The age of the printer is not over and small to medium enterprises in East Africa will be growing the demand for printers. So says Epson’s East Africa regional manager, Mukesh Bector. Due to recent economic growth and the establishment of more SMEs, government agencies and growth in the photography industry, printer sales in the region are increasing.
Due to this rise in the need for printers, Epson opened their first regional office in Nairobi last year after operating through distributors managed through its South African office. The company plans to open another office in Tanzania and already has an office in Ethiopia.
According to Bector, Epson has redesigned how they do things with their Epson inkjet printers and Epson ink cartridges to serve the growing need for printers for home offices, small offices and photography enthusiasts. But they are not alone.
Other global printer manufacturers are also intensifying their efforts in the region. Samsung recently opened a new printer manufacturing plant in Ethiopia and Canon set up a subsidiary in Kenya last year.
International research firm IDC estimates that 151 000 printers will be sold in Kenya alone this year, with the number increasing to about 225 000 in 2015. In downtown Nairobi, the multitude of small photo studios, cyber cafés and printing and photocopying kiosks rely on heavily on printers, printer cartridges and other related products.
In order to fight off the competition, companies like Epson have been launching more affordable, convenient and high quality products that will appeal to business and organisations wanting to keep their printing and business costs down.