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AMI-Partners' Study Shows India SMBs Spent US$317 Million on Printers in the Past 12 Months.

NEW YORK -- Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

--India SMBs Emerge as an Important Market for Printers over the Next Five Years; A Robust Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22% Has Been Predicted for Printer Spending

--Dot Matrix and Inkjet Currently Dominate India SMB Markets and Laser Printers Made Noticeable Inroads among India MBs

Total spending on printers by India small and medium businesses (SMBs) exceeded $300 million over the last 12 months, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 22% over the next five years. The increased availability of low-cost printers coupled with the adoption and usage of integrated printing solutions has resulted in significant cost savings to India SMBs. The India SMB market is currently dominated by inkjet and dot matrix printers; however, many India SMBs are adopting color solutions as well. Today, 26% of India MBs have adopted color laser printers, which account for 12% of their current installed base.

The above findings were released today by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading consulting firm that specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services market intelligence -- with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. AMI-Partners conducts the industry's most comprehensive annual tracking surveys of SMBs in 20 countries, including North America (the U.S. and Canada); Europe (the U.K., France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Russia); Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand); and Latin America (Mexico and Brazil).

India Small Businesses will be the main driver for printer market growth

According to AMI's study, total printer spending by India SBs amounted to $285 million in 2004. The manufacturing (28%), professional business services (20%) and other services (20%) sectors drove nearly 70% of this total spending. Analysts predict a 24% growth in expenditures over the next five years. "The economy's impact on the India SB market during the last 12 months has been excellent," said Partha Sengupta, analyst at AMI-Partners. Over 65% of all India PC SBs experienced an increase in their annual revenues during the last twelve months, with over one in four reflecting an annualized revenue growth rate exceeding 10%. The trend will continue in the next year as shown by AMI data. AMI's study revealed that 37% of India PC-owning SBS plan to expand their workforce and 9% of them expect to open new branches over the next year. A total of approximately 0.3 million printers is likely to be purchased by India small businesses in the next 12 months. "India Small businesses will play a significant role in total printer shipments over the next 12 months" said Mr. Sengupta. AMI's study shows that 13% of India PC small businesses use color laser printers currently. "The price of an entry-level laser has been slashed and will likely attract the price-conscious small business market very soon," observed Mr. Sengupta.

India Medium Businesses have taken strong strides into the laser arena

The price war among printer vendors has widened options for India medium businesses. This segment now has a range of printing devices to choose from within an affordable price range. Attempts to grab a larger share of the India printer market have forced companies to offer lower prices. Since the off-take from large corporations slowed down, vendors are seeing tremendous growth opportunities for printers in the India SMB segment.

Total printer expenditures by India MBs amounted to $32 million in 2004. The manufacturing and FIRE/professional/other services sectors drove more than 85% of this total spending. Though dot-matrix printers are the most highly penetrated (71%), followed by inkjets (70%), deployment of laser printers is quite significant among India medium businesses. Color and monochrome laser are used by 26% and 21% of India MBs, respectively. "In the laser technology segment, increasing demand for color printing equipment fuels constant competition among manufacturers and is leading to a decrease in the average sales price." said Mr. Sengupta.

HP retains the printer crown in the India SMB space

AMI's 2004 survey reveals that HP continues to be the market leader in the India SMB printer space with 72% and 51% market share among these MBs and SBs, respectively. By offering customized printing solutions, HP is enabling India MBs to bring mission-critical printing tasks in house, resulting not only in cost savings, but also increased productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction. HP's initiative extends beyond products and technology to include partnerships, solutions and services, with capabilities designed to meet the needs identified by India SMB customers. HP has presence in 75 India cities with 1,000 retail partners in the top eight cities and a franchise model where the company provides infrastructure. "Apart from technology, their infrastructural strength has given them mileage in the India market" said Mr. Sengupta. "HP recognized the issues, and offered a solution to meet the specific needs and concerns of the franchisee," observed Mr. Sengupta. Epson, TVSE and Wipro are three other major players in the India SMB space as shown by AMI's study.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. (AMI-Partners)

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital and actionable market intelligence -- focusing on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower its clients for success with the highest quality data, business planning and "go-to-market" solutions. AMI was founded in 1996 under the name of Access Media International (USA), Inc. by Andy Bose, a former group vice president at IDC. Since its inception, the firm has built a world-class management team, each with ten to fifteen years' experience in IT, telecom, online communications and multimedia.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last eight years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys; and its proprietary database of several thousand SMBs in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

For more information on AMI-Partners or our global SMB surveys, please visit www.ami-partners.com or call 212-944-5100.
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