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In a candid conversation with IT-WQ, CEO and MD Mr. Govind Rammurthy of eScan shares some interesting facts about EMM, promotional programs and solution to the deadly Locky ransomeware Virus.

IT-WQ - How does the new venture of eScan, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) aids in dealing with cyber-threats and data security?

GR - Due to the growing consumerization of mobile devices in enterprises, data security has become critical and the biggest challenge for business continuity. eScan EMM is designed in an intelligent manner to keep official and personal data separate in an authorized mobile device within the network using containerization. It also allows the admin to access the device, in case of loss or theft, without user intervention and wipe any corporate data in the device remotely. It has a comprehensive feature list which includes mobile application management, mobile threat defense, mobile content management, mobile identity, mobile productivity management and mobile asset management.

IT-WQ - Please enlighten us about the milestones achieved by the company during this year?

GR - Some of the milestones in terms of product road map are that, we have introduced our latest AI based PBAE Technology which is one of the most advanced tools to provide protection against any kind of ransomware attacks. We have launched our Endpoint Protection (EPP) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions which are designed to provide real-time protection as well as allow deep control of endpoints in a network by the administrator. This has been launched keeping in pace with our growing penetration among large enterprises. In terms of customer acquisition, we have added some of the Fortune 500 companies to our client portfolio.

IT-WQ - What all are the promotional programmers that eScan has come up and is planning to come up in future?

GR - We have programs targeted across different segments. We being a channel-centric organization have a comprehensive channel framework & policy to recognize and reward the channel partners for their contribution and commitment towards mutual business growth. eScan also has an elaborate skilling program to train and educate about its product, technology for pre-sales & technical teams of its channel partners, so as to provide quality support and service to the customers. We have an active partner network of more than 7,000 channels spread across India, who we consider as our key strength for achieving high customer satisfaction level.  

IT-WQ - How does it feel to receive the coveted "Top Rated CEO” award by Owler?

GR - We feel grateful to be recognized as the “Top Rated CEO” award by Owler which validates the quality standards of eScan and its processes. This award also puts eScan among the select league of IT developers at par with global standards and assurance. Our commitment to providing our customers with a robust security solution that is developed following highest level of quality standard is what helped us achieve the award.

IT-WQ - Please share your views on the GST’s impact on IT Sector in India?

GR - GST transition will be smoother if companies understand the importance of integrating technology and software solutions for businesses. Upgrading tax modules for the new tax scheme transition to work out successfully can be an exhaustive task amidst the continuous evolving framework of GST. Complex billing and invoicing requirements will arise due to the valuation provisions of GST bill which may complicate filing of tax returns and make credit flow mechanism little difficult in general.

IT-WQ - India recently had a deadly escape with ‘Locky’ Ransomware Virus. What solutions eScan is planning to provide currently and in future as well to fight with these kinds of cyber threats?

GR - ‘Locky’ is a ransomware that enters in the system via email to extort money from their victims with promises of restoring encrypted data. MailScan at Gateway level scans all emails and detects attachments carrying Ransomware infection. This could be via suspicious executable, documents carrying suspicious macros or script files. All such attachments are blocked by MailScan before they are delivered to users Inbox.

If MailScan is not deployed on the gateway, eScan at desktop level also protects the system from getting compromised with Ransomware. If attachments related to Ransomware (MS Office files with Macros, MHTML files, ZIP/RAR with scripts, etc.) are opened via any email client, eScan Real Time Monitoring will block such access, thereby providing the first layer of protection.

If a user is not using any email client, and accesses his emails via a browser, the second layer of protection is given by eScan Firewall. This monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic and blocks download of ransomware malware executable via scripting tools.
If eScan Firewall is not available on the system, the malware downloaded from remote server gets blocked on execution by eScan Proactive Monitor, the third layer of protection. This detects the behavior of downloaded malware and blocks it before it can start damaging your system.
The above protection layers provided by eScan protect your system not only from Ransomware but from various similar threats trying to destroy critical data.

IT-WQ - Are there any major challenges that you are facing currently in Indian market? If yes, than what are your strategies to overcome those challenges?

GR - One of the weakest links in the growing digital transformation is people or users. Most of the malware outbreaks are due to poor knowledge of user towards security or being not aware on the precautions to be taken to stay safe. Having said that, a large challenge remains at the deployment level, where adequate security measures are not implemented or IT systems are not updated in time. To overcome such challenges, eScan has made its products and solutions designed in such a way that with minimalistic human intervention cyber threats can be contained and outbreaks can be prevented. This includes proactive patch management updates/alerts to group wise rules and policies deployment with a central web-based management control to track and mitigate any untoward incident such as ransomware attacks to APTs or targeted attacks.

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In a candid conversation with IT-WQ, Pinaki Chatterjee, Regional Director, AXILSPOT, opens up about the company’s foothold in India, recent expansions and future aspects of the company.

IT-WQ - Please highlight your channel’s engagement in India? What are the upcoming channel plans in 2017?
PC - We are currently in process of appointing Regional Distributors across all the states, we are anticipating appointing a considerable amount, i.e., 15-18 this year, for each state capital. Apart from that, we’re aggressively focusing on enterprise project SI, solution partners and consultants. A considerable number of such  have already started reaching out to us. We are also in process of rolling our partner training program, we’ll be declaring the dates and timelines soon.

IT-WQ - Please tell us something about your recent expansion of distribution agreement with Redington India?
PC - Redington is a perfect choice for us, they choose to distribute those brands which are either most popular or that adds value to partners. Their wide reach all across the country is what counts to us; at the same time they are widely accepted and have cordial business relations with almost all premium partners. Associating ourselves with Redington proves our commitment to India market and their commitment to partners to value add to their partners
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IT-WQ - How do you see AXILSPOT’s growth over the last few years?
PC - Being a Start-up, 2016 was an interesting phase for us. We were pushing hard to set up the India foot-hold. Meanwhile, in the same time, we were successful in introducing AXILSPOT innovation; Rscan Smart Antenna Technology based wireless access points, which deliver high density as well as coverage.
With the technology and the solutions we provide, AXILSPOT will grow as one of the preferred enterprise WiFi brands in next two years. The year 2018 is crucial for us and you’ll observe a lot about AXILSPOT, a lot will be followed by few major wins.

IT-WQ - What is AXILSPOT’s position in the Market? What is your key sales pitch?
PC - In India, we’ll make sure to have a local team setup as we believe the only local team can better understand local needs and keep local customer content. We will also focus on appointing power shift partners across each domain/geographies and pass on the benefits of working with us. We will be targeting heavily on expansion and
reaching out to customers with best of the WLAN solutions. We are sure people and masses will witness a lot around in WiFi domain. As of now, as a Global Enterprise WiFi brand, we are all geared up and firing all cylinders in the business. In the year 2017, we already have had a few decent success stories; we are already in Russia, MEA, India and few other Asian countries. Our position in Enterprise WiFi segment is with lots of value addition and opportunities for partners to grow along with AXILSPOT. Our right market strategy, excellent product offering will drive us ahead towards one of the most preferred Enterprise WiFi brand soon.

IT-WQ - Can you please throw some light on Rscan Technologies?
PC - Rscan is AXILSPOT’s patented technology that is Multi-beam Smart-selection Antenna System. Compared with the traditional Wi-Fi smart antenna, the new system has the technological advantages of automatic optimum path selection, stronger interference resistance, and higher concurrent capacity. (RScan) Multi-beam Smart-selection Antenna System comprises an array of multiple specially designed antenna units. Beams can be formed by controlling the waveforms with different phases outputted by each antenna. Such beams can scan different directions, and can constitute over 16 million different direction beams in theory. AXILSPOT uses algorithms to find out the optimum path connected with the client side, avoid interferences, and enhance AP wireless performances
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IT-WQ - The countdown for GST has already started, what do you think about its impact IT sector?
PC - No, for AXILSPOT, as we don’t believe in sales by stock dumping, rather we follow and will follow real sales and stock reasonably. Yes for those brands that dumped stocks on partners without caring about their risk on investment. At the same time post GST implementation, now everyone will have an equal playing field, even small partners will get an opportunity to grow. Hence they will make extra efforts as well after GST overall economy will grow and it will directly impact positively to IT sector as part of overall growth.

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In a candid conversation with IT-WQ, Datawind’s President and CEO, Mr. Suneet Singh Tuli opens up about company’s future marketing stratagies, GST impact and the new Digital India. Responses on behalf Mr. Suneet Singh Tuli, President & CEO, DataWind

IT_WQ: Can you please brief about your company’s biggest achievements, innovations during the year?

Mr. Tuli: DataWind has sustained leadership in Tablet Market in India for about two years, selling more tablets than any other company in India. We continue to see tremendous demand for our low cost Internet-enabled tablets and smartphones from consumers in India. DataWind is moving ahead with a clear focus on driving device and Internet costs downward to a level where access to technology becomes ‘universally affordable’ and the democratization of technology finds its true meaning. DataWind has been bestowed with many awards, some of them being, “Tablet Brand with Maximum Consumer Pull” at Teleanalysis Device World 2016, “Best Tablet Brand 2016” at 6th Digital Terminal Awards.
After setting up India’s first ever touch screen manufacturing facility in Amritsar, DataWind continues to manufacture efficient devices that are competing with the existing tablet makers. Instead of focusing on very small percentage of high-end tablets and smartphones, our focus will continue to be on affordable devices that can empower the masses of India.  We break the affordability barrier with the world's most affordable tablets, phablets and smartphones. Our recent specifications include expansion to 4G networks at reasonable pricing, detachable keyboard for our 7 inch tablet making it convenient for the users whether to use it as a tablet or a laptop and also first ever Punjabi education Tablet- VidyaTab-Punjabi.

IT-WQ: Which industry verticals are you serving currently?

Mr. Tuli: Our Wide Range of Tablets- Ubislates and DroidSurfer offer an experience, intuition like never before with the latest android operating system. Another offering is Pocket Surfer which is DataWind's handheld, mobile-network-access device and is high speed smartphone with built-in 3G modem with HD quality entertainment.
With one year free internet browsing bundled with all our devices, we launched 11 products during the course of Jan. 2016 – May 2017. All the products are introduced to the market with the purpose of bringing down the cost of connectivity for technology to become universally accessible.

IT-WQ: What all are Datawind’s marketing strategies globally?

Mr. Tuli: DataWind believes in providing right product at right time at right price. Our marketing strategies have always been very aggressive as we believe that 2 & 3 tier regions are the most promising markets for us. Our plan of action concentrates on giving entry-level users a cost-effective, web-access device with free Internet access. The company has applied for mobile, virtual-network operator (MVNO), to purchase wholesale access to mobile data from wireless-network operators or as part of a bundling relationship in order to offer free, mobile-internet access to its customers and encourage mobile internet connectivity. In addition to connectivity, we continue focusing on price and driving price down to allow for greater affordability to the masses.
Individuals who purchase phones worth Rs 2,000 don't look out for brands; they want value for what they pay. Our patented technology allows for a fast, rich and affordable experience on existing networks without any new infrastructure. We break the affordability barrier with the world’s most affordable tablets, phablets and smartphones. Our range of products starts from as low as Rs 1,999 and we provide free 1 year of browsing through Reliance connection.

IT-WQ: How will GST impact IT Sector in India?

