Canon in India: Restructuring to Survive|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Canon in India: Restructuring to Survive

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR080
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997 - 2003
Organization : Canon Singapore
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Imaging

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Canon Inc.

Canon's history dates back to 1933, when Goro Yohsida (Yoshida) and his brother-in-law Saburo Uchida (Uchida), laid the foundation for the company by establishing the Precision Optical Instrument Laboratory in Japan. The founders aimed at developing high grade cameras that could compete with the German models, which were considered as the most advanced in those times. To reach this goal, they undertook an extensive research of camera models available and then came up with their own design.
The research was funded by Takeshi Mitarai (Mitarai), a friend of Uchida. In 1934, Precision Optical Instrument Laboratory was registered as Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd. In the same year, the company developed the first prototype, which was named 'Kwanon.'

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However, as 'Kwanon' was an old-fashioned name, the founders felt it would be better if they gave the brand a new name before launching it in the market.

They wanted a more modern- sounding name that reflected the image of a premium class camera. Yoshida and Uchida finally chose 'Canon' as the brand name. Canon cameras, launched in the 1930s were a huge success and had a major impact on the camera industry in Japan. Fueled by this success, the company grew rapidly through the mid-1930s.

In 1942, Mitarai became the company's President and laid the groundwork for Canon's evolution into a global company. In 1947, the company's name was changed from Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd. to Canon Camera Co. Inc. During his 32-year tenure (1942-1974), Mitarai formulated many management policies and techniques on which the modern Canon is founded.

He also set the company on the diversification path by venturing into manufacturing and marketing other imaging products such as printers, photocopiers (copiers) and digital devices serving the home, office and industrial markets worldwide.

By the beginning of the 21st century, Canon had evolved into a global multimedia group, well-established in the business of faxes, printers, copiers, MFDs, digital devices, optical products and other multimedia equipment (Refer Exhibit I for the company's major products)...

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