Xerox is looking at both organic and inorganic growth in large format printing

At the recently held round table discussion with press dignitaries, Anne M Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation and Dr Sophie Vandebroek, CTO, Xerox Corporation & president, Xerox Innovation Group focused on the big ‘I’ little ‘t’ theory and the growth strategy and innovation behind Xerox.
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 As everybody in the industry is aware that Xerox Corporation – North America, is a US $15.9 billion, Fortune 500 global document management company, which aims to lead the digital revolution in offices through its diverse range of colour products, multifunctional devices and office services. According to Anne Mulcahy, chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation, half of their revenue comes from North America and the remaining from outside. “We are global and operate in 160 nations and wish to expand in other countries also. We saw probable 4% growth in digital market in developed nations and 7% in the developing ones and our fastest growing market is Euroasia. Of this, India is the fastest growing market. We have recently acquired majority stake in Indian operations. So this seems to be a great time in Indian market.” Speaking on their Indian operations, Anne said, “We have a great business team here and we are banking on them to guide us to attain tremendous market share in India. We are participating in this market in a big way which is good for our customers and partners as well.” India has recently seen the launch of iGen3 digital press and the industry is seriously waiting what will follow next. “iGen will remain the base of our future products and we will build more products on its pattern. Also, we are looking at the opportunity of launching a continuous feed digital press in India. We also have a large portfolio of inkjet printers with the solid ink technologies, eliminating the cartridge system which are ecologically not good,” told Anne.

Additionally, what are their plans for the large format printing segment? “We are looking at both organic and inorganic growth in this segment. In the organic growth, we have tied up with partners like Fuji Xerox. They have developed market not only in Japan but also in China. And in other countries, together with Fuji Xerox, we have invested 1.7 billion dollar on a yearly basis on research and development and engineering. As for the inorganic growth, we are on the lookout for acquiring some companies in this segment, which will boost up our share,” replied Anne.

Outlining their product offerings, Dr Sophie Vandebroek, CTO, Xerox Corporation & president, Xerox Innovation Group, said, “We don’t sell any product for analogue printing. We are into digital printing and have been instrumental in bringing host of products in this segment. There are three lines of business – large, medium and small and we offer products in each segment that are not only different but also successful. We invest across the border and we have four research centers all over the world. We strongly focus on differentiating our products and services through innovative technology. We are aiming at bringing 95% fresh products for medium business.”

“Research is embedded in our services business, we license and commercialize our investment efficiently. The amount of innovation coming from our research lab is really great. One of our research centres is dedicated to other companies and actually they are investing in Xerox research in their area of specialty. We research with special non-competitive focus and so we have external clients. Thus we have multiple avenues to monetize our research capabilities,” added Anne. Xerox’s research centres not only focus on core business, but on a wide range of products, which result in more innovations. “Almost 75% of our research programmes are highly aligned in early stages of incubating next gen products and to commercialise and energise rest of the portfolio. We are always on the lookout for options for new markets, looking beyond inks, toners and services, and exploring better ideas for the future,” added Dr Sophie. Two-third of their equipment research comes from product technology, which has been brought into the market in last two years. “Our research is not limited to next few years. We look for distant future as well, if our innovation and technology ends in next 2-3 years, then we wouldn’t survive. We research for future, say 5-10 years from now,” she added.

The company is very customer-oriented and believes in practicing and learning from them, so that they can deliver their products at lower cost, at the same time generating revenue for themselves.

 Coming back to the Indian market, Anne said that they have a lot of technologies for e-governance and are focusing on better, smarter and secure future. “We are aiming to offer printing systems with less running cost and low cost of ownership. We also wish to develop toners that are very high on quality and low on cost,” added Andrew Horne, MD, Xerox India.

“In India, our greatest share is at enterprise level, basically small and medium size business. We are looking for right offerings and channel partners in Indian market, and we are here to grow as well. Even though we are focusing on both large and small business, but it is only a small segment, which is growing at a fast pace. There are more opportunities to grow in small segment, laser printer, multifunctional devices and in the past we have doubled this market share. We have 16% market share in colour and are still growing,” told Andrew.

Interestingly, Anne was named CEO of Xerox in August 2001. The focus for first few years of her tenure as a CEO was more on increasing business and generating revenue as there was a lot of financial challenges at that time. “As such, I spent a lot of time on making good business models and today we are in a position to really bring good offerings to our customers. Fortunately, the company is now in a very good shape with a growth of 17%,” she concluded.

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