Mr. Tuli: The government has proposed a dual GST structure, under which State GST as well as Central GST will be applicable for every supply of good. Though at an elementary level this might appear to be basic, the IT sector may have some formidable changes that need to be tuned in to. Telecom could face marginally negative impact from the higher service tax rate of 18 per cent (likely) versus 15 per cent currently, which means the cost of electronics from mobile phones to laptops will rise.
For manufacturers, GST will boost ease of doing business as they may no longer need to set up state specific entities and transfer stocks to them and invest heavily into logistics of creating warehouses in every state across the country. Having manufacturing units in the country, the removal of gushing effect of taxes embedded in cost of production of goods and services, significantly reducing cost of indigenous goods and indirectly promoting ‘Make in India’.
Here Make in India program is making way for the manufacturers in India. Those items are going to be cheaper because manufactures will eventually be paying taxes only on the value which has been added in their factories.

IT-WQ: What major problems do you foresee for India to become digitally strong?

Mr. Tuli: In order to transform the entire IT ecosystem, the Government of India has launched the Digital India programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.  We consider it a very thoughtful step towards bridging the digital gap. But every ambitious strategy comes with its own unique challenges. We at DataWind believe that two major obstacles can hinder the operations.
The diversified makeup of Indian society in terms of language, culture, laws which vary from states to states challenges the mission and its execution. This requires complete Integration of technology with intricate details of our lives.
Broadband affordability and accessibility is another big challenge, considering this DataWind plays its role, trying to eliminate the digital divide amongst the two sects of the society. We are offering products that are durable, have free education content, free internet browsing and available at a price equivalent to a pair of shoes.

IT-WQ: Can you please enlighten us about the new Technology trends of 2017?

Mr. Tuli: With the dawn of the new era of digitalization of technologies, internet connectivity will remain the key trend in the forthcoming years. Excellent telecommunication infrastructure can go a long way in the country’s rapid economic and social development. It is, therefore, essential to increase the wireless connectivity ratio. Trends such as IoT are eventually being well employed by few but it is disheartening to learn there are still billions of people who don’t have basic access to internet.  There are more than one billion mobile phone users however just 18 million broadband associations are accessible. This gap segment is our priority.
In order to surmount the same, the penetration of various value-added services like cellular mobile, data services will have to be extended to all the important cities and rural areas of the country, not confining them to the metros and major cities.
DataWind creates products that are optimum balance between usability, performance and affordability for the Indian population. Our Ubislate tablets are optimized with a feature set that is most appropriate for the low-income group. Our patented Internet-Delivery Platform covered by 18 U.S. and international patents delivers a fast and affordable internet. The technology not only reduces network load, it speeds up delivery of content by a factor upto 30X on these networks, thus resulting in lowest access cost for the use. Our smart devices like mobile phones and tablets are now helping students get more out of the instructor, in terms of their valuable guidance and an opportunity to practically put to use the acquired knowledge.

IT-WQ: What initiatives your company is taking under ‘Make in India’ Campaign and ‘Digital India’ Campaign ?

Mr.Tuli:  ‘Make in India’- an initiative taken by the Modi government is to ease and cheer up the manufacturing concern at domestic and international level to produce their products in India.  While on the other hand, ‘Digital India’ is to fast-track the transformation of our nation into a digital economy.  
We decided to walk on the same lines to contribute to the mankind by technologically uplifting the populace of India. DataWind has invested more than INR 300 Crore to set up manufacturing facilities in India. We already have two manufacturing units in Amritsar. The first one is for manufacturing ‘touch panels’ and one manufacturing unit where we are manufacturing our entire range of smart phones and tablets. Through Amritsar facility we have completed shipment of over 1 million units. We have our third unit in Hyderabad which is operational since Nov. 2016 and has the ability to create 20 lakhs units of tablets and cell phones per annum. The facility has created over 600 occupations in the primary period of its operation.
While at digital front, DataWind has always tried to touch the less privileged section of the Indian population. Internet access and smart handsets are out of reach for them, and our prime motive is to digitize the core of India. By manufacturing the most affordable products with free one year internet browsing, we have done our part in support of the digital India program.



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In an exclusive and extensive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Kuldeep Malhotra, Vice President- Sales, Konica Minolta, shares vital details about recently launched AccurioJet KM-1, technological advancements incorporated in the product, big focus of Konica Minolta, growth drivers of the Company, challenges faced and some other
important details. Here are the excerpts.

IT WEB QUEST: Can you please brief about recently introduced AccurioJet KM-1. In your opinion what is the biggest USP of this new offering?

Kuldeep Malhotra: This product has been launched during Drupa for the Asian market as well. This was a commercial launch formally announced in Drupa for sale in India as well. The major USP of this product is that it's a B2 plus size. Normally in the offset, you will find B2, but we have kept it slightly bigger than B2. Secondly, it
can take any media. Pre-coating is not required, which means that the media which is being used on offset, can run here also. The ink which is used is developed by us, so it is inkjet technology and it is a well known fact that Konica Minolta is a pioneer in the inkjet print heads, so based on that this product has been developed.

ITWQ: Can you please enlighten us about Konica Minolta's Cloud based software EDUCO ERP?

KM: Konica Minolta is in the process of transforming itself from a manufacturing company to a Customer Process Centric company. Educo ERP is a user-friendly ERP solution platform, designed specifically to be used conveniently in schools, colleges, institutes, universities and training centres. Educo ERP provides access to information anywhere anytime on any device to administrators, teachers, students and parents. Educo ERP supports multiple languages for its user-friendly interface  that can be used by anyone easily. Educo ERP is affordable to cater to the requirements of any institution of any size any structure be it Schools, Colleges, Universities, Online, Schools, Group of Institutions Preschools and government institutions.

ITWQ: Which all verticals are you serving presently?

KM: We are catering to almost all the segment, whether it is a photocopy shops   (jobbers), SME, Mid-size corporate, large corporate, we are serving all
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ITWQ: What are the new challenges that you face in relation to the Indian market?

KM: Yes, we are facing some challenges in the Indian market. The corporates are not growing, no major investments are coming, everybody is waiting for the Government decisions with GST and other major bills still pending, so once that is clear, I am sure that the corporates will come forward  to invest and that will help us to grow our business.

ITWQ: Are there any plans by the Company to get in to expansion mode by entering in to any tie up or partnership?

KM: We have already partnered with MGI. We are promoting their product 'Jet Varnish'. With the new varnish formula in combination with the Konica Minolta print heads you can create a 3D effect on laminated surfaces or on toner directly. The variable data option adds full personalization capabilities for a maximum one-to-one marketing impact. We have signed an agreement with MGI Digital Technology (MGI), the decoration printing equipment manufacturer based in France, to acquire additional stake in MGI, enhancing the financial and strategic alliance between the companies since January 2014. Leveraging the alliance, Konica Minolta will further strengthen
its industrial printing business.

ITWQ: How many Channel Partners comprises of your Channel Base? Are you planning to further intensify your channel base?

KM: We have around 200 direct partners for the office and production line-up. As of now, we are not planning to increase our channel base, rather we would work closely with the existing partners so as to ensure that they sustain their own and Konica Minolta's business.

ITWQ: How do you ensure maximized profitability for your partners?

KM: We organize regular training programs for their sales and service teams, which help them to demonstrate the features of the product, showcase the solutions. By this, we don't actually get in to the price war. It is more of a feature selling rather than selling a box with price. So that is helping our partners to sustain in this business and increase their profitability. Moreover, as a part of our incentive program, we have back end programs on the target achievements under which the partners are paid on quarterly and yearly basis.

ITWQ: How is the company positioned currently and what kind of market share do you anticipate in future?

KM: We are looking forward to grow our market share as compared to last year. If you talk about the overall office and production market, we are placed at the second spot. In the overall color market, we are leading the market in the production printers.

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In an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Niranjan Singh, National Sales Manager, Tirupati Enterprises enlightens about company’s core  competency, focus area, marketing strategy, key channel initiatives and with other substantial details. Here are the excerpts.

IT WEB QUEST: Can you please brief about the journey of Tirupati Enterprises and its current focal points?

Niranjan Singh: Having been in the industry for over 17 years, we have been really successful in the distribution business in IT Industry. Now, expanding the breadth of our branches remains our core focus area. We are targeting a base of 3000 partners on a PAN India basis and work closely with

ITWQ: What kind of new products are you planning to add to your existing product base?

NS: Within DEEP COOL, we have recently launched DUKASE Chassis and currently are focusing to promote the same. In addition, we have also recently added G.Skill DDR4 -3200Mhz-Memory and G.Skill- SSD Drives. We are currently in talks with a few new vendors. In a short span of time, you will see tie-ups of big brands with Tirupati
Enterprises.

ITWQ: What kind of strategy are you chalking out to tap the ever growing Retail segment?

NS: Undoubtedly, retail is growing at a meteoric pace. Our mandate for the year 2016 is reach out to as many retailers & resellers and educate them about the benefits
of doing business with us. The year 2016 is really important for us and we have aggressive plans to connect with more than 3000 channel partners through offline initiatives.

ITWQ: Can you please shed some light on the marketing activities undertaken by the Company for brand building?

NS: We are really aggressive when it comes to taking marketing activities.  We have 9 big brands with us namely G.Skill, Deep Cool, Seasonic, Aver Media, Roccat, Corepad, Vantec ,Forsa (nVIDIA), VTX3D (ATI Redion) . The marketing initiatives generally vary from time to time as per the positioning and need of the brands. Such
activities are based on 4 verticals – Online, Offline, Channel and Consumer. In 2016, we will try to consciously active all these verticals. We have a dedicated team to work on online promotions – Social media. We have also done offline activations to connect with both our channel as well as consumers through trade exhibitions, channel meets, and college meets as well as gaming café events. With the launch of our DEEP COOL Products, we have ventured into the gaming industry. To promote DEEP COOL gaming products and other products which we are doing in India, we have concluded one gaming event in Kolkata last year in 2015 with a reputed Gaming Cafe.
Moreover, we are participating in college events across India and we participated in more than 4 college events which include some prestigious colleges and more.

ITWQ: What kind of initiatives are you taking in order to ensure that Tirupati Enterprises emerges as a market leader?

NS: For 2016, we want to keep it very simple. Our focus will be on:-1. Creating value for our customers by aggressive marketing and channel engagement activities.2. Offer peace of mind to our customers by offering  them the best in class after sales support. We want to ensure the profit retention of our channel partners.3. Staying focused on increasing our presence by reaching out to new partners and territories.

ITWQ: What are the Company’s biggest strengths that make it stand apart among the competitors?

NS: We can create brands and this is what I feel as our biggest strength. DEEP COOL, G.Skill, Seasonic and Aver Media stand testimony to the fact that you do not need to be the cheapest to get more market share. Consistent efforts backed by strong product fundamentals are more important. Our relationship in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities
of India further adds to our strength. In fact, I am really proud to say that 40% of our revenue comes from areas that do not falls in Tier 1 regions. There is no scope of any complaining customer for the brand that is serviced by Tirupati Enterprises.

ITWQ: What is your current partner base? What kind of channel initiatives are you taking to expand it
further?

NS: Currently, we are working with 2000+ channel partners across 180+ cities and towns of India. Allour channel related activities will be concentrated to increase that to 3000 partners across 400 towns and cities. Strategies are now well placed. We are not only planning to market a product or just fine with branding activities
but a lot of activities will be taken to educate the partner. Coming quarter will see a lot of ATL and BTL activates from Tirupati Enterprises as far as channel is concerned.

