Brother takes SoHO path to drive growth

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By  Published  September 22, 2006

Printing firm Brother will concentrate on the small office and home (SOHO) business in order to reinforce its competitive position on the market and meet its global and regional growth targets, one of its most senior executives declared.

“Our major competitors have a full range of products, but we are going to specialise on the SoHo market which is now growing globally,” Brother Industries representative director and president Seiichi Hirata told IT Weekly on a visit to Dubai, his first to the emirate, organised to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the firm’s regional subsidiary.

The company sees the strategic focus as key to gaining market share from its competitors, which include HP. “In the past, we have focused on the SoHo market so we know the SoHo people and their requirements, therefore we will concentrate on the SoHo market then we have a chance to compete with the opposition,” Hirata said.

The SoHo market is flourishing, especially in the US, as more people set up small companies or work from home and demand for multi-function centres increases. Brother claims it currently has 30% market share for multi-function machines.

“Our market share is still low but the market is moving to colour ink multi-function machines therefore we have a good opportunity for this market as well. Soho people are moving to colour machines therefore we are going to put our importance on multi-function machines and colour machines. That is our important product right now for the next three years,” Hirata stated.

Brother has set aggressive growth targets for the Middle East, aiming to double turnover in the region, currently approximately US$35.9m, over the next three years.

The firm said it intended to achieve this through raising the profile of the brand and increasing its manpower in the region.

However, there were no plans at present to establish a manufacturing plant, Hirata said.

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