Konica Minolta: A Year of Innovation, Sustainability, and Expansion in 2023

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CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Katsuhisa Asari, Managing Director – Konica Minolta India.


Highlights of the year 2023

As a multinational corporation, we were honoured to receive the “Prestigious Brands of Asia” award in Printing Solutions category and also recognised as “Leading Mid-Corporates of India” by Dun & Bradstreet

Print Xpress took off in the first quarter of the year, covering a staggering 150+ T3/T4 towns. This year also marked as an establishment of Corporate Education Center to focus on the learning and development journey of the entire Konica Minolta family.

We also launched the “Go-Green” initiative, introducing local deliveries of small machines and accessories to customers through Electric Vehicles. This entailed a transition to eco-friendly 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Next, we officially commemorated Konica Minolta’s unparalleled 150-year legacy with our PRAYAAS Sustainability Campaign, where we planted 150 trees each across all Konica Minolta branches, across India, which marked as a completion of our commitment to plant 4000 trees showcasing our unwavering devotion to environmental stewardship.

We also collaborated with the Taiwanese giant FunTech Innovations as a distribution partner to bring their highly adept office connectivity solutions to India.
Outlook for printing and content management solutions 2024

With most corporates having their workforce resuming offices for most days a week, demand for managed services in print including Print Management Solutions and Content Management Solutions is expected to see acceleration. The post pandemic effect has resulted in mainstreaming DX efforts to be enterprise-wide programs from departmental silos and hence resulting in an increased interest in ECM, RPA & workflow automation solutions.

While we have already integrated the technology of – Variable Data Printing, we continue to see rampant innovation in that category of printers, and as always, Konica Minolta is heavily invested in innovation. Additionally, we will continue to see a rising awareness in sustainability practices, and a growing synergy between print and augmented reality.

The integration of Artificial Intelligence and automation is optimizing processes, while the exploration of 3D printing applications opens new dimensions in prototyping. Additionally, digital textile printing gains prominence for its flexibility and customization capabilities. These trends collectively define a landscape where technological advancements continue to reshape and redefine the possibilities within the digital printing segment.

Overall Performance of Konica Minolta in the Year 2023

In 2023, Konica Minolta’s performance in India was notable for several achievements:

The company’s “Print Xpress” initiative covered over 150 + tier 3 and tier 4 towns in India, demonstrating a strong market presence and outreach in the country. Konica Minolta’s “PRAYAAS Sustainability Campaign” involved planting 150 trees at every branch across India, showcasing a commitment to environmental stewardship in the country. The company was honoured with the “Prestigious Brands of Asia” recognition, highlighting its positive reputation and impact in the Indian market. Konica Minolta’s focus on innovation and sustainability, as well as its investment in the Indian market, is evident from its range of office multifunctional printers, industrial printers, and production printing solutions tailored for the Indian market. These achievements reflect a strong performance and significant contributions by Konica Minolta in India during 2023, across various aspects of its business operations and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Challenges faced by the print industry?

The pandemic, WFH and semiconductor shortage were the most recent challenges faced by us from the perspective of office print, however our reliance on managed print services and responsible management of resources ensured that Konica Minolta came through the storm very well.

When it comes to pushing the network of our technologies to the last inch of the nation, we see that many small businesses face the challenge of initial capital investment, as cutting-edge printing technology often comes with a substantial cost. Small businesses may find it challenging to allocate resources for such investments.

Additionally, adapting to new technology might pose a learning curve for existing workflows, requiring training and adjustment periods. Ensuring reliable technical support and maintenance services for the equipment is crucial, addressing concerns about downtime and potential disruptions.

Lastly, navigating the diverse market landscape in India, with its unique regulatory and logistical challenges, requires strategic planning to ensure seamless integration and long-term success. Responding to the potential of this untapped market, Konica Minolta launched the Print Xpress initiative which allowed technology dissemination with over 3000+ customers, resulting from the campaign that travelled over 48000+ kms, across 5 months, throughout the country.

How is Konica Minolta helping its vendors in reducing carbon footprints?

Konica Minolta’s “Green Factory” activities aim to enhance productivity and energy efficiency in assembly factories that work with many suppliers. Konica Minolta has a “Go-Green” initiative initiated local deliveries of small machines and accessories to its consumers via Electric Vehicles. This involves shifting to pollution-free 2-wheeler and 3-wheelers for a greener tomorrow.

Unlike traditional methods, Konica Minolta’s digital printers eliminate the need for etched metal plates, thus reducing energy consumption and waste generation. Toner quality generates an environmentally sustainable print by utilizing approximately 25% less water to manufacture compared to a conventional polymerized toner.

The company’s “Carbon Minus” goal aims to reduce CO2 emissions by more than its own CO2 emissions in collaboration with external stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, and society. Konica Minolta has set a new target year to achieve the Carbon Minus status in 2030.