Konica Minolta appoints Katsuhisa Asari as new MD

Kurt Asari will be driving the company’s digital transformation (DX) initiatives, strategic partnerships and business growth

Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta appoints Katsuhisa Asari as a new managing director. Photo Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta today announced the appointment of Katsuhisa (Kurt) Asari as the new managing director, taking over the baton from Tai Nizawa. Tai Nizawa will transition to Konica Minolta Asia as the managing director to oversee the expansion of the brand’s portfolio across 14 markets from Singapore.

Kurt Asari has been associated with Konica Minolta India since 2018 as general manager of Business Planning. In his new role, Kurt Asari will drive Konica Minolta’s business and technology strategy to further the company’s digital transformation (DX) initiatives, strategic partnerships, and business growth to ensure shareholder value.

A Konica Minolta veteran, Kurt Asari started his career with this company in 1998. In his 25 years of experience, he has worn multiple hats in sales, marketing, strategic planning and business development in North/Central Americas and the Middle East. This journey also includes his 13-year international stint before joining India in 2018.

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“We are fully committed to the Indian market and looking forward to building on Konica Minolta’s track record of success through expanding our core business. I envision continuing our current strategies to expand Konica Minolta’s presence in professional printing, managed services and digital solutions domains while gaining share in the core MFP business”, Asari said.

Konica Minolta India has cemented its stance as a company that cares about its employees, customers, and the community and is deeply committed to ethical leadership and creating societal value.

Asari added, “We have great talents and customer-first DNA in the company. We will continue to service our customers with the same customer-centric experiences they expect from Konica Minolta while driving digital transformation to serve them better and more seamlessly.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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