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In a candid chat with IT WEB QUEST, Kalpak Bhatt, RSM - West, Smartlink Network Systems Ltd. apprises about the current scenario of Indian networking market, Company’s new offerings, strategic channel initiatives, focal points and other vital information.
ITWQ: What is the state of the Indian networking market at the moment?
Kalpak Bhatt: Off late, the networking industry has seen a huge amount of brands/unbranded players entering the Indian market. This is primarily because of the turbulence observed from the seasoned players. Currently an SI or an end customers stands confused on which Brand to select. So they opt to choose for brands which are stable & have a better infrastructure, support service network, Help desk arrangements, etc…
ITWQ: How is DIGISOL developing its SOHO networking business in India?
KB: Since brand DIGISOL is still young, to promote the brand we are putting a lot of efforts to educate the channel community—partners, distributors, SIs, etc—because it is the channel partners who interact with the end customers, they play a big role in building the brand. One of the major marketing initiatives we have taken is signing of Sonakshi Sinha as our brand ambassador.
At the end of the day, it is the channel that is face to face with the customer. Unless the channel partners are convinced about the merits of the products, they will not be able to convince the end customer. This year we are undertaking events across India for our channel community, where we are having exclusive interaction with our channel partners. We also actively participate in trade shows, expos, etc. Apart from these, we are also aggressively promoting in-shop branding. We are regularly in touch with our partners who have been selling our products through regular marketing updates and marketing brochures. Apart from this, we are also conducting lot of training sessions.  While advertising in Print media remains a part of our promotion, we are very active on social media front on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc.
ITWQ: What kind of innovative products and solutions are you bringing in the market today?
KB: DIGISOL offers end to end networking solutions with a comprehensive product portfolio which include, Wireless and Broadband Routing, 3G & 4G Products, Ethernet Switching, Enterprise Wireless, CCTV and IP Surveillance. For the consumers, DIGISOL offers a good range of products for home networking and wireless.
We are focusing on two products, when it comes to target home and SOHO segment. Wireless Broadband Home Router - DG-HR3400 and Wireless ADSL2/2+ Broadband Router - DG-BG4300Nu. As a result of manufacturing these products locally in India, we have a great deal of competitive advantage over the other players in the industry. Local manufacturing gives us opportunity to understand what technologies go into the making of our products which further enables us to service these products better.
ITWQ: How do you remain innovative?
KB: By manufacturing majority of products locally here in India. We have a huge set-up established in Goa.
ITWQ: What is your company’s core competency?
KB: Given our 20-year history of pioneering technologies in the networking equipment segment, we have been actively shaping the networking markets locally as per the global standards. Since we are the first one to introduce networking products in the Indian market, you can say we created the Networking market in the country. Similarly we are the first one to start manufacturing in country with setup of SMT lines. Few of the USP’s that keep us ahead of our competitors are:
1) Local Manufacturing
2) Strong after Sales and Service support
3) Nationwide sales and distribution network
ITWQ: What is your presence in the country?
KB: Smartlink has 10 branch offices, 20 plus regional distributors, over 180 Stockist Partners, and over 5000 plus resellers. We work closely with our channel partners and system integrators who value the power and quality of our products.
ITWQ: What kind of channel initiatives have you lined up for channel partners this year?
KB: We are in the process of developing a CRM for our Partners. Once implemented, all partners will be able to access their status on deliveries, claims, schemes, EDMs, Re-Seller Certificates, etc… through the portal via a dedicated login id.

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In an exclusive and extensive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Anoop Jarial, VP – Product Marketing, D-Link (India) Ltd. enlightens about current scenario of networking market, the latest trends in this market, company’s core competency, key channel initiatives and with other substantial details. Here are the excerpts

IT WEB QUEST: What is the state of the Indian networking market at the moment?
Anoop Jarial: We live in a world where being connected all the time is a necessity. Internet along with mobility devices has brought about a major lifestyle transformation in today’s day & age. As a result there is a surge in demand for connectivity devices across the industry, be it SME, Enterprise or end-consumer level. Also new trends in wireless technology like 11AC, cloud based devices or lifestyle tech products are being widely appreciated by consumers. Besides increased penetration of broadband connectivity in B & C class cities is driving growth for internet connectivity equipment’s across the country.
The role of government in driving technology adoption is also commendable. Some of the recent big ticket announcements like Digital India, Smart city program are largely contributing to the growth of technology adoption in the country.
From an enterprise point of view the role of networking remains indispensable, as networking continues to be the backbone of any IT Infrastructure. Investment in developing a robust & secure network infrastructure is still a top priority for most business verticals be it Banking, Hospitality, Education etc.

ITWQ: How is your networking business doing in India at the moment? What are some of the biggest trends impacting your sector?
AJ: Our holistic business strategy led to astounding growth with growing customer market share & brand visibility for D-Link. This is evident from our results for H1, 2015-16 wherein we clocked 19% growth in comparison to H1, 2014-14. Further our multi-pronged business approach helped us enhance focus on IP Surveillance, Storage, Security and Structured Cabling, and thereby further strengthened our position as an end-to-end networking leader.
On consumer front, D-Link continued to innovate & introduce products that are future ready. Throughout the year in 2015, we introduced products supporting latest tech trends like FTTH, 10G solutions, mobility, 11AC, IoT etc.
Overall it’s been a year that was high on innovation with new products being introduced at regular intervals, focused segment-wise business approach, and strong emphasis on customer engagement & support infrastructure were some of the highlights of 2015 for us at D-Link.

 ITWQ: What kind of innovative products and solutions are you bringing in the market today?
AJ: With internet being Omni-present and smart phones turning into a must have accessory, uninterrupted wireless connectivity is crucial. As a result adoption of 11AC technology – the latest standard in Wi-Fi, is on a rise. The fifth generation of Wi-Fi technology - 11AC, delivers incredible speed and wide area coverage of up to three times as fast as the current "N" Wi-Fi. And D-Link being a leader in networking domain has already introduced a host of 11AC products.
In addition to 11AC, another technology that has been making a lot of noise in recent times is Web of things or Internet of Things (IoT). So moving forward, all device shall be interconnected & can be accessed from anywhere through the internet. Given the number of existing internet connected devices, IoT will act as an obvious extension for todays connected world. D-Link is already working on devices that are IoT enabled & has introduced a series of products based on IoT like Smart Plug, Audio Extender, Motion sensor etc.

ITWQ: How do you remain innovative?
AJ: Innovation has always been at the core of product development at D-Link. We are playing to the strengths of our heritage, anticipating future trends and meeting customer needs. We were one of the first technology companies to emphasize software-developed Cloud services. We were the first networking company to invest in a dedicated Cloud platform team that eventually made way for Cloud Routers, Cloud Cameras, the mydlink app and the mydlink Home app for Connected Home. We were the first to enter the 11AC market. We created the first battery-powered mobile 11AC router.The core spirit of ‘Innovation’ runs deep in our DNA. As a result D-Link continues to introduce innovative products that provide high-performance and cost-effective solutions to deliver better connectivity, security, efficiency, and cost savings for both home and office.

ITWQ: What is your company’s core competency?
AJ: D-Link has a legacy of over 3 decades of building networks for people. We provide high-performance and cost-effective solutions that deliver better connectivity, security, efficiency, and cost savings for both home and office. D-Link products/ solutions are designed effectively to meet end-user needs, enrich their lifestyles and offer value for money.  This is what gives D-Link an edge & has led to a distinctive brand positioning.
Today, D-Link stands ready to meet the demands of consumers and businesses with a broad range of products that are reliable, affordable, and easy to use. D-Link is proud to offer advanced technology and practical innovations for the future. It is indeed our craving for innovation that has positioned D-Link as the world leader in networking domain.
At D-Link it is also our goal to nurture a truly customer-focused culture by providing service with a personal touch, regardless of whether the customer is an individual or a large corporation. This approach has allowed D-Link to successfully provide consistent quality of service and care for more than 3 decades. In fact we have made huge investments in developing a state-of-the art service support infrastructure for our customers in India. Today D-Link reaches out to its customers in 150+ cities through its own D-Link Service Centres (DSC), which is support by its wide network of D-Link Service Partners (DSP) and Partner Courier Pickup (PCP). Further D-Link offers ‘Service at your door-step’ for Broadband, Wireless and 3G Lifestyle products with D-Link Direct Service (DDS). It is our unique service support model that has enabled us to sustain our customer base & also retain our leadership position in networking technology domain.

ITWQ: What is your presence in the country?
AJ: One of D-Link’s key strength is its wider reach PAN India. Today D-Link has a strong & organized channel network with National distributors like Ingram Micro, Redington, and Cadensworth.  In addition to this we have 90+ regional/business distributors present all across India.  They are further supported by a wide network of over 500 dealers and 5,000 resellers catering to the networking needs of customers present across the length & breadth of the country. D-Link also a branch offices in over 17 cities pan India with service support infrastructure present in 150+ cities.
Having such a network enables us to serve and supports our existing customers from proximate locations which gives our customers easy access to our products and helps us service them and enables us to reach new customers.

ITWQ: What channel initiatives have you lined up for channel partners this year?
AJ: Channel engagement is an ongoing activity at D-Link, as we firmly believe partners form the backbone of our organizational structure. Today D-Link has a strong partner network spread across the length & breadth of the country, enabling us with wider reach & market penetration.
D-Link is committed towards channel engagement & empowering its partners/ re-sellers. Road shows/ seminar/ partner engagement program are platforms that allow us to interact directly with the channels. D-Link conducts such roadshows throughout the year in A, B & C class cities. The objective of these meets is to introduce partners to the latest in networking technology, update them on the product range, and address business concerns if any. Further to enable partners to sell better D-Link also conducts training & certification programs. For our Structured Cabling product line we have recently rolled out ‘D-Link Certified Cabling Expert (DCCE) program across India. DCCE provides participants with in-depth information on the technical aspect of the subject, evaluates trends for both copper & fiber products, and trains them to design, install and conduct post-implementation testing of D-Link passive networking components for Infrastructure projects.
Throughout the year we at D-Link introduce various schemes for partners that give them an opportunity to enhance their business value.


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Sumanglam International, synonymous with provider of photocopier & laser toner, polytone toner, inkjet cartridge, recycled toner, realized India's potential at the opportune time.
Since its inception, the company has been able to scale many new heights. However, not sitting pretty over the laurels, Sumanglam, which markets its range of products by its own brand Odyssey, has been showing a fairly impressive growth rate with each passing year.
Today Sumanglam commands an impressive market share of 50 % in printer consumables in the country, In short, the entity is a force to reckon with printer consumables landscape in India.
What makes Sumanglam International a cut above the rest? Innovative products, firm belief in quality have helped the company achieve the high ratings. The company has a strong presence in other parts of the India. Quality has never been soft-pedaled at Sumanglam. Since its inception the company has been introducing innovative line of products, which went a long way in changing the competitive dynamics of the Indian market.
A company of national repute in printing Consumables market, it is instantly known by its products sold under the brand name Odyssey. Sumanglam is one of those select few companies that dominate the Indian market for printer consumables. The company has captured a large share of printer consumables in the country.
With so much of goodwill in the printable consumables market, it can be said with certainty that the coming years are going to put Sumanglam on the high growth track.
In an exclusive interview to Indian Recharger Sources, Sharad Midha, Managing Director of Sumangalam International, explains how the company   has grown from strength to strength.
Recognizing the potential of the fast-growing Indian market, Midha is optimistic that the company's presence will be felt more aggressively with the passage of time. Since India is a price sensitive market, Sumangalam has embarked on an aggressive pricing strategy by following the time-tested concept of keeping the initial price low in order to create demand.

What propelled you to start a new business venture ? And why did you choose imaging industry ?
I knew India would be a great market for establishing new ventures and markets. And the media industry was no doubt flourishing day by day. So I knew I can utilize the situation in my favour. No doubt they needed printers and cartridges and the imported ones used to be very costly. So in order to bridge the gap and create a niche segment for myself I started manufacturing cartridges which became available to the consumers at 1/10th of the prevailing price of the imported cartridges. That's how I started the journey. And in all I had my family support especially to me at every step.

What is your take on the trend that customers now days looking at the price rather than quality ?
This is true.  Competition is increasing and at the same time margins are thinning day  by day. Consequently, consumers are going for the options that stand them in good stead in reducing the costs and maintaining margins.

