Interview with Noboru Fujisaki, Division GM, Asia Pacific Sales Division, Wacom

What is latest with Wacom? Speaking of this year, product wise, in October we announced the launch of Bamboo. The feature of YRS was announced with it which our earlier products didn’t have; this allows you to have more flexibility for data presentation. Design wise we found that people have liked the new Bamboo and in terms of pricing also it’s not much different from the previous models. Another product that we launched this year was Cintiq 24 one of our flagship products. Many of the professional designers use it. We did more market research and studied the need for bigger size and hence we launched 24 inches screen in Cintiq 24. We also announced the Bamboo Stylus Color this year. The iPad is so popular today and its number of shipment is 100 million units which is broadly one third of the PC shipment today. That means iPad is one of the trends that people are adopting. Wacom is a pioneer in the area of input devices, so we developed the Bamboo stylus which can be used on iPad. We have launched an application on the App Store called Bamboo Paper; the first version was free of charge. It became really popular, within one week 1 million downloads. Together with Bamboo Stylus and Bamboo Paper it’s good for taking notes. Since the establishment of the Wacom India Office last year, how has the business of Wacom grown in this region? Having an office here makes a difference as Rajeev (Nagar) and other employees of Wacom can be more aggressive in terms of sales and support. The awareness about our company and our products has increased due to the Wacom India office. They can be more proactive and build trust among customers. What is the expansion plan in terms of Channel Partners? There are many ways of expansion one is to work with the right channel partners. We have two partners right now in India, one is Neotrix they are distributors for Microsoft and Apple and we saw some synergy, their coverage across India is very good, they have many offices in each state and they are capable of reaching out to more customers. Another distribution partner of ours is Aditya Infotech. Their segment focus is different from Neotrix, they are very strong in the area which we call the vertical market consisting of government projects, education for universities, signature markets or any other public sector. They are very strong in this area. Second way of expansion is to work with training centers like MAAC, which is an authorized Wacom center. MAAC is a very strong partner of ours. Through this partnership students get used to our products from their student period and then it makes sense for them to continue using these products, when they are working in studios. This is like an investment for future. Third strategy is to connect with the retail market. With the large format retail with outlets like Chroma, Reliance etc. we want to show our products at these platforms so that people can try out our products. We want to have a Wacom corner in these stores and we can train the store people to help customers use the product. We also want to penetrate the traditional retail market. What are your plans for advertising? Advertising should be very focused and specific. The offline advertisement is shrinking today and online is big. We hope we can put more money in the online space as we can be more specific in that kind of advertising. Which sector according to you hold potential for Wacom? Highest growth for our core products is still in the graphics segment. It is being used not only in the 2D animation segment but also for 3D animation with Adobe and Autodesk suites. That’s the first core of our target. The next segment is consumers, low entry graphics people. We see that young generation really enjoys graphics, painting, and web designing so we are targeting them as well. The third segment is like the vertical market consisting of education, medical, electronic signature segment etc. What can we look forward to from Wacom in the coming quarter? Product life cycle is getting shorter and shorter. So we have to keep up with new products. So hopefully we can introduce something new. I see many people in India are interested in our products. We want to meet their expectations and introduce new products that they would like. We want to deliver better services to our customers. India is so important and we want to be a part of Indian market.

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