In a conversation with Indian Printer and Publisher on the sidelines of the event, India managing director Katsuhisa Asari discussed at length his stint at Konica Minolta, the changing dynamics in the industry, and the company’s growth from just Minolta to Konica Minolta.
“I joined Konica Minolta in 1998 right after my graduation. At that time the company was called Minolta and was based out of Osaka. I was initially in the overseas sales department, where I dealt with inquiries from the Middle East and Latin America for more than four years. In 2002, I had the opportunity to join the US team with multiple responsibilities related to business, sales, marketing, and planning. The company kept on providing me with opportunities and I was no longer limited to just sales. I spent nine years with the US team and in that period, Konica merged with Minolta as we see it today,” Asari said.
With a lot of learning and experience came the decision-making authority. Asari said, “The merger opened many possibilities for the company. Passive decision-making can be a productive strategy. It gave me a lot of growth. My nine years in the US made me aware of everything I would need to know about this competitive industry — from marketing to sales execution.”
He adds, “My next voyage was toward the Middle East in 2011, where I was responsible for sales, service, marketing, and planning related to all our partners in the region. This time, I was able to deliver what I had learned so far. Being given a senior position in the management, I was in charge of taking care of the business at all levels.”
Teamwork became an important aspect of Asari’s work culture as he says empowering co-workers and motivating subordinates help establish a better understanding of the business. He says he’s just lucky as wherever he goes, the business consistently grows and that is one of his strengths.
Asari has been associated with Konica Minolta India since 2018 as a general manager of business planning. In this role, Asari drove Konica Minolta’s business and technology strategy to further the company’s digital transformation, initiatives, strategic partnerships, and business growth to ensure shareholder value.
In April 2022, Asari was appointed as the new managing director of India operations, taking over the baton from Tai Nizawa. Nizawa shifted to Konica Minolta Asia as the managing director to oversee the expansion of the brand’s portfolio across 14 markets from Singapore.
In his 25 years of experience, Asari has worn multiple hats in the field of sales, marketing, strategic planning, and business development in the North and Central Americas and the Middle East, including his 13-year international stint before he joined India in 2018.
Asari added, “We have great talents and a 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.”