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    Canon wants India business to lead in Asia, sets up new semiconductor equipment business



    Japanese technology giant Canon on June 6 unveiled its five-point strategy to propel the India business to become the leading subsidiary among Asian markets, through channel expansion plans, introducing new B2B products in the semiconductor design and medical devices space, and focussing on marketing approach, said the company’s top leadership visiting the country.

    India will contribute 30 percent revenue to Asia (without Japan) by 2035, the company said.

    Hideki ‘Howard’ Ozawa, Executive Vice President of Canon called India “the driving engine, growth engine in the Asia region.”

    “This is because of India’s large market size, and GDP comparable to Japan and Germany. India will be crossing Germany soon in GDP and I hate to say this, Japan’s GDP is getting weaker. We see India catch up with Japan,” Ozawa, a company veteran of around 50 years, said addressing the media in Mumbai.

    He added, “India has been improving very much, that’s why we want to put our weight here. We have set up a higher target here, we want to grow the business of Canon India to make it the leading company in Asia.”

    While the company did not divulge exact numbers, Manabu Yamazaki, President and CEO, Canon India shared that the company has been seeing double digit growth in the country.

    Moreover, unlike the common notion of Canon primarily being a camera company, it globally gets 56.1 percent of its sales from printing business, 20.6 percent from imaging (includes camera), 13.2 percent from medical hardware business and 7.5 percent from industrial segment which includes semiconductor lithography equipment.

    Overall, Canon reported sales worth $29 billion globally in 2023.

    Ozawa, who is also the chairman & CEO of Canon Marketing Asia, wants to make Asia the company’s biggest market by 2035, and believes Indian market’s growth would bring significant support for that.

    As of 2023, in Canon’s overall sales, Asia and Oceania contributed about 20.4 percent or $6 billion in sales in 2023.

    India growth strategy

    The company’s five-pronged strategy involves expanding its sales channel coverage from tier-1 cities to tier-2 and 3, with an aim of covering entire Indian territory year by year by making its product and services more accessible.

    Canon will be looking to improve its marketing approach to create better brand awareness beyond its cameras. It also plans to bring its more attractive and applicable products in the country.

    The other two focus areas will be to set up and build its presence in semiconductor manufacturing machines and medical devices like CT scanners etc.

    “Canon Medical Systems has a comprehensive portfolio of advanced medical imaging from diagnostic and interventional imaging systems to healthcare IT solutions for the wider healthcare enterprise,” said Koh Yamada, President, Canon Medical Systems India.

    In the medical business, Canon’s customers include hospitals like Apollo Chennai and AIIMS.

    Betting big on semiconductors

    Canon has been offering chip designing and manufacturing equipment for over 50 years, and is now foraying into India at a time when the country’s government is looking to expand into semiconductor manufacturing industry and has laid out a $10-billion (Rs 76,000 crore) semiconductor package which has been allocated to players like the Tata Group, CG Power, Micron for chip plants.

    Canon’s lineup in semiconductor lithography equipment cover both miniaturization and Diversification. Also, the spread of IoT, which supports the smart society, requires a wide variety of semiconductors such as power devices, communication devices, and AI chips, that will drive demand.

    While the company’s leadership did not speak about setting up equipment manufacturing immediately in the country, they will likely do it if the local policy demands so. It will also be supporting the ‘Make in India’ policy for the semiconductor and FPD (Flat Panel Display) industry.

    The company said that it will cater to potential states like Gujarat and Assam in terms of equipment support.

    According to media reports, globally Canon has also forayed into ‘nanoimprint’ lithography technology for chips which involves stamping chip designs onto silicon wafers, providing a potentially cost-effective option to ASML’s light-based extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. This consumes up to 90 percent less power than ASML’s EUV technology, reports said.

    Further, Canon is starting a skill development programme in India focussed on training people in handling complex semiconductor-related equipment like its lithography machines.