Thu, April 25, 2024

'To show the app-based or cloud-based printing solutions, we have opened this centre'

Preeti Pantha
Preeti Pantha January 30, 2024, 3:36 pm
A A- A+

Amit Ali

Sales Director – Middle East and Africa, Brother International Gulf

Amit Ali, Sales Director for Middle East and Africa of Brother International Gulf, was recently in Kathmandu to inaugurate the Brother Experience Centre. As Sales Director, he is responsible for the sales and business for Middle East, Africa and a few countries in South Asia like Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ali has been associated with Brother and Sagar Group, the authorised distributor of Brother, for the last 15 years. During his visit, he spoke to Business 360 about the recent Experience Centre and future direction of the brand. Excerpts:

“Fifteen years back there was nothing like cloud-based printing. Today, people want to print from any device. It’s not only from a PC but also from tablets and mobiles. So, to show these app-based or cloud-based printing solutions we have opened this centre”

What makes Brother different from other brands in the market?

Brother is a 115-year-old Japanese company. Initially, we started our journey as a company manufacturing sewing machines. We got involved in the printing business in 1971 and for the last 60 years we have been in this sector. Our main business is printing and solutions which comprise 60% of our total business. We also have a labelling printing business and a home sewing machine business. And we were the first company to bring table top multifunction products. We are actually the only vendor or manufacturer to have our own proprietary technology in all three main technologies. We don’t use anybody else’s technology and our products are manufactured in our own ISO certified factories. We don’t do any Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) production. Brother actually is famous for its quality, reliability and convenience. So, I would say our quality, our reliability and our Japanese heritage make us different.

How do you assess your collaboration with Sagar Group?

I started this relationship of Brother with Sagar Group and from the very beginning, I have found the Sagar team to be very involved and committed. They always have a young team so they have that energy and these things always matter and help in business. Initially, when the brand was not known in the market for the first three to four years it was very difficult. But gradually through our activities we have got to the market well. Today, we can say that we have a long history and we are improving every year and we hope to continue this relationship for many years to come.

Could you elaborate on the Brother Experience Centre?

The main purpose of the centre is to showcase Brother’s technology and products for the market here. I wouldn’t say that it’s really meant for the retail customer, it’s more for our partners. We have a really big network of partners here in Nepal. Suppose a partner wants some new products, where will they be able to see it? This will be the centre for them to come and see. It’s also meant for corporates and users like for banks and other institutions who want to see live products and feel the experience. If you go to the market, you won’t find many places to see the live products. Also, the media and bloggers who want to talk about the products can come here. The printing business has evolved a lot over the year. Fifteen years back there was nothing like cloud-based printing. Today, people want to print from any device. It’s not only from a PC but also from tablets and mobiles. So, to show these app-based or cloud-based printing solutions we have opened this centre. I believe that our customers, end users and partners will come and see live demonstrations and get a better experience of our products.

What is Brother’s current market share and what’s the competition like?

As per our estimates, we have a market share of 55-60%. We don’t have any published third-party statistics. In other markets where I work, there are third-party statistics but here we don’t have such data. We have to follow the gut instinct of the Sagar team. And if their instincts say 50%-60% that’s what we follow. Brother worldwide is one of the top four manufacturers. All the top four vendors are present here in the market. So, competition in the printing industry is fairly uniform. Every country we go to we see the same four vendors competing. So, in terms of competition, it is not much different. However, one element of difference in this market is, it is a completely open market. Sometimes people bring products which are not authorised for the market and that adds an element of competition in the market but other than that I don’t see anything unusual, it’s the same everywhere.

What is Brother’s market fit in Nepal?

In terms of printing products, the customers here are very ‘value for money’ conscious and that’s a very big challenge in this market. Also, when we talk about inks and toners for the machines, customers are not really appreciative of original inks and toners and considering the current economic conditions, it’s understandable. But under these circumstances our goal is to bring products that are reliable and easy to use and repair and this is our definition everywhere.

What are your future plans?

In the coming one year, we’ll be refreshing the entire line-up with new products, especially the laser side technology. Also, towards the end of next year we’ll be bringing a new range of ink-tank printers. I think the coming one year is going to be very exciting for Sagar and Nepal as we will be introducing new products every quarter. It’s after a really long time that we have so many new products coming up at the same time. I expect 2024 to be a very active year and I am looking forward to engaging much more with the market and our partners here in Nepal. 


Published Date:
Post Comment
MARCH 2024

Click Here To Read Full Issue