How is color printing is evolving in inkjet segments and LaserJet and what is your focus ?
Color Laser Printing is witnessing growth and there is every possibility that it will continue to grow at a steady pace. As OEMs like Sharp, Konica Minolta and Ricoh are in the process of growing their install base in both enterprise and SMB sectors for Color printing, the scenario presents us new opportunity for growth.

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Organizations and consumers alike are becoming increasingly dependent on online communications and high-tech IT networks, but sometimes can a more traditional low-tech solution work better?

It’s becoming a connected world
It seems possible now for us to do almost anything online, from managing our finances or paying a bill, right through to doing our grocery shopping, watching TV or sharing our photos with friends. We are encouraged to store our data ‘in the cloud’, and to download our music over the internet rather than going out and buying a CD. In this highly connected world, the links between all our computer systems and end user devices are becoming of critical importance.
There is little point in having the very latest iPhone or smart TV if it doesn’t have a good and reliable network connection, so vast sums of money are continually being invested in upgrading our communications infrastructures. Traditional copper phone lines are being replaced by fiber broadband links, and phone companies are introducing high speed 4G mobile data networks.
Microsoft has been delivering online services for many years, but this has recently become the major focus for the company. Online solutions for consumers include products such as Hotmail (now rebranded as Outlook.com) and Xbox Live, and for businesses there are products such as Office 365, Lync and CRM Online. They have also acquired other online solutions such as Skype, and now operate one of the largest communications networks in the world. And looking to the future, the next version of Windows is designed around the assumption that any device it runs on will be connected to the internet or some other sort of network.
Given this commitment by Microsoft and other similar organizations to doing everything online, I was interested to learn about one development by them that appears to contradict this trend.

Being online is great, but getting there can be problematic
Office 365 is possibly the most successful product Microsoft has ever launched, and it is continually being enhanced to expand existing capabilities and add new features. But customers moving to Office 365 can face a big problem: how to all get their existing data migrated from their local office or datacenter into one of the central Microsoft datacenters.
The only way for them to do this at the moment is to upload it via the internet, but the issue with this is that the internet, and cloud services such as Office 365, are designed and optimised for high volumes of small individual transactions such as web pages or email messages. This transactional infrastructure is not well suited for uploading significant numbers of files, large volumes of historical email and other such data. Customers moving their data to Office 365 are finding that their data uploads are ‘throttled’ to prevent the volume of data involved impacting the operation of the Office 365 service for other customers.
They are also finding that their internet connection, whilst being extremely fast at an individual transaction level, simply does not have the bandwidth to migrate all their data within a reasonable timescale. The end result of these problems is that migrating existing data to Office 365 can be a complex and lengthy exercise.

Designing around the problems
Here at Barracuda we are very aware of the issues customers have been facing when migrating their data over the internet into Office 365, and we took these into account when we built our PST Enterprise product. As a result, it is a great example of how good product design can overcome technical issues such as these.
PST files have been a problem for IT administrators for many years. Created by end users using Outlook, and used by them to store email data locally, they are an unreliable and insecure data format, and represent an ongoing risk to the business as well as being a significant support overhead. Moving to Office 365 provides organizations with the ideal opportunity eliminate the use of these files, and bring the data they contain back under central control. PST Enterprise provides an ideal solution to locate all PST files wherever they exist, and migrate the data from them into Office 365.
When migrating data from PST files over the internet to Office 365, PST Enterprise is designed to move data on an message-by-message basis (rather than moving a whole file in one go). This matches the transactional nature of the internet, and makes best of network capacity as well as proving a more reliable and robust solution. It also moves data from each source location (such as end user laptops) directly to Office 365, taking a parallel processing approach, rather than routing all data via a central server and creating a potential network bottleneck.

Could a low-tech solution be a better approach?
Microsoft publish a Roadmap for Office 365, describing what they have planned and what is being worked on currently for Office 365. Reading through the ‘In Development’ section recently, I noticed a new feature they call “Drive Shipping”.
To quote Microsoft, “The ability to import data into Office 365 in a quick and easy manner has been a known constraint of Office 365, and a solution for this issue has emerged as a key request from customers”. In response to this, they are going to make it possible for customers to put their data on a USB drive or similar device, and ship the physical drive to one of the Microsoft datacenters. Microsoft will then copy the data from the customer’s drive directly into Office 365.
Whilst at first sight it might seem that resorting to using physical media to move data around is a retrograde step given the investment that is being made in network technology, this low-tech solution is actually a pragmatic answer to the problem and recognises the need to use the right technology for the task. One of the key features of the internet is that it has a very low latency (i.e. data is transferred almost instantly), but the amount of data that can be transferred in a given period of time (the bandwidth) is always going to be limited. Contrast this with shipping a physical device; it may take a day for the drive to get from the customer to the datacenter (so therefore it has a very high latency), but the ‘bandwidth’ or amount of data that can be transferred each time on a set of disk drives is vast.
Latency is not important when migrating existing data such as email to Office 365. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get there immediately, what is more important is that very large amounts of data should be transferred predictably and reliably, and this is exactly what Drive Shipping can achieve.
Our PST Enterprise product will be equally well suited to migrating data to Office 365 using Drive Shipping when that becomes available later this year. The product is already able to locate and migrate all the data from PST files, wherever they exist, direct to a chosen location. In order to use Drive Shipping, customers will simply have to configure it to move data to the drive that they are going to ship to Microsoft.

It’s still not a good idea to migrate everything
Online solutions such as Office 365 offer almost unlimited amounts of storage, but it still makes sense to migrate only the data that is actually needed. Just because Drive Shipping means you can now migrate all of your existing data very easily, it doesn’t mean that you should.
This is a great opportunity to put in place a strategy for data retention and deletion, and to use policy-based migration tools such as Barracuda’s PST Enterprise. These can automatically identify and delete redundant or duplicate data, and only migrate information that still has value to the organisation. This approach will allow an organisation to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with storing large amounts of unmanaged files and emails, as well as supporting their IT requirements for Compliance and eDiscovery.
Whichever approach you use for migration, either the high-tech route of sending data via the internet or the low-tech route of drive shipping, moving less data will also make your migration project quicker, cheaper and easier to manage

 

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Organizations and consumers alike are becoming increasingly dependent on online communications and high-tech IT networks, but sometimes can a more traditional low-tech solution work better?

It’s becoming a connected world
It seems possible now for us to do almost anything online, from managing our finances or paying a bill, right through to doing our grocery shopping, watching TV or sharing our photos with friends. We are encouraged to store our data ‘in the cloud’, and to download our music over the internet rather than going out and buying a CD. In this highly connected world, the links between all our computer systems and end user devices are becoming of critical importance.
There is little point in having the very latest iPhone or smart TV if it doesn’t have a good and reliable network connection, so vast sums of money are continually being invested in upgrading our communications infrastructures. Traditional copper phone lines are being replaced by fiber broadband links, and phone companies are introducing high speed 4G mobile data networks.
Microsoft has been delivering online services for many years, but this has recently become the major focus for the company. Online solutions for consumers include products such as Hotmail (now rebranded as Outlook.com) and Xbox Live, and for businesses there are products such as Office 365, Lync and CRM Online. They have also acquired other online solutions such as Skype, and now operate one of the largest communications networks in the world. And looking to the future, the next version of Windows is designed around the assumption that any device it runs on will be connected to the internet or some other sort of network.
Given this commitment by Microsoft and other similar organizations to doing everything online, I was interested to learn about one development by them that appears to contradict this trend.

Being online is great, but getting there can be problematic
Office 365 is possibly the most successful product Microsoft has ever launched, and it is continually being enhanced to expand existing capabilities and add new features. But customers moving to Office 365 can face a big problem: how to all get their existing data migrated from their local office or datacenter into one of the central Microsoft datacenters.
The only way for them to do this at the moment is to upload it via the internet, but the issue with this is that the internet, and cloud services such as Office 365, are designed and optimised for high volumes of small individual transactions such as web pages or email messages. This transactional infrastructure is not well suited for uploading significant numbers of files, large volumes of historical email and other such data. Customers moving their data to Office 365 are finding that their data uploads are ‘throttled’ to prevent the volume of data involved impacting the operation of the Office 365 service for other customers.
They are also finding that their internet connection, whilst being extremely fast at an individual transaction level, simply does not have the bandwidth to migrate all their data within a reasonable timescale. The end result of these problems is that migrating existing data to Office 365 can be a complex and lengthy exercise.

Designing around the problems
Here at Barracuda we are very aware of the issues customers have been facing when migrating their data over the internet into Office 365, and we took these into account when we built our PST Enterprise product. As a result, it is a great example of how good product design can overcome technical issues such as these.
PST files have been a problem for IT administrators for many years. Created by end users using Outlook, and used by them to store email data locally, they are an unreliable and insecure data format, and represent an ongoing risk to the business as well as being a significant support overhead. Moving to Office 365 provides organizations with the ideal opportunity eliminate the use of these files, and bring the data they contain back under central control. PST Enterprise provides an ideal solution to locate all PST files wherever they exist, and migrate the data from them into Office 365.
When migrating data from PST files over the internet to Office 365, PST Enterprise is designed to move data on an message-by-message basis (rather than moving a whole file in one go). This matches the transactional nature of the internet, and makes best of network capacity as well as proving a more reliable and robust solution. It also moves data from each source location (such as end user laptops) directly to Office 365, taking a parallel processing approach, rather than routing all data via a central server and creating a potential network bottleneck.

Could a low-tech solution be a better approach?
Microsoft publish a Roadmap for Office 365, describing what they have planned and what is being worked on currently for Office 365. Reading through the ‘In Development’ section recently, I noticed a new feature they call “Drive Shipping”.
To quote Microsoft, “The ability to import data into Office 365 in a quick and easy manner has been a known constraint of Office 365, and a solution for this issue has emerged as a key request from customers”. In response to this, they are going to make it possible for customers to put their data on a USB drive or similar device, and ship the physical drive to one of the Microsoft datacenters. Microsoft will then copy the data from the customer’s drive directly into Office 365.
Whilst at first sight it might seem that resorting to using physical media to move data around is a retrograde step given the investment that is being made in network technology, this low-tech solution is actually a pragmatic answer to the problem and recognises the need to use the right technology for the task. One of the key features of the internet is that it has a very low latency (i.e. data is transferred almost instantly), but the amount of data that can be transferred in a given period of time (the bandwidth) is always going to be limited. Contrast this with shipping a physical device; it may take a day for the drive to get from the customer to the datacenter (so therefore it has a very high latency), but the ‘bandwidth’ or amount of data that can be transferred each time on a set of disk drives is vast.
Latency is not important when migrating existing data such as email to Office 365. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get there immediately, what is more important is that very large amounts of data should be transferred predictably and reliably, and this is exactly what Drive Shipping can achieve.
Our PST Enterprise product will be equally well suited to migrating data to Office 365 using Drive Shipping when that becomes available later this year. The product is already able to locate and migrate all the data from PST files, wherever they exist, direct to a chosen location. In order to use Drive Shipping, customers will simply have to configure it to move data to the drive that they are going to ship to Microsoft.

