With West going green, Xerox bets big on India’s printing business

With developed countries such as the US going green and printing less, India is one of the largest growth markets for Xerox, a global photocopying and digital printing company.

The $23-billion company is witnessing a 5-7 per cent decline in printing business in developed markets, but its India operations are steadily growing, according to Rajat Jain, Managing Director, Xerox India. In the West, ‘please do not print’ is a strong voice with people dissuaded from printing. The focus there is on carbon footprint and eco-balance. However, in India, billions of pages are printed every year as the situation here is different, he told Business Line.

The printing market in India is growing at 5-10 per cent annually, he said. “We are still in the industrialisation phase with sectors like infrastructure, banks, insurance and telecom growing. In the developed market, everything is about optimisation.” For instance, if a telecom company is acquiring 100 million mobile subscribers a month, it means more application forms. Similarly, every insurance policy needs 60 pages of printing. This cannot be kept in an email, he said.

In developed markets, the product business (selling photocopy and printing machines) is not growing. However, countries like India and China continue to buy machines and will witness growth in print for the next 10-20 years, he said.

In India, customers are increasingly moving towards ‘pay per page’ service model. Customers do not buy photocopy machines, but buy the service.

Xerox used to be a pure photocopying company, expanded the digital printing portfolio in the last 10 years. In India, Modi Xerox was the biggest company selling photocopy products. Today, there are at least 10 companies. Large clients say they need a printing service pay per page under a managed print service (MPS).

Globally, Xerox serves over 130 clients, including Citibank, General Electic, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and Vodafone. Clients save 5 to 10 per cent on total printing cost using the MPS model. This, however, depends on customer to customer and on how ‘inefficient’ the customer’s printing spread is.

In the MPS, there is no capital expenditure or obsolesce risk or need to change the toners or hardware. Xerox takes care of everything. It also deploys its own staff at client site.

The printing cost for a company is 5-7 per cent of revenue. A 10 per cent saving in this cost improves the bottom line significantly, Jain said.