Epson Philippines posts growth, revamps strategy

Japanese electronics company reports 10 percent revenue growth from Philippine operations, but admits enterprise marketing strategy needs an "overhaul".

PHILIPPINES--Japanese electronics giant Epson has reported a 10 percent growth in revenues from its Philippine operations, but acknowledged need to revamp its selling strategy in the local corporate market.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia Tuesday, Epson executives said the company continues to maintain leadership in some categories of the local printer market, particularly, the consumer segment.

"Our yearly revenues increased by nearly 10 percent, and our market share of the consumer segment remains strong," said Hideto Nakamura, president of Epson Philippines.

Citing an IDC report, Nakamura said Epson held 28 percent share of the inkjet printer market and 45 percent of the single-function printer segment.

As the only player among printer makers to sell dot matrix printers, Epson also has a near monopoly of this market with a 95 percent share, he said.

Nakamura noted that Epson's 2007 fiscal report, which ended this month, saw the company generating 50 percent of its revenues from the consumer segment.

The executive did not disclose targets for 2008, saying only that Epson is aiming to generate 4 billion pesos (US$95.1 million) in the next three to five years from its Philippine operations. He also declined to disclose specific revenue figures on a per country basis, adding only that the company is strengthening its retail strategies and will continue to drive technologies that appeal to consumers.

Epson admitted, however, that it needs to "overhaul" its selling "technique" and refocus its marketing strategy for the corporate sector.

According to Eduardo Bonoan, Epson Philippines' newly-appointed general manager of sales and marketing, the company needs to "fine-tune" to better address the corporate and government sectors.

Bonoan said almost all of Epson's products, for both the consumer and corporate segments, are currently offered in the local market.

"What we need to address is how to best market these solutions to corporate entities and government agencies as well," he said.

Bonoan added that Epson will introduce new marketing initiatives from its 2008 fiscal year.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.