Setsuya Kataka decided the Olympus imaging division needed to become its own company
Image courtesy: Asahi

Asahi interviewed the CTO of OM Digital Solutions and asked him a few questions about the future of Olympus. The conversation brought some clarity regarding the future.

OM Digital Solutions is a new company. It came to fruition after Setsuya Kataka decided the Olympus imaging division needed to break away. Setsuya Kataoka revealed he is considering moving away from the Olympus name.

“At least for the time being, we will use ‘Olympus,’” Setsuya Kataka said. “However, it is better to move away from Olympus as an entity and continue to work under the name Olympus? I want to think about it.” Kataka wants the transition to be as smooth as possible to avoid fan anxiety. Instead, he seems more focused on separating OM Digital from the Olympus brand before making any drastic branding changes.

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Why break away from Olympus now?

Kataoka decided now is the best time to break away from Olympus. In his mind, he believes breaking away was the best course of action to ensure the company stays sustainable.

“First of all, I would like to clarify the reason why this new company was established. So far, we have created a video system under a company called Olympus. We sought out what was the best way to make the system sustainable. After that, I came up with the idea that it would be better to work independently of Olympus,” he answered.

“The background to this is the shrinking camera market. It is not only our company, but it is quite difficult to grow the company by increasing sales as it is. In order to generate profits, it is necessary to reduce costs and reform the structure for that purpose. Olympus is becoming more and more a ‘Medtech Company’, that is, a company centered on medical devices. Then, the manufacturing process as a medical device manufacturer will be strengthened, and the video business will have to follow it as a company rule.”

Essentially, Kataoka says, due to the shrinking camera market, the only way for the Olympus imaging division to survive is to break off into its own company. Otherwise, he believes it’s not feasible for Olympus to continue funding its camera division.

“If the camera market shrinks, we will make products simpler, deliver them, and sell them to our customers. In order to create a structure that can do that, it is better to be independent of Olympus and to be able to do various things with our own difference so that we can continue our business,” he continued.

New products are coming

Kataka says OM Digital will continue to develop Micro Four Thirds mounts. Additionally, he says new products are coming near the end of 2021.