New Delhi: Japan’s Olympus Imaging Corp. opened its first retail store in India on 14 May, offering a wide range of digital cameras in a market dominated by rivals Nikon Corp. and Canon Inc.
Until now, Olympus sold its products in India through franchise, as the government eased rules only in 2005 to allow foreign companies open single-brand retail stores in the country.
The first store opened in New Delhi, and five to six more stores in other cities will open in the next couple months, according to an Olympus statement.
The company plans to eventually build a countrywide network of stores and service centres with an investment of Rs500 million (US$12 million, euro9 million) over the next two to three years, the statement said.
“The power of the Indian economy is something that is now palpable,” said Yoshitomo Nagashima, the Olympus’ General Manager for Asia and the Middle East, in the statement.
Camera sales in India more than doubled to 700,000 last year and are expected to reach 1.6 million by 2010, the statement said. Digital cameras account for about 42% of total sales.
Olympus said it is aiming to achieve 30% to 40% growth in its India sales over the next two to three years.
Besides opening its own retail stores, the company also plans to expand its dealer network in the country.
The Indian market has been traditionally dominated by Nikon, but sales of Canon and Sony cameras have soared in recent years.