When you ask any photographer in Kenya or to a larger extent the East African region what camera they use, eight out of ten will probably brandish their Canon or Nikon cameras, depending on what type of photographers they are, they will rave over the features of the gadget and cite them as the reason for acquiring the tool of trade.
That is how much the two companies have a strangehold of the imaging industry in the Kenyan market.
On Tuesday, Canon displayed the latest brand of cameras it has launched in the Kenyan market, the XF705 and the ME20F-SHN during the East Africa Com, a technology exhibition event held at a Nairobi Hotel.
Present at the event was Parag Kauangal, sales manager-Canon Central and North Africa, he oversees 44 markets including Kenya but he is not stationed in any of them, he runs the project from Dubai.
When officially launched, the Canon XF705 will retail at Ksh850,000 while the Canon ME20F-SHN will retail at Ksh2.5 million.
So how exactly has a person working from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) run his project, which requires him to sell premium products at a premium price so effectively?
Mr Kauangal is alive to the fact that in any business, proximity to the market is key and as such he lets the locals run Canon’s business as he monitors operations alongside his fellow regional heads from the corner office in Dubai.
Canon has its Kenyan offices at Delta Corner Office in Westlands, Nairobi where the research on the Kenyan market is done.
The company’s business model requires Mr Kauangal to travel frequently to Africa to monitor progress and get the requisite feedback on the company’s products, he then reports his observations to the head office in Dubai after which a business strategy on the market is drawn based on observations from the ground.
“Our business strategy involves getting to know what the customer wants from us, we are very particular about our products,” said Mr Kauangal “We first learn what is required of us before embarking on launching a new product,” Mr Kauangal told Business Today.
In December 2018, the company launched the Canon EOSR series in the Kenyan market, although Mr Kauangal was guarded on exactly how many units have sold so far, he said that the products’ reception by the Kenyan market has been great.
“Kenya is one of our most promising markets, the EOSR model segment has gradually grown but it has done well,” said Mr Kauangal.