Around couple of weeks ago, Nikon decided to issue a public statement, stating Flipkart and Snapdeal were not its authorized partners/dealers in India.
This announcement took me by surprise, because frankly speaking, in my view, there was no reason for a camera manufacturer to come out and state something like this. Unless Flipkart and Snapdeal were indulging in something, which was counterproductive to its growth, revenue or brand name. And I seriously doubt Flipkart and Snapdeal were doing something of that sort.
If anything, the duo were helping Nikon India’s sale in India and were offering products which were genuine and weren’t gray imports. On top of this, Snapdeal doesn’t really sell products directly (as far as I know) and essentially acts like a marketplace eg. EBay, so technically it can’t be a dealer/partner of Nikon in the first place!
So what was the reason behind Nikon India’s this rather public attempt to disassociate itself with Flipkart and Snapdeal?
I guess this is something we will never know, but consensus (from all the rumors floating around) seems to be that it was due to pressure from Nikon’s offline dealers and distributors, who weren’t able to compete with low online price and thus arm twisted Nikon India into doing something of this sort.
While I seriously doubt that this jibe would be serious enough to make a noticeable dent in Nikon India’s sale, it will likely help boost sale of other cameras by providing undecided consumers with an incentive to go for a camera from other manufacturers.
Of course as consumers, we don’t really have to worry about anything, yet. We will continue to receive good offers for not only other cameras, but also Nikon ones, though they might not come from Flipkart and Snapdeal, at least in the short term. Add to that, those who do end up buying Nikon cameras and lenses from Flipkart and Snapdeal, will continue to receive warranty from Nikon India, since those products are from it and carry 2 year India warranty, which Nikon India would have to honor.
In the long term, I expect the trio to sort out their differences and keep on servicing their respective customers, without getting into any public jibes. Till then, I have popcorns in hand and I am really hoping, that it becomes even more interesting, at least for a short while :P.