It’s still not a good idea to migrate everything
Online solutions such as Office 365 offer almost unlimited amounts of storage, but it still makes sense to migrate only the data that is actually needed. Just because Drive Shipping means you can now migrate all of your existing data very easily, it doesn’t mean that you should.
This is a great opportunity to put in place a strategy for data retention and deletion, and to use policy-based migration tools such as Barracuda’s PST Enterprise. These can automatically identify and delete redundant or duplicate data, and only migrate information that still has value to the organisation. This approach will allow an organisation to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with storing large amounts of unmanaged files and emails, as well as supporting their IT requirements for Compliance and eDiscovery.
Whichever approach you use for migration, either the high-tech route of sending data via the internet or the low-tech route of drive shipping, moving less data will also make your migration project quicker, cheaper and easier to manage

 

In the last 12 months or so, a number of mobile brands have adopted the online-only sales strategy and results indicate that consumers have taken a liking to this new approach.
In India, the online-only strategy was first embraced by Motorola with their then flagship product Moto G in partnership with India’s largest e-commerce marketplace,Flipkart. When Motorola first announced this approach, few market analysts would have expected the Moto G to sell out within 15 minutes of its first opening. While this event has been eclipsed by rival brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus, in hindsight, it will forever be remembered as the beginning of a consumer trend that nobody had previously anticipated.
Now that this model has stood the test of time and has been adopted by a number of brands, reasons for its success are slowly coming to the fore.
Reaching target market in smaller cities
One very plausible reason why mobile brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus have successfully entered the market through their online-only strategy is the reach that an online platform like Flipkart offers their product. By adopting an online-only strategy, these brands are able to reach consumers in smaller cities where the retail sector isn’t organised as well as it is in bigger cities. An online-only strategy actually allows these brands to give their products unprecedented visibility in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities right from day one.
Another important factor why the online-only approach has worked is that with time, consumers have grown more comfortable with online buying. Consumer awareness of products has increased manifold compared to what it was a few years ago.
Offline buying is overrated
Consumer awareness and improved online buying experiences have also led mobile brands into believing that offline buying is overrated. These days, when consumers want to buy a new phone; they often resort to comparing the prices and specifications on offer from various brands before arriving at a decision. This process can be best executed online with a wide variety of brands for them to choose from when compared to the limited variety they might find at a retail store.Also, the process of price and spec comparison is made all the more simpler online thanks to leading price comparison websites like iSpyPrice.com, mysmartprice, smartprixetc and consumers don’t have to visit multiple physical retail outlets before they can finally zero in on their choice.
The ability to control prices

Perhaps the most important reason why brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and even new entrants like InFocus are using an online-only strategy is that this allows them to control the pricing strategy of their products.
Just like other consumer electronics goods, mobile brands have always had to go through the cumbersome distributor-retailer cycle to make their product accessible to the consumer. In the traditional offline model, mobile brands either build their own distribution network or strike a deal with one or more established distributors. And if you are a foreign brand looking to make inroads into a local market, this cycle gets further complicated.In a market that changes every few months and has an incredible number of competitors, building one’s own distribution network is a hassle most foreign brands would ideally want to avoid. This is mainly because this is a time consuming process.The other option for these brands is to opt for a national distributor. These national distributors will end up making a margin on the sale of each device, pushing the price of the device up. Then come the regional distributors, they also need to make a margin on the sale of each device, pushing the device’s price further up. Finally, it’s the turn of the retailers to make a margin on the sale of each device. By this time, the price of the device goes up by a fair notch.If you think Xiaomi’s current flagship the Mi4′s 16 GB version is a steal deal at Rs. 19,999 consider adding another Rs. 3,000-5,000, or maybe more, to that price and it doesn’t sound like a steal deal anymore, does it? That’s what the distributor-retailer cycle can do to the price of a device. Xiaomi and the likes can afford to give the consumer a favorable price because the online-only strategy allows them to do so.This is also why you get to see different prices for the same devices on various e-commerce marketplaces. Mobile brands are able to pass the benefit of price saving to the consumer. The e-commerce brands also don’t need to save a margin from a sub-retailer. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.
A high success ratio

Motorola’s online-only strategy for the various versions of the Moto G and later the Moto E was such an incredible success that they ended up selling more than a million of these devices. Xiaomi followed suit and has done well with the sale of its Mi3, Mi4, and Redmi 1s devices. This strategy has paid rich dividends for Xiaomi as they are now among the top 3 smartphone brands in the world, third only to Apple and Samsung.
Earlier this year, the Micromax-owned Yu Televentures brand launched its first flagship product- the Yureka. They entered into a deal with e-commerce giants Amazon for the online sale of this device.Brands such as Lenovo and Xolo have also decided to adopt this strategy. Lenovo has already announced its plans to take on the likes of Xiaomi with itsonline-only brand Shenqi. Brands like vivo are making a foray into the market taking advantage of this method.
Lava International’s smartphone brand Xolo has been in the news for building its own e-commerce platform which it intends to use for the purpose of reaching a wider consumer base for an online-only sub-brand it is building.

This still isn’t the right choice for everybody

While the online-only strategy may have many ups, it also offers no immediate reasons for bigger players to join the bandwagon. Huge brands like Apple Inc. aren’t likely to switch to this sales channel full-time anytime in the near future. They have no reason to do so. Apple’s sales are built upon brand value and standing in queue to buy an Apple iPhone is still very much a fan thing. Apple’s marketing makes the brand and its products desirable and that is why switching to an online-only model seems highly unlikely.
Then there is the South Korean behemoth Samsung. Samsung currently sells a large majority of its smartphones through the traditional model. It does offer select e-tailers exclusive deals where they can sell a particular Samsung mobile through their online marketplace, but by and large Samsung is a supporter of the traditional method and believes in this sales channel.Some would argue that’s only two brands to take into consideration but the fact is these two are the current flag-bearers of the mobile industry, the top two smartphone makers in the world. And as long as they, and others like them, are convinced, the offline distributor-retailer cycle is likely to remain healthy in the foreseeable future.
The growth of e-commerce, Internet penetration, and future prospects for the online-only strategy

While a number of these brands have taken to this approach, it is undeniable that there are other factors that have led to the success of this sales channel. The first is the growing Internet penetration. India’s Internet penetration has grown to 300 million+ and is on the rise all the time. Although e-commerce is said to account for only about 1% of total retail sales, this 1% accounted for sales worth $5.3 billion. It is a given that as this online-only strategy by smartphone brands takes shape, these figures will see a surge in sales.

The growing penetration of Internet is allowing e-commerce brands to reach a critical mass of potential customers and there is no doubt that in time, as more and more mobile brands opt for an online-only strategy, e-tailing would begin to rival traditional sales channels. Perhaps not immediately, but definitely!

 

 

 

 

 

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In an exclusive interaction with Anoop Sharma , Editor, IT WEB QUEST , Mr Eric Yang, Director Sales at Edimax Technologies. shares vital details plans of the Company in 2014 and some other important details.

IWQ:  Could you tell us something about your channel structure?
Eric Yang: Edimax over the past 3.5 years of operations in India has started to expand into newer verticals and segments. In FY 2014 we will be segmenting our channels into IT, SMB, Surveillance & projects. Already deployments and plans are being executed in this  direction and soon we will be announcing our plans.

IWQ.: Is there any line of demarcation between IT channel and Security channel? What is your go-to market strategy?
Eric Yang: Edimax  Go to market strategy is direct approach and ground breaking work force to reach out. More awareness campaigns towards newer technology like 4G/LTE and innovative products will be introduced. Higher-end SMB WI-FI will be launched and new  recruitments in terms of man-power and induction of dedicated SI base to closely provide the value-added services required by SMB clients will be implemented.

IWQ.:   What is your big focus area in the current fiscal?
Eric Yang:
In Financial Year 2014 we need to create a new milestone for brand ‘EDIMAX’

IWQ.:  What kinds of trends are you witnessing in the surveillance market?
Eric Yang: The market in India holds immense growth opportunities owing to developments in the country. the Asia Pacific video surveillance market  can be categorised into two categories on the basis of product types i.e. cameras, NVRs, DVRs, servers and software and on the basis of end users into education, retail, healthcare, government, transportation, business and financial services, manufacturing and others. The market has been further segmented by the key countries in the Asia Pacific region, namely, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and others. The Asia Pacific video surveillance market is driven by factors such as increasing security needs, decreasing cost of equipments and emerging new megapixel solutions.

IWQ:   Although cheap Products flooded in the market what kind of growth do you expect from SMB segments?
Eric Yang: SMB do not accept cheap products or regular OEM brands which are abundantly available in Indian marketplace. SMB segment growth potential is hugely dependent on certain parameters which cannot be met by every principle companies. The technical  capability required to gain acceptability in SMB segments in terms of wireless is available with Edimax and with newer solutions planned we can foresee a good growth graph in next FY. In October FY13 itself Edimax together with Wifi-Soft launched UNI-Edi (a new AP  management solution) for SMB segment which gave us lots of opportunity to work with leading SI in India. Within a month’s launch we received overwhelming responses from partners and SI.

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Atul Jain  Country Manager, Trendnet’s India  in an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, shares about the the current scenario and the future of TRENDnet’s market, recent trends, initiatives taken for upcountry market, channel strategies and with other vital details

IWQ.What is focus of TRENDnet today?
Atul Jain: TRENDnet focus is Consumer and mid market Customer for their big offerings with 7 Product families viz Wireless, Switches, POE Switches, KVM Switches, Internet Camera, Fiber modules /Converters & USB Accessories. 

IWQ: What is TRENDnet’s position regarding the new technologies for the wireless domain?
Atul Jain: For Wireless Domain TRENDnet is positioned to address the requirement of all consumers whowants faster stream of data, faster and heavy downloads, online movie watching, online games,listening music etc. TRENDnet also has  wireless product domain which addresses mid marketcustomers who wants to go for wireless distribution in a building, and customer segments likehospitality, Education, Finance insurance etc. growing at the faster pace.

IWQ: What is your current channel strength?
Atul Jain: Are you planning to further intensify your channel base?Abacus Peripherals is chosen by TRENDnet who addresses at this point of time with more than 2000 Channel Partners through their Sales offices located in 22 big Business cities, as well as We have already started partnering with  Dealers who has the good strength in the specificdomains. We just concluded 3 City Road show in Delhi, Hyderabad and Cochin and addressedmore than 300 channel partners. So the response in the first phase of the Road show  went very well.

IWQ:  Why should distributors focus on your products?
Atul Jain: What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the marketWell, TRENDnet offers a good Value mix of products offerings for the Partners who getattached to TRENDnet to address Consumer and upto Mid Market. TRENDnet has the productofferings which addresses all the needs of the  consumers at home by connecting their TV ,Home Theatre, Blue Ray DVD , Gaming Boxes through wireless as well as connecting throughthe USB converter devices like USB to HDMI. TRENDnet offers the broad range of HomeWireless routers and USB adapter which let customer connect to 867Mbps Client Adapters.Cloud Camera and NAS is another good edition for Home / SOHO customers to see theirfacilities while on a go as well remotely  connect to Media Servers. For SMB, TRENDnet has LanSwitches / POE / Fiber converter and modules / Access points etc. The 9 product families makeit a one of the big differentiator with respect to lot other competitors.
 
IWQ: Do you ensure proper technical training to your distributors and retailers on a regular basis!
Atul Jain: Definitely Yes, All the Sales of Distributors across 22 cities are fully trained on TRENDnetproducts , as well as we concluded the second round of training program through TRENDnetTechnical Director, Mr Sonny Su as well.

IWQ: How is the company positioned currently and what kind of market share do you anticipate in future!
Atul Jain: The market is pretty big and gives TRENDnet a good chance to penetrate with their widerProduct portfolio looking at the broadband penetration which is still in one figure in terms of percentage.

IWQ: When it comes to security and surveillance offerings, where do you see TRENDnet three years down the                  line 
Atul Jain: Security and surveillance market is ever growing and it is required for Consumers uptoenterprise / City surveillance level and TRENDnet recently as well released securitysurveillance products to address and many more in pipeline.

