InterviewsOutlook

Expo 2020 is a Major Event to Look Forward to

Arabian Reseller speaks to Narendra Menon, the Managing Director at Nikon Middle East FZE, about the upcoming opportunities this year

How was 2018 for the industry and your company?
Given the current geo-political environment, it wasn’t possible for us to steer completely clear of its impact. The industry as a whole, like most other industries in the region, has had to bear the brunt of the conditions. However, being a multi-national works in our favour as our markets across the globe are able to cushion each other to an extent.

The industry saw a massive traction towards video-making and Nikon’s D850 proved to be an outstanding product in its segment. Meeting budding and seasoned photographers’ needs alike, the D850 turned out to be an ergonomic delight for its users and we are proud to have been able to create and contribute towards better imaging technology and photography.

With Nikon school, Nikon Kids Club, Nikon Premium Membership (NPM) program and NPS, we feel that Nikon has not just been able to contribute to photography as a culture, but also cultivate it deeper as a hobby amongst a variety of people in 2018.

What sort of opportunities did 2018 bring along?
Our run with fruitful opportunities began with the blooming success of D850 owing to its features and our popular acceptance in the blossoming videography world. As the year progressed, our latest addition of Z mount turned out to be quite an intriguing and interesting offering for movie enthusiasts. The super-telescopic and ultra-HD video camera P1000 was well accepted by customers worldwide.

We feel, that this is one camera that every photo fanatic will entice due to its versatility. The end of 2018 saw us entering into the mirrorless camera segment with two new cameras, the Z6 and Z7, and our customers have started understanding and appreciating what the Z tag is all about. “Mirrorless Re-invented” is what we say the Z products are about, and that’s exactly what our customers feel about them after experiencing them first-hand. That, for us, has been one of the most fruitful outcomes of the year gone by.

Did you face any challenges in 2018?
Like I said earlier, there may be few, or none in the region who escaped facing severe challenges in 2018. Nikon wasn’t spared by the economic impact of the ongoing geo political issues either. The way to look at it for us has been simple and optimistic – it will only get better from here.

What were your key achievements in 2018?
Through the experiences that our latest imaging solutions have been able to create, we jogged further into new segments like video and movie and got even more acceptance and response than we’d hoped for. In a nutshell, that’s what our most significant achievement of 2018 has been. Moreover, this has become our springboard for the year to come.

What promises does 2019 bring along?
We are looking forward to a more positive and stable geopolitical environment in the coming year as that will propel Nikon’s growth faster. With the bestselling D850 to back us and the efficacious Z mount driving our market penetration, 2019 looks very promising for Nikon. We hope to achieve the position of the leading FX camera manufacturer across the markets we operate in. With a better political climate and a growing acceptance of our solutions, 2019 brings in a promise of an enhance growth curve for Nikon.

Do you see opportunities on the market with Dubai Expo 2020 just around the corner?
Absolutely! The entire economy is recovering, and the Expo 2020 is a major event to look forward to. With entire industries preparing for the boom in business that Expo 2020 will bring along, everyone is getting their share of opportunities and it’s the same for Nikon. When the country sees an upward trend, it will surely have a positive impact on the business in the region.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2019?
Technology is ever advancing and probably something with the highest obsolescence rate as well. So, when we create imaging solutions, we don’t put technology first, we put customer demand first. The technology we create or workaround is directly derived from the needs of our customers, and in this rapidly moving environment, these needs are more dynamic than ever before. Technology that understands, interprets and fulfils these needs are going to rule the coming year and we prepare for that by making our customer’s need and experience the top priority of Nikon.

What will be your key focus areas for 2019?
Our focus areas always branch out from our customers’ needs. In 2019, we want to broaden the base of our distribution and customer satisfaction activities. Our customers are of integral significance to us and we want to focus on being as close to them as possible. We want to be the brand that’s there for their customers and we want to give them access to enriching and fulfilling experiences like no brand has before. Exceeding our customers’ expectation is going to be our main focus for 2019.

What milestones have you set for 2019?
We have a one-point agenda for 2019 and we are completely investing ourselves in achieving that. Nikon’s path towards it lies through the dense, unexplored forest of unique customer experience activities that go far beyond tech-support and after-sales service. We want to be at the leading position in FX across all segments that we operate in and the most loved brand (by customers) in the industry.

What would you like to do differently in 2019, when compared with 2018?
For the past seven decades, Nikon has been a pioneer and the most trusted brand when it comes to still images. Today, with the introduction of Z mount and mirrorless technology, we have realized the need to unlearn and learn a whole new bunch of things to accelerate our growth in the moving image industry. We have a clear head start into the new year with the Z Mount, and this advantage will be capitalized to its true potential in 2019.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2019?
Our plans are designed based on the needs of our customers. Nikon has always put immense effort and emphasis on not just hearing the customers’ needs but listening to them carefully and acting accordingly. Over the decades, we have been accurate in approaching the customer with the right products and services at the ripe times. Nikon will continue to let its customers lead the way.

We would like to approach the subject of the quality advantage that a camera has over other hand-held devices that have cameras installed in them. The difference in image quality is magnanimous and more and more people are realizing that as we are witnessing a positive movement towards cameras. We can see it happening due to the success of SNS and we are sure that the SNS will be the incubator for more people to appreciate camera-quality images and videos in the coming year.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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