset to enlarge the market here, so using smartphone creates the demand for high-end compact digital cameras and DSLRs which are expected to pick up in tandem with growth in countries such as Bangladesh, as a result of increasing demands for high-quality photography.
TW: Well the smart phone helps the camera market grow . so people wish to have camera in an affordable price where as Canon price is little bit higher than its near competition , offering almost the same features - Why?
NH: To do the product market locally we had to consider the quality of the product. Different country has different percentage of duty that impact the price most. Like in Bangladesh the import duties is 36 percent. That not only impact the price but also enhance the gray market. we don’t like to compete with or beat the gray market. Moreover we believe in quality and service that is important for any product if it has to remain in number one. And CANON always try to offer the best and advanced . Canon offering all together like the sensor, processor and lenses. Canon is the sole brand in imaging industry that offer both input and output solution together. And CANON is unique to offer the best variation in lenses . So quality cost money and overall the duty to import.
TW: Okay.Talking about the quality. how Canon maintain it and what helps canon to remain in top position world wide since last couple of years ?
NH: The market share of the company stands at 41 percent in the region whereas it is around 38 percent in the global market. So Canon is one of the most reputed brands around the world, not only because of the quality we have but the regular practice to keep it update according the technology trend and consumer demand. CANON believe in innovation also and spends a lot in R&D towards invent something innovative and advance. Actually “what CANON Think today others might think tomorrow”. This helps build quality and offer the latest. Canon has its own digic, own sensors, and the best in lenses as its technological strengths, to continue growth as a leader in imaging technology that helps us to remain in the same. Actually we work to build our own technology to offer the best . There are a myriad of different lenses, like we have 72 different lenses as unique where others has 10 flashes and filters to suit any zoom requirement or light condition. Most point and shoot cameras rely on digital zoom which is nowhere near the quality of a DSLR’s optical zoom, due to the lens size. Moreover our service and the mindset to hear our consumer. So there is no single reason that helps us to be in top rather a wrap up of a team work stating from R& D to sales and service.
TW: As being the responsible official of CANON foe South East Asia market what is your business plan for next quarter ?
NH: The Asian market is considering as a great opportunities for business as it is growing and having large population including the 160 millions Bangladeshi the market is considering an emerging one. The global demand has transforming into Monarch from traditional DSLR and SLR. Monarch has different color and choice that verymuch liked by the modern people specially the female. The 70% of the buyer of Monarch are the young girls and female purchase consumer product more than men. So globally next quarter we focusing the Monarch camera and going to do some activation in universities to connect the girls. Locally specially in Bangladesh market we are focusing the traditional DSLR as still it has the huge demand . Actually all the community is important for us and our business plan has been structured upon the community demand. For example, to meet the needs of Canon’s future customers here, the company will introduce the Image four-sided figure, a retail concept aided by knowledgeable staff . Moreover our local hub and their expertise also kept in mind to do the business plan.
TW: Canon has its subsidiary hub in 18 country around the world including India and Vietnam But not in Bangladesh where you are considering our local market is potential.
NH: Well asked. Population of Bangladesh and their attitude to adopt technology is impressive more over the country people is amicable and hard working. So the market is obviously positive for business. And Bangladesh market is in our priority to invest and consider. My visit in Bangladesh right now is a part of it. Like to meet our community here and feel them understand that we are just beside on you for any kind of support. So that the community can rely on us. And we practice to keep our commitment towards the community. And talking about the local hub…JAN associate just fantastic for Canon and working since last 21 year . Their contribution to enhance and create Canon Market is Bangladesh is appreciateable. They are established & professional and Mr. Kafi is a dynamic leader having a strong business network in Bangladesh and south Asia. So the market access of Canon is right to mention. We really appreciate their strengths in business development. Moving forward, we are working with them to develop initiatives to create a more personal relationship with customers arranging photo contests, promotions and road shows. So till we don’t have such plan for Bangladesh but moving forward with the Business Relationship with JAN associates.
TW: Thank you for your time.
NK: My Pleasure