IWQ: What strategies do the company follows to overcome the challenge of competition
Atul Jain:  Healthy competition is always welcome and TRENDnet always looking for partners who wants to earn Good Profitability, Value Product Mix, Quality products for their Businesses and Customers.

 

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Anil Gupta, AVP – India Sales, eScan, talks exclusively to IT WEB QUEST, giving an insight about the newly released eScan version 14 SOHO editions, Company’s strategy,  prime focus of eScan,
growth drivers, challenges faced and with other vital information.

IT WEB QUEST
:  Can you please give an insight about newly released eScan version 14 SOHO editions with cloud security?

Anil Gupta:  With our latest eScan version with Cloud security, we aim to provide our customers with an enhanced secured computing environment.eScanversion 14 with Cloud Security includes many usability enhancements and improvements in order to deliver superlative protection against emerging threats targeting Windows-based systems. It is power packed with technologies such as eScan Security Network, Advanced Virus Control, MicroWorld Winsock Layer, Non- Intrusive Learning Patterns as well as Domain and IP Reputation Checker that help eScan ensures proactive protection even from next generation threats.The cloud-based eScan Security Network ensures protection from latest and unknown threats. It also includes a new Tile-based GUI that makes eScan extremely user-friendly and is even highly optimized to increase performance. The Secure Delete facility under Privacy Control helps users to permanently delete files and folders without the fear of having the files retrieved by the use of third-party applications, thus preventing misuse of personal information.

ITWQ: What kind of strategy have you planned to position this product successfully in the market?

AG:
We are in constant process of improvising our product range in accordance to the feedback we receive from our users across the globe in order to ensure that eScan matches the constantly changing security needs of IT users. The product launched recently is for the home user segment. We have ensured that it meets the security needs of our customers and provides them a safe computing environment.
Moreover, keeping our channel community in mind and according to the current market scenario, with the launch of the latest version, we have increased the profitability for our partners. We provide them training, pre-sales support, post-sales support along with sales leads. We also help them with trade shows, advertising, seminars, events, exclusive pre-release reviews, direct mailing, marketing collateral, online support, product documentation and demo kits.

ITWQ: What is the prime focus of eScan today? What are some of the top priorities for the Company?

AG:
As, mentioned earlier, our prime focus is to offer world-class products to our customers that provide a secured computing experience to our customers. Also, being a channel centric brand, our channel partners are our top priority. Hence, we also focus to ensure their profitability. Moreover, this year, we have aggressive marketing plans along with more focus on regional marketing.
We are on the verge of introducing new 97 SKUs. We have planned our strategies in order to aggressively penetrate into the market and have our market share increased by additional 15-20% from SOHO and SMB SKUs including our security solutions for Mac, Mobile and Tablet.

 ITWQ: What are the Growth Drivers?

AG:
The overall anti-virus market in India is witnessing constant growth and it will only continue. Today, Internet is increasingly becoming an integral part of lives, be it personal or professional; education, entertainment, and work. IT users continue to increase the time spent online using wide range of digital devices such as Smartphones, laptops, Tablets, to name a few that has led to a new conduit for cyber threats that are more sophisticated and targeted causing irreparable damage to digital devices, the information stored in them as well as the networks. The need to protect networks and all related digital devices in it from evolving cyber security threats has led to an increase in the demand of IT security software.

 ITWQ: What are the new challenges that you face in relation to the Indian market?

AG:
There are many new players from across the globe are now showing interest in the Indian market. With increasing number of brands available in the market, customers have multiple choices in terms of features and costing. Hence, to continue being the most preferred choice of customer is one of the biggest challenges. Moreover, cyber criminals regularly come up more intelligent techniques of attacks. To ensure that your product has the ability to satisfy the ever changing IT security needs of your customers is always a challenge.
Also, there are freeware available in the market that just provides the basic level of protection. But though they are so-called free, they become the first choice of IT users who are not completely aware of the current scenario of cyber security landscape. Piracy of security solutions is also a challenge.

 ITWQ: Are there any plans by the Company to get in to expansion mode by entering in to any tie up or partnership?

AG:
Yes, we are in talks with multiple leading national and regional level partners for our multiple SKUs as mentioned above.

ITWQ: Since this is a new product released, are you planning any kind of training for your channel partners so as to ensure enhanced profitability for them?

AG:
Yes, we have planned multiple channel training meets in each state along with introducing multiple SKUs in the JAS quarter to demonstrate and train our esteemed partners on the new eScan range of cloud-based products.

ITWQ: How is the company positioned currently and what is your strategic roadmap for the year ahead?

AG:
We are currently among the top 5 security brands. In the last 4-5 years our sole focus was on creating awareness amongst channel partners across the country. Having achieved approximately 95% awareness amongst the IT channel in India, we have now consciously decided to create mass awareness and our focus this year is entirely on creating end customer awareness through various marketing activities like road shows, ad campaigns, hoardings, branding, participation in leading end customer events, radio, etc.

ITWQ: Where do you see eScan 3 years down the line?

AG:
Three years down the line, we see eScan at the number one position in the Anti-Virus market in India.

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In an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Nitin Hiranandani, Director - Printing Systems, PPS, HP India shares about the recent solution offerings by the Company, trends and scope in print and Imaging segment, technological  advancements incorporated in products, adoption rate of Managed Print Service and with other vital details.

IT WEB QUEST: What all are the recent solution offerings by the Company in print and Imaging segment?

Nitin Hiranandani: The imaging and printing industry today is responding to the powerful trends of cloud and mobility. As the industry and market leader, Hewlett-Packard is committed to delivering innovation and meets our customers  evolving needs. Our strengths in technology and innovation are helping us sustain our market leadership with a host of new printing and imaging solutions like:
Cloud-enabled and Web connected printers
PrintApps that run directly on the printer – for example HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 5525 eAiO supports PrintApps. These apps can connect directly to the cloud and download and print content, without requiring any PC as an
intermediary.
Tools and solutions for small and medium businesses to manage print content efficiently and effectively. For example, HP Access Control allows SMBs to control who can use the color printing on a printer.
Solutions for enterprises to manage their print environments to drive major cost savings and help improve their document workflows.
Accelerating analog to digital conversion through our graphics solutions offerings.
HP’s new innovations allow people to seamlessly integrate printing into their digital lives no matter where they are. HP has developed and introduced the HP Deskjet Ink Advantage printer series, which presents an innovative solution  with high-capacity ink, allowing for high-quality and reliable printing at affordable prices.
Through its SMB Printing solutions and services like PMPS (Partner Managed Print Services), HP is helping SMB customers reduce printing costs, manage workflows and create additional value for their customers.
On the enterprise front, Print consolidation and Green initiatives are driving corporates to relook at their printer deployment and explore opportunities for savings, this is an area where HP is working with such organisations in providing  solutions for balanced deployment & print fleet management, manage their work flow, and help adopt eco-friendly methods to save printing costs.

ITWQ: What future trends and scope you foresee in this segment?

NH: As the global leader in Imaging and Printing solutions, HP is best positioned to deliver best-in-class user experience to our customers with our superior and products and services in the imaging and printing domain. We believe that the following will be some of the key driving forces and trends that will define our presence in the Indian imaging and printing market going forward:
Consumer  We will continue to deliver Cloud-led and Web-connected innovation that allow people to seamlessly integrate print into their digital lives no matter where they are. Also, we are catering to the students and home-users’ need to print a  considerable volume of study materials with our HP Ink Advantage printer series, which presents an innovative solution with high-capacity ink, allowing for high-quality and reliable printing at affordable prices. Small and Medium businesses  With the SMB market growing in India, we at HP is extending its managed print services (MPS) through channel partners and helping SMB customers reduce costs, improve their environmental impact and drive additional value to their  customers with products and tools that are easy to implement and use.
Another trend we are witnessing is a growing adoption of cloud, mobility and digitization among Indian SMBs as well as large enterprises, which have integrated MFPs in the office IT infrastructure and redefined their role as
information-enablers. HP has recently launched a whole new class of Flow MFPs and solutions that meet the business needs of information security, management and access in light of these trends. These Flow MFPs can help  enterprises streamline their workflows and boost productivity. With the new Flow MFPs, one does not need a PC to digitize and share information even on the cloud, as these devices are powerful solutions that can allow enterprises  to run complete workflows directly from the device and in doing so, save time and increase productivity Large businesses and enterprises
Print consolidation and Green initiatives are driving corporates to relook at their printer deployment and explore opportunities for savings, this is an area where HP is working with such organizations in providing solutions for balanced  deployment & print fleet management, manage their work flow, and help adopt eco-friendly methods to save printing costs. Additionally, we have introduced a range of printing solutions for large businesses that help them manage and  optimize their imaging and printing infrastructure.

ITWQ: What all technological advancements are incorporated in the new range of your print and imaging products to further intensify the users’ experience?

NH: HP is committed to continuous innovation that redefines the role of a printer at home or in a business. Some of the important technological advancements from HP are:
HP’s ePrint technology lets consumers and employees’ access printing services from their mobile devices, without installing any drivers or special software.
HP Wireless Direct is another new technology available in many new models that allows users to print directly to a supported HP printer from a Wi-Fi mobile device, without requiring any network connection. The printer has a Wi-Fi
module built in, which allows even guest users to print directly to it when they are in a close proximity of the printer.
A select range of HP Printers support HP Smart Install. With a built-in printer driver, there is no need for a CD to install the printer drivers on any Windows® PC. It takes less than 2 minutes to start printing from the moment the printer  is plugged into the USB port of a PC. The installation is easy and hassle free.
HP Smart Web Printing ensures that the user gets usable web pages without cut-off edges. It delivers the print user expects, with automatically adjusted web pages that fit the width of the paper. Hewlett-Packard has launched a  range of web-connected printers in India that are standalone devices, and allow users to print content directly from the web.
The FLOW MFPs offer innovative technologies like single-pass duplex scanning, HP EveryPage technology with ultrasonic double-feed detection, a pull-out keyboard for meta-data tagging and on-board Optical Character Recognition  (OCR) to digitize scanned information. With HP Capture & Route, customers can easily digitize documents for easy retrieval and activate an internal workflow across multiple departments.

ITWQ: Are you planning any Partner Program to further strengthen company’s print and imaging business and broaden delivery systems?

NH: HP considers its channel partners as its extended family and has industry-leading channel enablement programs and policies for its channel partners. HP is investing in programs, people, and resources to equip its partners and  help them drive profitable growth in a rapidly changing marketplace. Some of the key characteristics of HP’s channel-enablement programs are:
HP has a direct engagement model with tier-III channel partners.
New programs like Partner Managed Print Services are designed to help skilled partners move up the value chain and offer solutions and services on top of products to their customers, and grow their profitability.
From time to time, HP offers innovative promotions and initiatives to help its channel partners sell better, backed by strong marketing support.
HP continues to innovate and provide margin-rich opportunities for our partners. We are well-positioned to deliver solutions around cloud, security and information optimization, and we are the only vendor who can deliver complete solutions including hardware, software and services for SMB and Enterprise customers.
New levels of innovation from HP allow partners to adequately address evolving customer needs such as IT consumerization, growing need for mobility and utilization of cloud services.
HP has the scale, resources and solutions to enable our partners to succeed.  We are focused on strengthening relationships with our partners.
HP is increasing communications with channel partners by becoming more visible at channel events and engaging more proactively with our partners. Partners can also expect consistent messaging and assets they can use.
HP has devised a centralized worldwide learning experience for all regions encompassing SMB, Commercial & Retail Channels. Partners get to acquire end-to-end skills from product, solutions to services, which greater empowers  them.
HP is strengthening its primary touch points with the channel and ensuring that partners are looped into our go-to market strategy.

ITWQ: How is Managed Print Service adoption and awareness among the partners?

