The Middle East is a very important market for us, and you will see Epson increase it presence there, this is not mere lip service, but an important decision," says Hiromi Taba, president and COO of Epson Europe BV, while talking to PrintWeek MEA.

Epson launched 100 new products at a press conference held at Old Trafford, Manchester in June this year; the largest number of products ever launched by the company in a single year. Epson chose Old Trafford for the event due to its recent sponsorship agreement with the world-famous football club.

The Japanese company also announced that they are targeting a revenue increase of 200 million Euros and will increase investments in production facilities in China, Philippines and Indonesia. "We will be manufacturing 22 million printers and projectors a year," said Robert Clark, executive director, Epson Europe. "The total investment would be in the region of $ 260 million and we will be employing over 8,500 people. Our leadership is driven by continuous investment in research and development, we spend 6% of our turnover investing in the future, last year it came to $2 million a day that was being spent on R&D. Most importantly 67% of our revenue last year was generated by business products in the EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) region. Our vision is innovation to provide products that people value."

Epson launched its new 'Engineered for Business' strategy, with the firm announcing its new series, designed specifically to offer output, durability and cost and energy efficiency especially in its range of single and multi-function printers targeted at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Outlining its strategy while developing new products, the marketing team of Epson announced they would focus on economy, performance, choice of product and technology and ecology, since customers chose a particular product based on the above tenets.

The company has launched new models in its AcuLaser range, the WorkForce Pro series of single and multi-function inkjet printers('a genuine alternative to lasers' says Tony Pelford, VP-sales), scanners, business projectors, home photo printers, the LFP/pro photo (graphic arts/ CAD/signage) and printers for signage and textiles. Epson aims to offer the inkjet printers as a better alternative to laser printers, with cost savings on paper, inks and higher yield cartridges at good print resolutions.

Talking about Epson's vision 2050, vice president of consumer sales, Massimo Pizzocri said that they aim to reduce CO2 emissions across all their products' life cycles by 90%.

Micheal Hunt, head of regional sales, Middle East, elaborated on the Middle East strategy by saying, "We intend to developed specific products for specific markets. The 4-colour large printer market in this region is quite substantial, we will be constantly reviewing our strategies and reinvent ourselves. So far we have concentrated on the high end market, but now the other parts of the spectrum shall also be looked into. We will be recruiting resellers who understand technology and provide good after sales services. Not only have we invested sufficiently in the brand, we shall also be increasing staff strength in KSA, Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait."

On the subject of counterfeited products, Hunt concurred that they did face a problem especially in UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia but the local authorities have handled the problem, even taking people to court and 'now the issue has been reduced to a minimum'.