The camera industry has witnessed a lot of transformation as a result of the advancement of technology, especially, with Mobile Phones. The professional photography segment of the industry, led by Digital Single Lens Reflex, DSLR, cameras, is still growing as companies continue to launch newer models on an an annual basis. I recently caught up with Somesh Adukia, the Sales and Marketing Director of CCNA for Canon, and we had a rich discussion on how the photography industry is fairing worldwide, in recent times.
Shedding light on the DSLR camera, Somesh stated that, worldwide, the DSLR market is getting saturated because there was a time when it peaked about 5 years ago, although, now, the penetration ratio has increased quite a bit. He went further to say that the advent of smartphone camera too has impacted the photography business, so, there are lots of opportunities to grow the Market in Africa, and Nigeria in particular, but, then, the penetration ratio if the DSLR camera in Africa is still very low.
On the number of people using DSLR camera in this part of the world, Somesh said that through a research conducted last year, it was found out that the penetration ratio of DSLR camera was close to 0.1% when placed side by side with other brands. Canon, Somesh said, will like to increase the market spectrum of DSLR in Nigeria to a Penetration ratio of , at least, 0.5% in the next two to three years.
Somesh stated that Canon has lined up various steps and activities that will make this possible. One of the Steps, he stated, is to establish an Academy that will be educating and training DSLR users on how to operate DSLR camera.
Giving his own opinion on how the camera ecosystem can help solve the raging unemployment in Nigeria, Somesh said that, yes, Nigeria is going through an economic recession will soon abate and the numerous young population that are tech-savvy will eventually come out with ways and means to actually manage their businesses in the long run, within the current challenging circumstances.
Somesh said that Canon is also doing a lot of things in Nigeria which will eventually help in raising employment opportunities. He gave the example of the hiring of a Country Manager, who is a Nigerian. This year also, he said, the company hired 5 Managers who will be sharing visibility across channels. “One more staff will also be hired to cater for the needs of Nollywood and professional videographers”, he further stated. He also reiterated that a lot of Marketing activities are also being planned to raise brand awareness and all these activities will be managed by local Marketing Agencies that will need to hire people for employment.
Somesh stated that his brand is also teaming up with budding Film Makers and teaching them on how they can actually make photography their profession. Apart from teaching them how to handle the camera, they are also being taught how to become businessmen later in life.
Keeping in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility, Canon, Somesh said, has helped out Print Shops in Ghana last year and it is looking to replicate same in Nigeria this year. In a nutshell, Somesh stated that Canon, as a brand, is contributing its own quota to help alleviate the scourge of employment and he believes that Nigeria will come out of the recession soon.
Somesh gave some insights into what a buyer of a DSLR camera should look out for. Some of these include the components of the camera, such as who made them, the Sensor, the Lens and the backing up of the purchase with an after sales service. The brand , he stated, has high quality component manufactured by the company itself rather than third parties, hence, it will provide the right service to back it up.
Reacting to the issue of resolving the challenges of inadequate user education, Somesh stated that the company is planning to carry out a lot of Road Shows across the Malls and Retail outlets that will allow people to have a feel of the product, so, they can have a feel of the product and feel more comfortable with it before they make a purchase. Secondly, he stated that the company is in the process of launching an Academy in the second half of 2017 in Nigeria. The idea, he stated, is to attach coupons to DSLR cameras sold that will enable the buyers to undergo training on photography operations of DSLR.
On the pricing of the DSLR cameras, Somesh stated that it started from the basics, which is to govern the right set of distribution network. The company, he said, had assembled its local team as well as established a good set of partners. He went further to say that the company is able to control its imports flow and penetrate into the channels as well as keep an eye the needs of the consumers and to follow what the competition is doing. The pricing, Somesh stated, are also competitive.
On a final note, Somesh is of the opinion that the DSLR has a good opportunity to survive in spite of the proliferation smartphones camera.
You can watch the full interview here.