“You are asking my favourite but I don’t have a favourite product or a favourite focus. We need to have an entire portfolio and this is why the portfolio is there to be able, when a customer comes and, you know is in a relationship or a discussion with Xerox to be able to say: ‘ Yes, this is your application. I think this toner-based or this inkjet machine is more suitable responding to your needs’. And this is again coming back to what you said, this is the good thing about Xerox and about the extensive portfolio.”
We visited to Gabriel Pantelimon, new General Manager of Xerox Turkey. Mr. Pantelimon talks statement, plan and targets about Turkey.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: First of all, what’s your business strategy and what’s your main target and what is your point of view about the Turkish market?
Gabriel Pantelimon: Thank you very much first of all for hosting me in your magazines. I am very happy to be in Turkey. I said in the last month from the market opportunities perspective, for me personally it is a promotion. I’m coming from Romania, a country that has a population of 20 million and Turkey has 80 million population. So from a market perspective, the size of the market, obviously for me it is a step forward. The strategy obviously follows the corporation strategy with some specificities for the local market. I am still in a, let’s say, an assessment mode after one month being here in Turkey. But let’s put the main objective to the strategy – is that we should perform at the market size and at the market potential. So I think we still have a lot of opportunities here. We are not doing bad so we are having an important place in the market and among the print industry players. But I think we have also a lot of opportunities. So in conclusion we should increase our presence into the market and take a higher share of the printing market. As I said Turkey is seen by the corporation as a very important market and in the future will use a lot of resources in order to achieve our objectives here in Turkey.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: Did you have any chance to visit some of our customers or market last month?
Gabriel Pantelimon: First of all, I visited our partners. As you know, Xerox – and not only in Turkey – has a strategy which is, in a way, hybrid – we are also addressing with a direct system, if you want, the top enterprises in each country because we have specialised services for those enterprises/companies, like management services, office services, like digital services, general or typing visualisation, conversion. We have communication services. So these type of services we are offering for the enterprise with our direct sales team, our pre-sales, our analysts in order to cover the big sizes of the opportunities and projects. But on the other hand we are covering the rest of the market through an indirect model with a network of partners that are covering Turkey nationwide. So I visited also most of the partners and distributors already and the next stage will be customers.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: What’s your first feeling about the Turkish market as it is?
Gabriel Pantelimon: Well the feeling is that it is a big market. It’s not, let’s say, an easy market at this moment. The competition because of the size of the market obviously everyone wants a piece of this market which is crowded so nobody is missing from this market so it is not easy to make bold steps or to win a very big new market share because everybody is very dynamic and tries to adapt. Although our intention is to do exactly that, to be more dynamic in the future and to increase our presence and our market share into the market. On the other hand what we see is that the market despite let’s say that the micro-economics may be seen as challenging at this moment. I believe that the market is growing not with high numbers or not necessarily with double digits but it’s growing which is a positive aspect right so, also in the office area of the printing industry growth maybe not really into the production building area. There are moments in time which obviously because of some micro-economic situations can – the market can be flat but we need to look on the medium or longer term. We might see a situation now but I think there’s in the medium and longer term the market will continue to be at good levels and to grow.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: Is it about our economic situation or about competition?
Gabriel Pantelimon: I think everything is linked. The economical situation, I can’t comment too much on it, but what I see at this moment is a lot of attention to the currency rates, everyone is paying a lot of attention to the inflation but again as business people looking on the medium and long-term this should settle at some point. It cannot continue forever. So I think the micro-economics will settle at some point in time. And then I mentioned competition because of the size but in my view and this is how I used to work, it’s not to spend my attention or the focus with the competition. They will always be there and we wish them good luck being a big market there is a place for everybody. Our attention should be on the customers first of all and see how the dynamics of the environment changes customer needs, customer behaviours. So be very close to them either directly as I mentioned or through our partners in order to be able to adapt and move quickly and to respond to changing customer needs. And by the way we can see very clearly that everything is changing from a technological perspective at this moment so there is changes day by day. So therefore we need much more dynamism in order to resist. If you want to grow even more so.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: Xerox has a huge product portfolio. So I just can accept two ways for Xerox in Turkey. First one is, high volume production printing, and second one is under 100 ppm printers. Which one is the most important for you as personal? Office printers or graphic industry?
Gabriel Pantelimon: Looking at the Xerox portfolio I don’t have preferences. And by the way as I mentioned earlier we are looking first at the customer. We are looking very well to segment the customer and obviously there are different customer segments like the home users, or retail, small and medium businesses, corporate, enterprise businesses. So the good thing of having such a big portfolio is that you can respond to each different needs of those big customers. So if we add to these the services that we have that’s obviously a big plus for Xerox having this portfolio. So I am not looking necessarily internally at our products in that I have a preference for one or other product. And by the way also our strategy is building in this way that we are talking the small and medium business. We can have some software, we can have some printers, we can have some multi-functionals. The copy centres which I think we can classify them as small and medium size businesses. We have the high production machines that they can use so there is no such thing as a favourite product or portfolio. We have a big portfolio as you rightly said so this is an advantage to respond to the different needs of different segments of customers.
