Konica Minolta specialized in the field of enterprise printing solutions and Enterprise Content Management space. It has been directly present in India for the past 11 years, catering to a wide range of printing & document solutions requirements for Indian corporate customers. In an interaction with NCN, Mr. Kuldeep Malhotra, Deputy Managing Director, Konica Minolta India discussed Konica Minolta’s business during the pandemic and future plans.
What changes have you seen in the tech world in India throughout your career of nearly four decades, that is 30 years at Xerox and about 8 years at Konica Minolta?
So far in my career, I have seen both sides of printing — traditional and modern. I have witnessed how conventional printing setups have transformed into tech-driven mechanisms, resulting in better performance, pace, and scale. Over the years, I have realized that some part of the physical will continue to exist in the print domain despite rapid digitization. Although technology has innovated various printing functions – which were a distant reality a few years ago – it can’t make some physical aspects obsolete. The future of printing is likely to be driven by a combined digital and physical approach with a focus on achieving better operational efficiencies, seamless workflows, lower printing costs, and minimal wastage.
Could you share all the important takeaways or learnings from your professional experience?
I would start by saying that being agile is something that every business and individual alike should develop to succeed and innovate in their respective domains. Life will always throw challenges at you, and it’s normal to get upset sometimes. But if you practice remaining upbeat at every point possible in life, tackling these obstacles will become much easier. Upskilling is another area that I would like to focus on. As technologies evolve, we must keep upgrading ourselves in sync with the market changes to become capable of catering to the current needs and demands of customers.
I strongly believe that if you are agile, positive, and always curious to learn new things, you can achieve anything in life.
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on Konica Minolta’s business since March 2020 and what measures did you take to overcome the challenges?
The pandemic was a nightmare to the world. It brought disruptions, however, at the same time; it also created new growth opportunities. At Konica Minolta, we banked on this opportunity by quickly going digital. We leveraged technologies to enable our workforce to work from home along with all the safety protocols like social distancing and frequent sanitization.
To make this transition seamless during and post lockdowns, we significantly focused on relevant factors like managed IT services, security, enterprise content management, business process outsourcing, etc. These measures helped us keep our employees motivated and engaged virtually, and give their best during this unprecedented transition.
How did you motivate the channel during and after lockdowns and how did you address their problems since March 2020?
While working from home, we knew that communication would be a game-changer at this critical juncture. We realized that staying connected to each other will help everyone in the Konica Minolta team to perform better. For this, we even deployed a dedicated point of contact and app, where customers can quickly register complaints anytime and from anywhere.
Moreover, we started hosting virtual product demos to educate our channel partners regarding the new product launches, their USPs, and functioning. These are some of the initiatives that boosted our confidence and encouraged us to serve customers better in the new normal.
What new products and solutions did you launch in the last six months and what do you plan for the next six months?
Our whole focus is on Digital Transformation and thus our go-to-market strategy revolves around this theme only. We have launched a couple of new A4 products for the Office environment that work as Enterprise products and complement our A3 offering to Enterprise customers since these are open-source engines and work on the same platform as our A3 machines. However, our offering portfolio in Solutions is growing. We have now a full suite of Managed content services for our customers that can support multiple workflows within the customer environments such as Manpower acquisition; Account payable; etc.
What are your broader plans for the next two years?
Apart from a couple of new launches already in the pipeline, we will continue to follow a hybrid approach, that is, serving customers both physically and virtually as per their needs and evolving market conditions