Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Canon launches into Macau market with local showroom

Posted by Kimberly on April 21, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
April 21, 2008 (665 words)

Canon may have only recently set up office in Macau but they’ve already made inroads into the printing business, having provided a local supplier with printing facilities for those hotels that have the joined the Newspapers Direct scheme.
Those unfamiliar with the scheme, of which the Venetian and Sands hotels are said to belong to, it allows hotel guests to read their favourite newspapers at the same time as they are published in their own part of the world.
“For example, you can have the newspaper at the same time as they come out in Australia. Which can then be printed with local suppliers, one of our customers using a Canon colour printer,” said Raymond Fung, Vice President of Canon’s Business Imaging Solution Group.
Newspaper Direct currently supplies something like 650 newspapers from 77 different countries and in 37 languages, according to their website.
“It comes out as something like an A3 sized newspaper.
“Of course there would be some sort of customisation because of the layout,” said Mr Fung, who added that a team in Hong Kong edits the titles to ensure readability.
“This is a way that we can provide an alternative for the traditional business,” he said, suggesting that Canon had just shipped the printers “and I understand they [Venetian and Sands] are now printing.”
It’s just one of the areas in which Canon is seeking a foothold locally, and hoping to take some business away from their nearest competitors, Fuji-Xerox.
“Beforehand, normally the ‘big four’ in this industry include Xerox and Canon and we are competing all around the world,” said Mr Fung.
“In Macau they’ve been here a long time and have managed to grow with their own team but have a large amount of staff in Hong Kong.
“We’d like to focus our staff locally which will separate us from all the other vendors,” he added.
During Canon’s welcome lunch to media on Friday, the company’s Hong Kong President and CEO, Kenji Kobayashi, spoke about Canon’s strategy for international diversification, adding that Canon’s global consolidated net sales had increased by seven percent to US$39.3 billion during the last financial year. Similarly, the company’s operating profit also rose by the same percentage to US$6.6 billion over the same period.
Meanwhile the Hong Kong market grew by 12 percent last year, with Canon recording 40 consecutive months of sales growth up to December 2007.
The Macau branch and Office Equipment Showroom opened in January this year with Mr Fung predicting a steady 25 percent growth each year over the next three years.
“We do believe we can maintain this, no problem,” he added.
With their current clients on hand, Mr Fung considers that 20-30 people would suffice, although “I think in a year’s time we do believe we will have some sort of higher number.
“Then it depends very much on how well the economy continues and then we’ll try to cope with development as well,” he added.
That higher number is ideally around 40 staff, which Canon is hoping will be local.
“We don’t want to rely on Mainland people or Hong Kong if there is sufficient labour supply in Macau but at the same time we’ve just realised that it’s so difficult to hire people here,” said Mr Fung.
Meanwhile, the company’s corporate philosophy of ‘kyosei’ which emphasises benefiting the community in which they do business, has meant that Canon Hong Kong became a sponsor of the Macau Grand Prix for the first time in 2006.
“We also intend to support more community activities in Macau in the near future,” added Mr  Kobayashi.
As for future business with Macau’s casinos, Mr Fung said that with local casinos using some of Canon’s units at present, “with this kind of small base we will have a much better chance if we have the local establishment of our office which will allow us to cope with the demand.
“Then the orders will come if we can really meet their requirements,” he added.

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