I said earlier that I’m more like a business person rather than a technical person. However, maybe when we are talking about book production, for example, we might see sometime the ink-jet technology being more suitable for higher volumes of business transaction type of applications. For example, maybe the ink-jet technology is more and obviously people would like to see this technology which you know very well that Xerox invested in the last years and maybe you remember the acquisition of Impica, the French company, so obviously this is an investment and it’s an area that Xerox believes in it. So we would like to see more activity here in Turkey although obviously they’re a bigger machine, a more complex machine, more expensive machine, so this coming back to the micro-economics is not maybe an easy period to propose and to sell this type of machines but the good thing is that we also have the toner-based machines which some of them are also according to the volume good for colour, more colour intensive applications. So we are also interested to have that segment as well moved into the market.
You are asking my favourite but I don’t have a favourite product or a favourite focus. We need to have an entire portfolio and this is why the portfolio is there to be able, when a customer comes and, you know is in a relationship or a discussion with Xerox to be able to say: ‘ Yes, this is your application. I think this toner-based or this inkjet machine is more suitable responding to your needs’. And this is again coming back to what you said, this is the good thing about Xerox and about the extensive portfolio.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: What is Xerox’ position between other manufacturers?
Gabriel Pantelimon: You are trying me to put the competition … But again, truthfully and honestly, this is the way we should work, we should focus less on competition and focus more on the customer and customer needs. I think that this is the normal and healthy strategy if you focus more on competition then you have less time to understand, to listen, to see the changes. You know, competition is there – what we need to see should be a competition of value proposition at the customer level. So we don’t expect not to have competition as that’s not healthy but we should focus more on customer needs. And ok, now, I’m not saying about favourites but obviously the market is going in one direction, right, so colour is growing, either that we are talking production or either that we are talking office makes sometimes coming back because the micro-economics. We don’t see necessarily this on a short-term basis but on a medium-term and long-term basis obviously this is the direction so somewhere in the future everything will be in colour. We always like to make this analogy with black and white television sets and colour sets that in the beginning it was only black and white and now all of them are colour so in the future we will see all the applications going towards colour, going towards optimisation. So we have the global crisis in 2008 and 2009 which slowed down, let’s say, this progress if you want in a way but I think now we are coming back towards colour in all the .. and you see coming back the investment in Xerox is doing and what you are saying.
For example, Iridesse is just announced so obviously we are seeing the future there. The good thing is that we are launching something which is completely different from the competition. Now if you want me to talk about competition but I am talking about the differentiator, right? So I think we are unique with the Iridesse at this moment, with six colours in one test of the paper in the machine and, by the way, two of them can be, yes, gold and silver which for the service bureaus copy centers or for the advertising agencies. You know that’s a big class in terms of response to the market and the different applications that you can do so this is very important but also obviously there will be some specific volume applications that will need inkjet as well. So from the announcement you see from Xerox, you see very clearly that we are trying to respond to the market changes. Inkjet itself will continue to play a role in the big volume areas but again colour will become more and more important and we are developing devices and machines to bring some differentiators to the customers. By the way, making and again looking at the customers, making them more productive, helping them to reach their end customers in a more productive and efficient and, by the way, qualitative way.
So in the end Xerox, I know that these are more general comments but I’m coming back to the values of Xerox which are actually guiding us in whatever we are doing. We are trying to help our customers improve their work and their way of doing business. This is our, throughout our history, this is our, you know, our main goal. Let’s make the life easier for our customers in the end.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: As a last comparison what’s your statement competition between offset and digital printing?
Gabriel Pantelimon: I think that those technologies are anyhow complimentary so Xerox view and this is my view as well. Each technology has its market, its customers. I don’t see them as competitive technologies. I think that they can complement each other. absolutely they are.
We just talked about changes and customer behaviour changes and the fact that they need the shorter runs correct they need personalisation, customisation so obviously there digital plays an important role. And I believe that the offset companies already see that. There was a time in the past that there was a little bit of resistance to the digital technology because obviously the offset had the quality advantage, obviously the volume advantage and so on and so forth. But then digital came and improved over the years and also in quality and it was always the personalisation, customisation opportunity there. So I think that now the majority of the offset players are bringing in also digital technology. Because as I said they need to respond to their customers.
The thing that technologies are blending together by the way we see progress in the offsetting techologies as well. Even there more computer based technologies that are actually bringing towards the offset techology in a way so that the technologies are blending together but being a player in this industry should use both of them. Now how in the future, how much will be offset, it’s hard to say because I said also offset technology is making progress because we need to adapt to what is happening in the market. So both technologies will grove and will have a position in the future. It will be hard to distinguish between these two technologies.
MATBAA&TEKNIK: Last question. Do you have a personal message for Turkish printers?
Gabriel Pantelimon: My message to the printing customers here in Turkey is that Xerox will put more focus on this market, will put more resources on this market, will speed up the rhythm of changes also internally so therefore we can respond much quicker to the needs of the market, also to the partners. I will say to expect that Xerox will continue to improve its value proposition for customers, for partners, in respect that Xerox will become stronger in this market with an improved value proposition so the customer and the partner will see that Xerox continues to be a strong valuable brand with a strong value proposition so therefore they should expect to continue to have a long term partnership with Xerox both customers and our partners.