Oki has been in Australia in its own right since 2009, and "we were doing very well here until the Thailand floods," he said. But the company's sales volume target for this year is 50% up on the 2011 result (+30% in terms of revenue).
The plan is to achieve this through improving the company's channel performance (a new distributor is to be appointed and new products aimed at the SME/SOHO market will be launched later this year), and by addressing the managed print services segment. "Those two areas are the engine for us to grow," Mr Kawahara told iTWire.
Those new models will include at least one LED printer featuring white toner along with the usual cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This will be especially useful for printing t-shirt transfers, as well as for printing on coloured paper.
Until recently, printing on black paper was "challenging," he said, due to its carbon content of such media. But now low or no-carbon black paper is available.
Mr Kawahara stressed that while the SME/SOHO products will be sold through retail channels, the company has no intention of being a price leader and will shun low-price online merchants. "Value is what we'd like to push," he explained, pointing out that Oki is the only printer vendor in Australia to offer a permanent three-year warranty. "We're confident [Oki] printers will go for three years or longer."