Your company, Office Assistant,
is a successful distributor of Cactus, Static Control, Pantum, and CET products.
Each of those brands is well-known on the Russian market and has its own
resellers and buyers. And now you are about to undertake MSE and G&G
cartridges distribution. What is the cause of such decision? Ambitions or economic calculations? How do you
plan to position them?
As we once said a year and a half ago, when Office Assistant was just a start-up
project, our main aim is to provide our partners on the Russian market with the
set of brands each of those has its own unique features and characteristics,
together though all those brands produce a synergy effect in terms of sales and
fit in with 99% of customers and users requests in the field of printing
For us MSE and G&G cartridges distribution is a logical broadening
of our recent product range.
Each brand from our portfolio will receive clear and accessible from the
market’s point of view positioning not only in terms of price, but in terms of
technical features of products, marketing and promotional support as well.
MSE and G&G
cartridges fall into quality category, they are well-known internationally. It is
exactly those brands that have many times become the winners of our Agency’s
and AQCMS’s contests in the “Best Quality” nomination. However the prices on MSE
and G&G are quite high. What advantages of each of those two brands do you
consider to be primarily important for the Russian market?
Industry professionals know well that the product having stable quality
extra features and own patent solutions just cannot be the cheapest on the
market. Unfortunately in Russia the share of low-quality cartridges is still
considerable, often it is the so-called “Noname” with the quality and yield
below any acceptable criticism. For the most part it is due to such products
that buyers and users form their negative attitude towards compatible materials.
On the other hand, we think that in Russia there is an already formed pool
of customers and users who know what level of quality they need for products to
fulfill their printing tasks and who realize the adequate price for such
consumables, at the same time not being ready to overpay for using OEM products.
Both MSE and G&G have a large number of their own patents and
technological solution, but the most important advantage for the buyer is the
presence of the stably high performance in terms of prints quality and
cartridge yield for reasonable price.
G&G and MSE are the brands with a successful history of development
globally that have proved the stability of their quality comparable with the
quality of OEM compatibles during multiple tests and comparative trials.
We wish to repeat the global success journey of those brands in Russia.
Your company is a
successful distributor of Static Control cartridges. These cartridges already enjoy
the established circle of buyers oriented towards the products of high quality.
However could it be that the volume of procurement that potential buyers have
been planning for Static Control cartridges they would simply divide between
the two brands, Static Control and G&G, but the volume itself will remain
We are counting on the notion that each brand from our portfolio will
find ‘its own’ buyer. To keep partners interested in working with our brands,
we’ll be using individual marketing tools and programs for each brand.
For a long time the distributor
of G&G cartridges on the Russian market has been ROSCO Company. Many
resellers and corporative buyers have got accustomed to the fact that it is
necessary to ask ROSCO regarding the procurement of G&G cartridges. What now?Will there be two distributors
of G&G cartridges? Is there a plan for some kind of coordination between Office
Assistant and ROSCO?
You are absolutely right, Rosco has for a long time been the first and the
only G&G products distributor on the Russian territory. Our colleagues have
made a considerable chunk of work on bringing the brand to the market and its
recognition among consumers.
We think that Office Assistant resources will allow enlarging the
channels and the geography of sales of G&G brand, and improving of service
scope on the Russian territory owning to the regional service centers which
successfully provide warranty services for other brands from our portfolio such
as Cactus and Static Control.
Of course we count on close cooperation and interaction with G&G head
office as with a vendor, as well as with Rosco as with a distributor for
performing unified strategy of brands development in Russia.
On which segment of the
Russian market are you counting on by offering MSE cartridges? Since those cartridges
are more expensive than Static Control’s and G&G’s. However there is a wide
range of cartridges for color laser printing as well as high yield cartridges
oriented towards MPS-contracts. If you are oriented towards MPS-segment, will
you be supplying also the solutions for remanufacturing of MSE cartridges?
During the first year we will provide for the Russian market MSE
cartridges of extended yield. Those cartridges are made by Clover company with
the use of unique own patented SCS (Secondary Cleaning System) technology,
which allows to considerably enlarge the yield of the cartridge without any
damage to the quality of prints.
