Established as a piano and reed organ maker in 1887 in Hamamatsu city, Japanese multinational industrial conglomerate Yamaha Corporation is among the world’s largest manufacturers of musical instruments, two-wheelers, sports equipments and various types of electronics products. The company is the global market leader in producing different types of musical equipments including pianos, drums and brass instruments, keyboards, guitars, violins and professional audio/visual systems and other related peripherals. The Japanese brand is a well established name among the people in the musical scene in Nepal also. The company, in a drive to further strengthen its foothold in the Nepali market, recently opened an exclusive outlet at Naxal, Kathmandu. Takao Suzuki, Manager, APAC #2 Group, Sales Development Department of Consumer Products Sales Division of Yamaha was in Kathmandu for the opening. He and the members of the popular Nepali rock band 1974 A.D jointly inaugurated the new showroom. In an interview with New Business Age, Suzuki talked about Yamaha’s musical products, the Nepali music industry and the company’s future plans. Excerpts:
How are musical instruments selling in Nepal?
The market here is growing and the growth is especially strong in the guitar and keyboard segments. I’ve seen a lot of guitar shops in Nepal. So, we would like to sell the complete range of Yamaha products, with the focus on guitars in Kathmandu.
Yamaha Corporation is number one among musical instruments and related peripherals makers globally. Our worldwide consolidated sales have exceeded USD four billion, with the United States and Europe being our major markets. Nevertheless, we also see many Asian countries including Nepal as markets with pig potential. We will be prioritising our resources and marketing activities in the markets across Asia.
How do you evaluate the music scene in Nepal?
The Nepali music scene is developing quite impressively. During the opening of our showroom, I got to meet local professional artists, drummers, saxophone players and guitarists. I was really impressed by them. This kind of preparation can be influential to the young generation and I can see the music business in Nepal carrying quite the potential.
What are the major musical products of Yamaha?
Yamaha manufactures two major categories of products- acoustic and electronic instruments. In the acoustic category, for instance, we manufacture pianos, brass instruments and guitars. And in the electronic category we have instruments such as digital drums, electric keyboards and digital pianos. And another advantage of Yamaha is that we are producing very unique products having a fusion between both acoustic and electronic instruments.
Apart from musical instruments, what other Yamaha products or services are used in the music industry?
We have a large network of music schools and academies globally. Yamaha is expanding this network across the world. There are lots of non-Yamaha music schools. Yamaha is trying to build a good relationship with them. Apart from that, there are also many artists and professionals in the music scene. We are trying to build an artistic relationship with them.
How is Yamaha positioned in the global music equipments market? And in Nepal?
Yamaha currently holds a 30 percent market share globally. But in Nepal it is under calculation. In terms of acoustic musical instruments, Yamaha has the largest share in the market. Nevertheless, there is stiff competition in the digital and electric musical instruments markets as there are many manufacturers. But Yamaha has a unique technology called Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology that our competitors do not have. We are using the technology and our expertise to produce better musical products.
How is Yamaha planning to expand its business in Nepal in the days to come?
We are in partnership with MAW Enterprises for the distribution of Yamaha musical products in Nepal. We are building a good network with our Nepali partner. MAW Enterprises operates Yamaha music outlets here. We will focus on making these showrooms continuously more attractive giving more attention to the musicians. Secondly, we will priortise our marketing activities.