In a candid interview with Anoop Sharma, Photography Plus, Mr. Vijay Sethi, President, Photo Traders Association, opens up about the current photography market trends and behaviour. Have a look –
Anoop Sharma: Photography market has drastically changed in last 10 years, what’s your take in this?
Vijay Sethi: Yes off course!! Photography market has changed a lot in last 10 years and I think that there is no one reason for this. First and the foremost reason is the ever upgrading mobile cameras. Consumers are now less interested in buying cameras as they are getting the same qualities in there mobiles. So this has lead towards fewer customers buying camera and camera relevant accessories. The second major change according to me is that camera itself has evolved a lot. There has been numerous advancements which has resulted in upgraded products in the market that in turn leads to the rejection of old accessories or models. People like buying new models of different upgraded versions. Another reason is that today the generation know a lot about photography. They know in which pose they are looking good, which camera to use, which filter to use and things like this. So photography has somehow landed up in layman’s hands.
Anoop Sharma: So you really think that mobile is the biggest hurdle for photography market?
Vijay Sethi: See what I want to say is that you definitely cannot ignore mobile. I firmly believe that nothing can replace cameras when we talk about professional photography, but you can’t ignore the fact that today people are shooting YouTube videos with mobile phones. The major advantage that mobile have over camera’s is its smooth accessibility of receiving and sending photos. An illiterate can also use watsapp and send a picture. You have same features of sharing the pictures through cameras but for that you need certain accessories and a little bit of knowledge. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. The normal procedure is quite lengthy as you may know, go to a photographer, get yourself clicked and then wait for few days for the photograph to come in your hands.
Anoop Sharma: Associations are like families and you are the leader of this family, how do you manage to keep everybody united and happy?
Vijay Sethi: It is indeed a tricky job however I make sure that I hear to their problems very patiently and figure out an apt solution accordingly. They come to me because they trust me and it’s not only about the members rather as the president I have to take care of my customers as well. Consumer is the king of the market; therefore I make sure that customers coming here get the right thing at right price.
Anoop Sharma: Does increasing competition in market effects the association rules?
Vijay Sethi: No I don’t think so. Prices are decided by the sellers. It’s up to them at what price and at what margin they would like to sell the product. So, the competition of the market has nothing to do with association. Moreover, association cannot dictate the terms of business to any member or dealer.
Anoop Sharma: It’s almost a year that GST was implemented and accepted all over India. Do you feel that it is really aiding the business activities? Does it lack anything?
Vijay Sethi: GST has definitely helped people. I hope you remember that the country made a same sort of hue and cry when VAT was applied. What we need to understand is that it is the same old tax just the way of filling the application has changed and that too for our good. I truly appreciate the step taken by the government and I totally support One Nation One Tax policy. People need to look at the brighter side as well, for example I don’t have to fill c-forum now onwards while importing something.
AnooP Sharma: We can see major parts and of Delhi getting sealed, what’s your take on that?
Vijay Sethi: Sealing the word itself is horrifying. Sealing happening anywhere according to me is not logical. See we need to understand that people are doing business here from last 30 to 40 years; it is there source of bread and butter. Just imagine about their families who will suffer because of this.
Anoop Sharma: Any message for your members?
Vijay Sethi: The only message I have for them is that they should maintain good behaviour with the customers, sell genuine products at right prices so that the customers feels happy to come here again.
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