India getting digitised doesn’t seem to affect the steady growth in the print market. As per the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), print media in India has grown by 61% in the last decade. The print circulation grew to 62.8 million a day at a CAGR of 4.87% from 2006-2016. According to media buyer Group M, print advertising is expected to account for about $2.8 billion, of the total approx. $9.5 billion in the advertising market in 2017. Talking about printers, according to the latest IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals (HCP) Tracker, the HCP market (including single-function printers, multifunctional printer systems and digital copiers) registered a 0.5% YoY growth for the first time in six quarters in Q1 2017 in India.

Over the past year, the Indian HCP market has witnessed a significant technology shift, with customers increasing inclination towards ink tank printers compared to laser printers. Low cost of printing and in-box high page yield ink bottles available in the market are major reasons behind this preference shift. There was also a significant marketing push from vendors, which resulted in generating high visibility for ink tank printers.

GST was launched on 1st July, 2017, and the impact on the industry is yet to be seen. The GST Council had earlier set the GST rate at 28% on all printers. But it recently revised the rates for single function printers to 18%. However, about 80% printers sold in the country are multi-functional printers (MFPs) and the Industry is urging the Government for the same slab of 18% for multi-functional printers.

Data security has been a growing concern in the industry owing to the increasing threats on business MFPs to hack confidential information. Another area concerning the industry is the rising cost of printing inks. The industry leaders in India are making every effort to launch innovative Hardcopy Peripherals to address these issues as well as to make the products more user-friendly and convenient.

, , The market leader HP, headquartered in the US, has 48% market share in India. HP recently expanded its portfolio with the launch of the next-generation A3 MFPs – targeted to tap into the growing segment and cater to sectors like banking and financial services, government and various others. The newly launched printers offer advanced security features (to protect devices, data and documents), affordable colour (to combat the rising ink prices), and longer device uptime. The portfolio also has inbuilt sensors to analyse the different functionality of the printer in order to predict service requirement such as cartridge refilling in advance.

While HP remains the leader in the Laser printer segment, Japan based Epson recently overtook HP to be the market leader in the inkjet printer segment. In the inkjet segment, Ink Tank Printers constitute the major market share. Earlier these printers were only offered to the professional sector, but since last year, the end consumer segment has expanded the growth of Ink tank printers. Epson recently launched four new multi-functional InkTank printers for the home/office market in India. The new models offer ultra-high page yields, improved printing speeds, wireless connectivity and features enabling scanning and printing directly to the user’s smart device or from online cloud storage services.

Other competitors, such as the Japanese company Canon, has rolled out an ambitious company expansion programme, titled Vision 2020, to chart its next phase of growth in India. They plan on making all their inkjet and laser printers Wi-Fi enabled. The Japanese brand Ricoh also launched new models of A4 MFPs in India. The models have easy-to-use smart features, support wireless printing & document sharing and come with one of the lowest Typical Energy Consumption. The compact design of the machines allows easy installation anywhere.

While digitalisation is fast growing in India, and a lot of people feel that it will be a threat to the paper & print industry, the industry doesn’t seem to be troubled by the thought. With industry leaders adopting innovations to make Hardcopy Peripherals more cost efficient, secure, and technologically advanced, the market for printers in India will continue to grow.

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