An Interview with Eran Elizur, General Manager, Industrial Imaging Solutions, Kodak - Graphic Communications Group
Yaron Bazaz: Hi Eran, please tell us a little about yourself
Eran Elizur: “Hi Yaron, my education is a combination of technology and business. I have a Masters degree in Physics from the Weizmann institute of Science in Israel and an MBA from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. I joined Kodak (Creo Inc.) in 2000 to lead a new display & electronics initiative. My work led to a multi-million-dollar agreement - signed in 2002 - with DuPont for the development of a thermal imaging process for manufacturing LCD color filters.
Before joining Kodak, I worked as VP-Marketing for El-Mul-Technologies, an Israeli company that provides detectors to semiconductor inspection tool manufacturers, and with Nova-Measuring-Instruments, a leading provider of in-line inspection equipment for semiconductor manufacturing, where I held several positions including Operations-Manager (Asia-Pacific). I started my career at Scitex Corporation, where I worked as Senior-Physicist, developing several of the company’s products. I am married and have 3 kids, Living in Vancouver BC.”
Y.B: Congratulation on your appointment as the General Manager of the Industrial Imaging Solutions Group in Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. What exactly is the mandate of your product group and how does it co exist with other Kodak divisions?
Eran Elizur: “Thank you Yaron. The mandate of the Industrial Imaging Solutions Group is to leverage Kodak technologies in laser imaging, equipment, digital workflow and material sciences into new markets outside the traditional graphic arts market. We are mostly looking into applying Kodak technologies into the printable displays and printable electronics markets. One of our main current activities is collaboration with DuPont to develop a new method, based on printing, to manufacture LCD color filters. We offer our customers a much cheaper way to manufacture this major LCD component.
Naturally we work very closely with other Kodak development groups as we develop products based on their technologies for new markets.”
Y.B: Kodak was founded in 1878 by George Eastman who was among the first to use gelatin dry plates instead of wet plates, which were prevalent in his days, for photography. How is Kodak, a giant with legacy of 130 years in the traditional imaging industry, trying to adjust to the digital revolution?
Eran Elizur: “Indeed Yaron Kodak is completing a major transformation these days from analog film based products to digital printing products such as digital cameras, digital printing plates, digital workflow and digital printers. To accomplish this, under the leadership of our CEO Antonio Perez, Kodak formed the Graphic Communications Group (GCG) and the Consumer Digital Group (CDG).”
Y.B: In 2005 Kodak acquired Creo Inc - (formerly Creo Scitex) a Canadian / Israeli company and major supplier of prepress and digital workflow solutions. What is the contribution of Creo’s acquisition to the general strategy of Kodak?
Eran Elizur: “To form GCG Kodak acquired several companies that together enable us to offer our customers complete digital printing solutions including equipment, materials, digital workflow and digital printers. Creo’s unique laser imaging, equipment and digital workflow technologies are among the main building blocks of GCG.”
Y.B: What is the current business focus of Kodak Graphic Communications Group in general and the Industrial Imaging Solutions group in particular?
Eran Elizur: “GCG is focused primarily on the graphic arts market and our customers are mostly Print Solution Providers. The industrial Imaging Solutions Group is leveraging Kodak technologies into new markets, the printable displays and printable electronics markets.”
Y.B: How does Kodak plan to secure leadership in those areas?
Eran Elizur: “With our vast technology base in equipment, digital workflow, materials and process know-how we are already leaders in the graphic arts market. We believe that this same technology base places us in an excellent position to become leaders in emerging markets of printable displays and printable electronics.”
Y.B: If I were an entrepreneur, or an investor, looking for new investment opportunities in the emerging markets of printable displays and printable electronics where should I focus my attention?
Eran Elizur: “We are in the midst of a digital revolution. In the not-too-distant future we will see conventional printing used not only for printing graphics but also for printing electronic products such as flexible displays, smart packages, sensors and more. It will not replace silicon for hi-end products but will rather open new opportunities for a new generation of products. There are opportunities in various parts of the food chain: materials, equipment, process, digital workflow and of-course applications and products.”
Y.B: recommended business book?
Eran Elizur: “My Recommended book: Good to Great by Jim Collins. A management book that I found insightful and full of interesting ideas and observations.
Y.B: Out of office, what are your preferred leisure time activities?
Eran Elizur: “In my leisure time I like to spend time with my family and enjoy the beautiful BC outdoors hiking, biking and skiing.”
Y.B: Thanks a lot Eran for your time and all the best
Eran Elizur: “Thank you Yaron, my pleasure.”