After decades of sustained growth in the Cambodian market, EPSON, a leading manufacturer of printers and information and imaging related equipment, continues to enjoy a very robust performance in the kingdom.
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Worldwide, sales for the company increased by 40 percent last year, selling over 20 million units of the L-series printers in 150 different countries.
Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn, general manager of EPSON in Thailand, sits down with Khmer Times’ May Kunmakara to discuss the company’s expansion in the kingdom and its strategy for the years ahead.
KT: How is EPSON performing in the kingdom?
Yunyong: In the last few years we have been experiencing remarkable growth in Cambodia. Particularly, in the last two years we’ve seen sales grow significantly. This is partly due to the thriving local economy and the growing IT infrastructure that companies are enjoying.
We consider Cambodia a priority market and we will continue to invest in the country to make sure we don’t miss any of the tantalising opportunities the market offers.
KT: A thriving economy also means more competition, as more companies are lured into the market. In the upcoming years, more and more firms will enter your sector. How do you plan to deal with this increased level of competition?
Yunyong: Competition is always both good and bad. More competition means more companies promoting the sector, which, ultimately, will result in the sector growing exponentially. Also, facing more competition forces us to up our own game and to work harder to find the right strategy to continue to grow.
KT: Can you tell us about your strategy to tackle the Cambodian market and grow sustainably?
Yunyong: First, we focus on the needs of our clients. Second, we try to add value to the businesses of our clients. If you buy a printer from us, and that product doesn’t really add value to your business, I don’t think we would have a future in any market.
Third, we take partnerships very seriously, trying to build close relations with key players in the industry. We have very solid partnerships in the kingdom that have been key in setting up our distribution network, including customer support services.
Finally, we are always stressing the importance of having a proper communications strategy to reach out to potential customers and make them aware of the quality of our products and how it can benefit their businesses.
KT: Who are your target customers, and how are their preferences changing?
Yunyong: We have a wide range of products and, as a result, a wide range of customers, from households to corporate offices and government bodies.
As far as customer preferences, what we see in Cambodia and in the region is that sales for inkjet printers are growing rapidly, surpassing sales for laser printers. We do believe that in the near future inkjet printing will be the number one printing technology in the region.
KT: How does the local market compare to the markets in Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar?
Yunyong: Within CLMV, Cambodia is one of our best markets, with sales for printers and projectors being very robust.
KT: Do you think your business will be affected by the upcoming general election?
Yunyong: So far it is not having any impact on our business, with demand for our products continuing to grow. However, I can see that many people are worried about the political situation in the kingdom and are afraid investors might start leaving the country as the election approaches. We, at EPSON, don’t share this view, and for us the kingdom remains a key market in Asean.
KT: EPSON has a robotics department – EPSON Robots. How long until it makes an appearance in the kingdom?
Yunyong: Give it two more years, at least. Right now, robots are for those countries that are facing labour shortages or where labour is expensive. That is not the case in Cambodia. But, it will definitely come to the kingdom in the future.