This decision is especially interesting for the lines of color
cartridges for middle and heavy segment of laser printing machines since there
is no analogous solution anywhere in the world. That is why those MSE products
in our view will be especially interesting for companies providing cost per
copy print services, as well as for customers who are not just evaluating the
price of consumables but complex costs including consumables, servicing of
printing devices, logistics of spare parts and consumable materials.
According to the results of the year we will evaluate the achieved
results and make a decision regarding the necessity of broadening of MSE brands
assortment and bringing other Clover products on the Russian market.
friendly are G&G and MSE cartridges? Whose certificates testify their
eco-safety? To what extent are they in line with the requirements of Stockholm
Convention (ratified in Russia in 2011), as well as RoHS and REACH?
Since the cartridges of both brands are widely known and demanded globally
they satisfy the strictest world standards and possess all the documents and
certificates testifying the high level of production culture as well as
environmental safety, including RoHS and Reach certificates.
Your company is now a distributor
of several expensive quality brands of non-original cartridges, MSE, Static Control,
G&G. Is your company planning to enforce the work on promotion of quality
products or are you supposing that every reseller should solve it this problem
personally depending on its potential buyers?
Of course as a distributor we will do everything to provide our partners
and users with most complete on our products on the market and its difference
from analogs. We are ready to provide informational support for our partners
during talks with customers as well as to provide samples and participate in
product testing on customer’s technical base in case of necessity.
Right now our Agency
together with AQCMS promotes on the Russian market the number of initiatives on
support and development of Russian remanufacturing industry. Since
remanufacturing industry is focused first of all on remanufacturing quality
products, it is (though indirectly) stimulates in its development the
procurement of quality cartridges. For instance, the idea presented by AQCMS on
creating in Russian higher educational establishments the remanufacturing
centers implies not only teaching students but also them further working for
the good of their own university. It also changes the economic model in
providing printing equipment with consumables from the one oriented towards the
cheapest products to the one oriented towards more valuable products. To what
extent are you interested in such initiatives?
Undoubtedly the promotion and support of cartridges remanufacturing industry
is an important initiative. It seriously reduces the impact on environment, creates
jobs and forms the right perception of the remanufactured products with the
It is not a coincidence that all MSE branded products are remanufactured
and the Cactus brand as well has a considerable share of such cartridges in its
Of course the market introduces its corrections and we see that not all
the cartridge models make economic sense in terms of being remanufactured;
there is more demand for it within medium and heavy segments of printing
equipment. However in those segments the quality and workability of
remanufactured products often equals or even exceeds the new-built cartridges
Therefore we from our side are ready to support the initiatives in
developing cartridges remanufacturing in Russia.
All the world now is
facing the corona-virus pandemic, which will undoubtedly hit the economy of all
countries. How do you evaluate the consequences of the pandemic for the Russian
market of consumables? In the conditions of funding absence will the buyers
choose low-quality cheap cartridges or still more expensive higher quality ones.
Will the perspective of creating new jobs become the argument for developing
the remanufacturing industry and therefore the argument for buying quality MSE and
The corona-virus pandemic made significant correctives not only in the
field of economy but to everyday life in the whole world as well. Quarantine measures
and restrictions hit the business and the economy in absolutely every country
affecting more or less all market segments. Talking about consumables market, in
my view the hardest impact has been received by smaller countries lacking
financial reserves and being not ready for 2-3 months of a business lockdown.
It is possible some companies will be forced to close or restructure their
Speaking of users and customers, the market of consumables in Russia has
been already formed and has its supporters both in the segment of using
OEM-materials and in the segment of compatible production. Undoubtedly within crisis
times all the companies and organizations search the ways for optimization and
decreasing the costs including printing costs, so some shift towards cheaper
products is possible. But I do not think it will be significant in the present
situation on the Russian market.
Today we see gradual withdrawal of
restrictions in Russia, regions are returning to normal life. Following it, the
businesses will start being restored.
We believe that the set of brands
and the strategy presented by Office Assistant on the market will be required
and will bring us partners for mutual implementation of our ideas into reality.
We would like to thank Business-Inform
Agency for their interesting questions and the opportunity to share our ideas
and opinion, as well as for all this long educational and analytic work of many
years, which you are doing in such complex segment as the market of printing
consumables in Russia.
Thanks ones again! Until our new