Rajagopalan - Xerox will continue to revolutionise digital print in India and the world

Balaji Rajagopalan, executive director of technology, channels and international distributor operations, Xerox India talks about his company’s success post-Drupa and the future of digital printing in India apart from sharing his personal mantra for success.

16 Sep 2016 | By Sriraam Selvam

What’s been your proudest achievement in the Drupa year?
Apart from the usual in terms of sales and targets, I think our efforts to host 15 partners as part of the winning team at Drupa is a proud moment. This helped them add to their skills and pick up knowledge on all the latest Xerox technologies.

Also, there is constant talk of orders signed vs executed. I can proudly tell you that all the orders that we signed have been executed. This includes a number of Nuvera, Versant 80/2100 and C60/70.

The printing of Aadhar card using the iGen is something that I am personally proud of. Almost 35-40% of all Aadhar cards have been printed in our equipment.

As per the IDC Report for Q1 and Q4 for 2015, Xerox India is number one. What did your team do differently?
I think most essentially our entire team rallied behind our new product line including the Versant series and the 1000i.

We have also been able to identify new application in our equipment for the market. For example, the Versant series has found a banner printing as an additional application area for our customers to target.

The strength of our partner network is another reason I believe we have been able to continue doing good work. We ran several unique contest for our partner community, communicated our goals and encouraged them during regular partner meetings at the field level.

What’s your typical customer for the Versant series?
Of course, GC customers form a bulk of the Versant buyers but we have been noticing a trend of offset printers who opt for the Versant machines as their digital option and that is because of the strong brand value Xerox has made among the options available in the market.

The photo printing market has also been favourable to Versant apart from the book printing market especially for its cover printing requirements.

I think the competitiveness that the Versant series can provide for the customers is a key factor for its overall success and reach in the market.

Which tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India commands growth?
The tier-2 and tier-3 cities has always been target by Xerox and we continue to stay ahead in terms of market share in these cities.

Especially down South, I can proudly tell you that we command massive marker share in this segment. For example for a city like Pondicherry we have almost 90% share of the digital production colour market and even in an industry town like Coimbatore we hold anywhere between 60-70% of the market.

Kerala also has been doing extremely well too. In fact, in FY ’15 it was the number one in sale for entry production presses.

Which markets does the 1000i serve?
Any customer who is looking for good gloss finish with high production volume especially using gold, silver and clear ink would ideally choose the 1000i.

We have seen clients who cater to creative projects lean to investing in this press. Greeting cards, certificates etc., are other applications which are application areas/markets which it can serve in.

60% repeat business. Your view on this?
This simply showcases the strength of brand Xerox in the market place.

This is also a testimony to our post sales service which we believe is the best in the industry. As a team, we always believe in providing solutions with a long term view in mind. This is also reflective on the massive work our partners have put in place which translates in to peace of mind to our customers who thereby see a long time value in our products.

This again emphasises on our motto, ‘Stay with Xerox. Grow with Xerox’ being true to its words.

20 years for Xerox in India, what next?
Well, I think Xerox is more than 30 years in this country. Initially as Modi-Xerox and then on its own.

Having said that, I think we have been at the forefront of digital revolution all these years and ensuring digital prints are moving closer to the consumer needs and reality.

‘Book of one’ printing is where we see the market moving to and we at Xerox are geared for it with the market continuing to grow in this segment with the advent of the ecommerce portals.

This concept will drastically reduce warehouse space with just in time concept and also unleash the power of customisation in the book publishing space.

Another advantage of the ecommerce space is the know-how of the consumer habit thereby opening up to the trans-promo space which can lead to an inkjet revolution of sorts through personalised products being printed.

In 2015, the launch of Neuvera has also opened up the cheque book printing market for us apart from book printing and regular variable data printing jobs. The photo printing market will also steadily grow.

We are beginning to see a momentum in digital production printing space and you can expect lot more in this space.

How many partners do you have as part of your indirect business model?
We currently have 150 partners in our network. They work in different models- sales/service partner, sales only and service only. This also includes office only and production only models too.

The network is also growing at 10-12% every year and we take continuous efforts to ensure this growth.

How many roadshows planned in the next six months in 2016, where and how?
This July we participated in a photo show in Cochin followed by another photo finish exhibition in Chennai at the end of the month.

PrintExpo (Chennai) has been a standard in our calendar and the event agenda from here on is yet to be chalked.

It is our channel which decides and does a lot of roadshows. We at Xerox are present to co-market in them.

Where do you see the print business in India in five years’ time?
The pace of growth of the print business overall has slowed down and I expect this trend to continue considering various technology impedance. This does not apply to digital though, which I think should easily more than double in that period of time.
We are continuing to change go to market approach and will continue to innovate to achieve these targets. For us, the innovation in metallic shades using the ColorLogic application (availability of 250 shades of metallic) has opened up an array of security printing applications and this should mature in the coming years.

With dedicated scientists and a R&D investment of over one billion dollars we will continue to revolutionise digital print in India and the world.

What’s Balaji's USP?
I believe it is my passion for the work I do along with my back to the basics approach which helps me remain focussed on the responsibility at hand.

Also it is imperative to apply common sense to every solution finding. I think staying close to the grass roots of the organisation is very important to me as that brings out the best in me.

Tags : Xerox India,Drupa;