NH: According to the Photizo Group, India is the fastest-growing market for MPS in APAC with a CAGR of 20 percent from 2009 till 2014. Yet another interesting study by AMI Partners states that about 18 percent of the total printing business from SMBs in India comes from MPS; by 2015, almost 60 percent of the printing business will transform into MPS.
HP provides proactive end-to-end management of an enterprise’s imaging and printing environment. Its industry-leading network infrastructure and asset management capabilities enable remote and secure installation, configuration, maintenance, monitoring and management of an organization’s imaging and printing environment. Partners are being enables to provide customized print strategies designed exclusively for the respective customer. Apart from the  strength of the portfolio HP is also providing innovative print solutions to help manage the customer environment more efficiently and effectively.
    
ITWQ: How are you looking at SME segment? What are your SME strategies towards printers and imaging?

NH: We understand the growth needs of our customers and are committed to enhance their investments through various schemes and programs. For SMB and enterprise customers, our Imaging and Printing Solutions continue to offer efficiency and cost saving options to the customers. The workflow capable MFPs are a new category of devices responding to the workflow and cloud needs of our customers. Our constant endeavour is to develop printing  solutions that empower enterprises, SMBs, SOHOs, as well as home users to but the best products within the respective categories.
SME’s unique pain points are working with tight budgets, restricted cash flows and sustaining revenues in the face of growing competition and a tough environment. SMEs need to get the most out of office printing so that they can operate successfully and cost efficiently. We at HP have a deep rooted understanding of the needs of the SMB segment and have developed a 3-part strategic approach to enable their business goals:
Starting Simple – Help SMBs start with just the printing basics of keeping their business running with easy-to-use, quality and affordable imaging and printing products.
Working Smarter – SMBs save money and improve productivity with imaging and printing products and solutions.
Growing Faster – Help SMBs prepare for future growth and enable greater differentiation where HP can help simplify their business processes and improve their marketing communication.

ITWQ: What are the unique characteristics of your product range that should attract SME attention?

NH: HP is helping SME customers reduce costs, improve their environmental impact and drive additional value to their customers with products and tools that are easy to implement and use.Companies can save energy costs with HP  Auto-On/Auto-Off Technology, intelligence that can turn an HP printer on when it’s needed and off when it’s not. HP Smart Web Printing, a free, easy-to-use printing application, can reduce paper use by up to 45 percent when printing from the web.
HP Officejet Pro printers offer an inkjet option that delivers high-quality professional inks at 50% lower cost per page and energy than lasers.
Business print apps such as Google Docs and box.net help them manage content efficiently.
HP LaserJet Pro M1218nfs MFP is a 7-in-1 All-in-One printer with in-built wireless Internet hotspot. Besides print, copy, scan and fax capabilities, the printer also comes with the latest mobile printing technologies including HP
wireless direct, HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint™. The HP Hotspot LaserJet Pro M1218nfs MFP can help a SOHO start-up or a small business set up and run a fully-functional office. The key feature of the printer is the inbuilt wireless  hotspot that allows seamless, full Internet connectivity for up to eight users via any access device – including notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Focused on start-ups, small businesses and enterprise work teams, the printer has  Plug & Print functionality with HP Smart Install which automatically installs printer within minutes, without the need for CD installation. Users need to just plug and be productive.

ITWQ: What is your opinion on cutting edge technology like printing on the cloud?

NH: Cloud printing helps unlock the productivity and efficiency of an increasingly mobile workforce today. According to a recent report from IDC, the mobile worker population will pass one billion this year and reach 1.2 billion by 2013.  A wide range of technologies has evolved to help these mobile workers stay productive on the road—such as ultra-light notebooks and smartphones. Printing on-the-go, however, hasn’t kept pace—until now.
HP’s ePrint is a cloud-based printing service that brings on-the-go printing to mobile workers and helps them become more productive. HP’s ePrint technology lets consumers and employees’ access printing services from their mobile  devices, without installing any drivers or special software. Instead, the print job is processed through the cloud, which may consist of Internet or intranet resources and then printed on an ePrint enabled printer.


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Intro: Rajat Sahu, PMM Consumer, Trend Micro Inc. India & SAARC interacts exclusively with ITWQ to give elaborated details on security solution offerings by Trend Micro, verticals catered, trends in security market, Channel Strategy for 2013, initiatives for the year ahead and with other vital details.

ITWQ: What all are the security solution offerings by Trend Micro? To what extent does these solution offerings ensures a secured environment in an organization?


Rajat Sahu:
Our solutions make the increasing personal digital lifestyle easy and secure with prime focus on your devices, your privacy, your data and your family. They revolutionizes in ensuring maximum security, delivered with optimal performance all-in-one, easy-to-use protection for everything users and their online usage - email, socialize, bank, browse, shop, and more. It provides users with a friendly interface, simple screens, and clear reports. Our most advanced version of Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 6.0 encompasses revolutionary features viz. 5GB Online Storage, Mobile Device Protection for Tablets & Smartphones, Secure Document Vault, Password Management, and Parental Control facilitating in having a secured virtual environment.

ITWQ: Currently, which all verticals are you catering to?

Rajat Sahu
: Along with our consumer business, we have also been catering to enterprise and SMB segment.

ITWQ: What are the long- and near-term demands for security solutions?

Rajat Sahu
: The long term security solution demand still remains for PC and Laptops in India for next 4-5 years. With increasing penetration of internet and PC/Laptop growth. A robust security system with cloud technology helps the consumers to remain protected seamlessly with increasing threats from various malwares and stealth virus attacks. A cloud tech helps them get the updates or solutions very fast. In the near term Demand for security will emerge from the Tablets and Mobile (Mobile devices) security needs with increasing usage of online in the 3G and Wi-Fi environments.
With increasing usage of online activities by consumers, the need for a secured environment to protect individual identity (in the social media) is one of the main concerns – which will emerge as the key driver apart from the financial usage by individual users for shopping, banking etc.

ITWQ: What are the new initiatives planned for the year 2013?
Rajat Sahu
: We have recently launched our principal product Titanium Maximum Security 6.0 Version. We would be subsequently looking at launching the latest versions of Internet Security and Mobile Security with major up gradation. We will strengthen our channel ecosystem and simultaneously continue to announce various schemes and promotional offers to help channel partners to attain maximum profitability and sustainable business.

ITWQ: What kinds of trends are you witnessing in Security market in India?
Rajat Sahu
: The threat landscape is becoming more sophisticated and prolific and it is imperative that the consumers opt for robust and strong technologically superior product to protect them from the real world online threats. The “digital lifestyle” is increasingly linking the consumers’ lives to the Internet. Consumers are an attractive target and new technologies provide new venues for exploitation. Smart TV using iOS, Android or Windows will be at higher risk of attack because of OS vulnerabilities and TV manufacturer may not be as capable as a computer, tablet, or smartphone vendor to fix security holes as they are discovered.

ITWQ: What are major challenges that lie ahead in front of security market?
Rajat Sahu
: The security threat landscape is growing rapidly among the consumer segments. With the increased Social media usage (such as Facebook, Twitter etc) and various online financial transactions, major challenges are faced by the unsuspecting consumers. They sometimes lose their valuable personal information and hard earned wealth in seconds. The levels of awareness and security measures adopted by the people are very low. Also, Social networking sites have seen a surge in cyber crime. The threat landscape is becoming more sophisticated and prolific and it is imperative that the consumers opt for robust and strong technologically superior product to protect them from the real world online threats.

ITWQ: What is your current Channel Base? What is your Channel Strategy for 2013?
Rajat Sahu
: Trend Micro is focusing significantly on its channel ecosystem as they play a crucial role in making our products and solutions widely available. We have new channel initiatives which are designed to empower and make them profitable. On a regular basis, we will continue announcing various schemes and promotional activities to help partners earn higher rewards. We have today more than 5500 active channel partners across India.
We will be introducing Trend Channel Empowerment program to enable our channel partners to sell Titanium and Worry Free range of solutions more easily and profitably shortly.
We are also introducing our channel training program to train the sales and technical team of all our partners to be ready for the next generation Antivirus solutions based on Cloud Technology.
As soon most of the devices will have an integrated approach with introduction of Tablets, Windows 8, the channel engineers need to know and adapt quickly to the latest technological innovation and the global strengths of Trend Labs. This will provide one of the fastest solutions for all malware related breakouts for Tablets, Smartphones, and PC/Laptops.

ITWQ: What kind of awareness initiatives do you take in order to keep your channel partners updated to ensure their profitability?
Rajat Sahu
: At Trend Micro, the basic philosophy remains that, our channel partners are our extended family and we treat them as one of us.  Our channel ecosystem plays a crucial role in making our products and solutions widely available and we have new channel initiatives which are designed to empower and make them profitable. Our partners work with us to develop profitable, sustainable businesses; we reward them with training, certification, specialization, business planning and marketing tools, as well as very competitive margins. We take regular initiative to further promote and empower our channel partners and simultaneously offer the best of value added services to our existing and prospective resellers with one purchase.

ITWQ: What is your Go to market strategy for latest Titanium 6.0 version and also the strategy for consumer business?
Rajat Sahu
: As our go-to-market strategy is to establish Titanium as the leading antivirus solution for the consumers, our marketing strategies have been focused towards offering optimum solutions to both the channel and consumers for getting the right amount of traction. We believe that a well-mapped channel strategy is the best way to increase the market penetration. There are set guidelines and targets to be met. As mentioned above, we believe in mutual growth. Where our channel partners play a pivotal role in making us reach to the consumers and be our advocate to the consumer. Having said that, the most advanced Titanium 6.0 version brings with it the latest Digital Life protection in an integrated approach for consumers. Here we combine multi device protection for a single user or home users (with multiple devices such as Home PC, Tablets, and Smart Phones etc). Titanium is one of the first products globally to provide multiplatform/ multi device protection on a real time basis.
We understand the emerging consumer demand with the changing habits of access to online / internet through these various access devices will need a single solution to address / allay all fears of being online. They need to protect their privacy – be it online banking (credit card protection, Social Media privacy (protect personal Data), or store private data safely & access anytime anywhere (Safesync). These concerns are completely addressed by Titanium 6.0 and the channel partners now have a wide emerging consumer base to broaden their reach and increase profitability and business in alliance with Trend Micro.
We are focusing on educating and empowering our partners towards the above as one of our key GTM plans through continuous training and engagement programs. Apart from creating the various awareness programs for end users through college, on ground – we have Nukkad activities & media advertisement and promotions in place.

ITWQ: Can you please brief about the new initiatives planned for the year 2013?
Rajat Sahu
: We have recently launched Titanium Maximum v6.0 and will soon be launching latest versions of Internet security and mobile security. We also have plans to strengthen our channel ecosystem by adding more partners and empower them will with our latest offerings. 

 

 

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Nevales Networks Private Limited, a privately held company headquartered in Mumbai, India offers Small and Medium Business's a secure environment to conduct their business on a 'Pay As You Use' model. This secure platform is delivered over the Internet with free support and is free from licensing, scalability and maintenance hassles, thereby providing the best value for money and allowing SMBs to focus on their core businesses. We at The Security Age interacts with Mr Ravishankar. CEO and Co-Founder, Nevales Networks, who gives an insight about the latest security offerings by Nevales Networks, features of Nevales UTM, trends in the Security Market, SMBs offerings by the Company, Strategic Plans and other vital details.

The Security Age: Can you give an insight about the latest security offerings by Nevales Networks?
Mr Ravishankar.:  Nevales launched a sleek new Security Gateway device -Nevales SG, in October which is unlike any other device in the market today and is the size of a smartphone. The Nevales SG comes with built-in support for wired line and wireless technologies including 2/3/4G and Wi-Fi. With its futuristic form factor and smart design, the device can be easily wall mounted. The fan-less device specially designed for Indian weather condition, can withstand a temperature of up to 50 degrees. The security gateway is powered by Intel using the Intel Atom Processor E600 Series that enables Nevales SG with faster computing, less heat and better energy efficiency.
Nevales manages security, connectivity and enables cloud applications to businesses with 1 to 400employees. Nevales Networks offers emerging businesses a secure environment to conduct their business on a ‘Pay As You Use’ model. This secure platform is delivered over the internet and is free from licensing, scalability and maintenance hassles, providing the best value for money and allowing emerging businesses to focus on their core businesses.
Nevales SG has a robust and scalable hardware and operating system. It provides the network with zero-day protection from internal and external attacks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and other compromises, immediately upon deployment. It offers continuous proactive security updates and upgrades, and sophisticated applications can be used without worrying about their deployment, maintenance and management. It maximizes return and delivers bottom line value and, improves business operations performance.

TSA: What all are the features of Nevales UTM?
Mr Ravishankar. The Nevales SG (Security Gateway) integrates several crucial security features such as Firewall, VPN, Intrusion Detection, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Surf Detection, Spyware Guarding, Access Management, Bandwidth Management, Traffic Monitoring and Efficient Reporting in a single management platform and is available on a subscription model.
The device provides real-time dynamic protection, reduces cost and complexities with its single security solution. Seamless internet connectivity, misuse of applications, e-mail threats and malicious web access are all the security concerns of emerging businesses, which can be addressed through the Nevales Security Gateway.

TSA: What kind of trends do you foresee in the security market?
Mr Ravishankar. The year 2013 is expected to be about expansion of cloud computing and the struggle by the enterprise to achieve appropriate security for it.
A.   Amplified adoption of cloud-based computing is expected to impact the way security is consumed. Also how key government agencies will prioritize security of public cloud infrastructure.
B.  A high level of merger and acquisition activity related to cloud-security start-ups and established players is predicted to be seen throughout 2013.
C.  The overall scenario will lead to more managed security services providers through cloud delivery.
D. More on the way is expected, such as data-loss prevention, encryption, and authentication as technologies are aimed to support cloud computing mature.
E. Virtualization of networks will be a continuing transformation

TSA:  What all your offerings when it comes to SMBs?
Mr Ravishankar. Nevales manages security, connectivity and enables cloud applications to businesses with 1 to 400 employees. Our security offerings specifically cater to the security concerns of emerging businesses. We offer integrated security solutions with several crucial security features such as Firewall, VPN, Intrusion Detection, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Surf Detection, Spyware Guarding, Access Management, Bandwidth Management, Traffic Monitoring and Efficient Reporting in a single management platform and on a subscription model. This secure platform is delivered over the internet and is free from licensing, scalability and maintenance hassles, providing the best value for money and allowing emerging businesses to focus on their core businesses.

TSA: Nevales platform is a combination of an “On premise Security Gateway Device” and “Cloud Services”. Can you please elaborate on this?
Mr Ravishankar. We have an innovative device (Nevales SG) which bridges from PPPOE to 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi and connects to the cloud and all the security is managed from the cloud.

TSA: Which all verticals are you serving at present?
Mr Ravishankar. Nevales is serving customers across various verticals like education, financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, automobile dealerships, hospitality, engineering, IT/IT enabled services to name a few.

TSA: Are there any plans to get in to partnership or any tie-ups to further intensify your security offerings?
Mr Ravishankar. Considering our long term goals, recently we have joined hands with Trend Micro, a leading security company. Furthermore, we are looking for strong and sustainable strategic partnerships for strengthening our market presence.

TSA: What kind of technical support do you offer once your solutions have been deployed?
Mr Ravishankar. Once the Nevales solution has been deployed, Nevales offers telephone and online support -8 AM­5 PM and also On Field Direct Support, which is free on request.

TSA: What are your immediate plans for utilizing the potential of the security market?
Mr Ravishankar. The security market looks big and we are equipped with all the latest armaments to make security an enabler for the businesses and open up the wide horizon for cloud applications. Going ahead, Nevales has also launched a sleek new Security Gateway device -Nevales SG, in October which is unlike any other device in the market today and is the size of a smartphone. The Nevales platform is a combination of an “On premise Security Gateway Device” and “Cloud Services” platform which secures business and enables cloud applications.  Considering the market trends and our offerings, we have high expectations from 2013. We foresee an opportunity of at least 1 million customers in the next 5 years.

 TSA: What is your current market share and how much do you anticipate it to be 3 years down the line?
Mr Ravishankar.: There is no credible source for exact market share. Considering the market trends and our offerings, we have high expectations from coming years. We foresee an opportunity of at least 1 million customers in the next 5 years.

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Subhasish Gupta, Country Manager - India & SAARC interacts with IT WEB QUEST providing details about recent security and surveillance offerings by Allied Telesis, verticals catered by the Company, LAN security offerings, strategic plans to tap the surveillance market and with other vital details.

IT WEB QUEST: What all are the recent security and surveillance offerings by Allied Telesis?
Subhasish Gupta:
We have state of the art products and solutions, specially designed for security surveillance networks. The requirements in surveillance networks most often is optimum handling of video traffic with least of jitters and time delays. Allied Telesis products are designed to handle video traffic much better than our competitors. Also, we have unique product offerings like unmanaged switch with POE option, Media convertors that offer apart from media conversion, POE options, well suited for perimeter security kind of applications.

ITWQ: What all verticals are you catering to with your security solutions?
SG:
We are a networking vendor. We have products and solutions to cater to small 10-20 IP camera networks and scale up to network solutions for large campuses & city surveillance networks. 

ITWQ: What all are your offerings for LAN Security?
SG:
In our enterprise grade solutions we offer interesting security feature sets that enable them to save on external security devices. These feature sets are certified by Microsoft and Symantec. These help enterprise customers in overall reduction in investments and much better ROI’s. Also from a manageability perspective, it becomes much simpler.

ITWQ: How essential are security and surveillance from commercial standpoint?
SG:
Security and surveillance have become very important subject matters in the past couple of years. Safety and security of premises, people and property cannot be compromised upon and hence this has become an important investment.

ITWQ: What kind of trends are you witnessing in the surveillance market?
SG:
There is high focus on enabling enterprises, PSU’s and cities with strong and secure surveillance networks. The govt, especially Ministry of Home has taken lot of initiatives in this respect in the past two years. As a result, today we see multiple cities-including tier II and III building city wide surveillance networks.

ITWQ: What are your strategic plans for tapping the potential of this ever expanding surveillance market?
SG:
We are well entrenched in this space for the past half a decade. We have Asia’s largest city surveillance network running on Allied Telesis network, which is Bangkok city, having currently close to 22000 IP cameras deployed. In India, we have recently picked up a large chunk of the network in the national capitals city surveillance project. Also, we have hundreds of surveillance network deployment across the country in different vertical spaces. As a strategy, we believe, we have worked and built a very strong eco-system to tap the surveillance market, with global complimenting brands as part of this eco-system.

ITWQ: Out of your extensive security and surveillance portfolio, which products are contributing maximum to Allied Telesis’s growth?
SG:
Managed POE Switching solutions.

ITWQ: When it comes to security and surveillance offerings, where do you see Allied Telesis five years down the line?
SG:
I believe we are amongst the top networking brands in the security surveillance space. We intend to add lot more in the next 5 years time to our revenues and have many more customers using Allied Telesis solutions to power their entire IP based security /surveillance networks. 

 

 

 

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Verbatim Hitting the nail on its head in Storage Space

Ramesh Tuli, Country Manager, Verbatim India in an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, shares about the the current scenario and the future of Storage market, recent trends, initiatives taken for upcountry market, channel strategies and with other vital details.

IT WEB QUEST: Please give an insight about the current scenario and the future of Storage market in India and also the recent trends that you are witnessing in the storage space?

Ramesh Tuli: Digital storage technology is in a transition phase. Many changes are taking place simultaneously. In consumer portable storage category, there is transition taking place from optical media to flash memory products.

On the other side the hard drives market, which looks quite stable, is also being challenged by the growing demand for SSD. The price gap between SSD and HDD is bridging rapidly which is working as catalyst in this transition. Cloud storage is another developing area which can affect the entire portable storage business.

ITWQ: What all are the latest Storage offerings by your Company?

Ramesh Tuli: In optical media we have launched Blu Ray Double layer and soon we will launching triple layer. In USB we have introduced USB 3 versions. This super speed USB drives offers up to 2 times faster transfer rate than earlier generation USB 2.0 ports.

In external hard drive we have fully migrated to USB 3 and SSD SATA II and SATA III have been introduced.

ITWQ: Which all verticals your Company plans to target with your offerings?

Ramesh Tuli: We have currently 3 verticals – Optical Media, Flash Products and External Hard drives & SSD. In Optical media we have complete range of CDs, DVDs, Blu Ray Disc and in specialized segment we have gold media, inkjet, thermal printable and light scribe.

In USB we have more than 6 different models from normal USB to USB with special SIP technology and USB super speed 3 versions. In Memory cards we have entire range of class 4 to class10 products in SD and Micro SD versions.

In external hard drives we have complete range of 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch with special Apple series in Freecom brand and networking products like NAS, RAID and Quattro drives.

ITWQ: What new/emerging technologies do you expect to see in Storage in years to come?

Ramesh Tuli: In optical media, Blu ray triple layer, hybrid drives SSD and drive combos will be the new emerging technologies. The cloud storage is another category which will develop soon as an emerging storage vertical.

ITWQ: How many channel partners do you have? What kind of strategy are you following for the channel fraternity?

Ramesh Tuli: Verbatim has their own warehousing and distribution network in India. We are currently present in all the four regions of India and covering all major metros and mini metros .Our business is supported by 50 plus distributors and network of approximately 1800 plus dealers. In terms of strategy as you know the storage products channel is fragmented hence it is very challenging to find common distributors for the entire product range. Since new categories are introduced we will try to find the specialist channel partners for the different verticals

ITWQ: How often do you introduce periodical sales incentives and marketing programs to drive the channel community?

Ramesh Tuli: We keep introducing different engagement programs and promotional schemes for the distributors and dealers following are the few examples:

(a). Regular Dealer Meet – To make the partners aware of change in price and products internationally and effects to Indian market. Also to understand the suggestions on products & grievances if any, to make the targets achievement at the end of year.

(b). In shop Branding: - We have increased our budgets for store level branding that includes store Signages, Instore Branding etc. to further enhance the Brand Visibility.

(c). Awards & Recognition : - We have decided to give the Awards to TOP partners who will contribute more in our business

ITWQ: What initiatives are you taking for tapping the upcountry market?

Ramesh Tuli: This is the area we are going to focus very aggressively to speed up expansion program in upcountry markets. However many upcountry markets are still being covered through our existing network.

ITWQ: What all are the factors that are driving the growth of your Company?

Ramesh Tuli: Good Design, High quality products, vast product range and good warranty policy has made us established in the market. In addition to this, the strength of our existing distributors and dealers has made us successful in selling the products in the market.

ITWQ: Are you planning any tie-ups with any Company to further boost the sales of your products?

Ramesh Tuli: To boost up our sales in the upcountry market, various options are available, one of the options is to tie up with distribution company. Since we have different verticals it is difficult for single distributor to justify the business in all the verticals because of the different channels.

ITWQ: Please brief about your service and Warranty policy.

Ramesh Tuli: In optical business, we offer life time warranty for the product. If a consumer buys a Verbatim disc and it is found defective at any time after purchase, it will be replaced however it should not be physically damaged.

For Flash products we offer usually 3 years of warranty. We have 3 tier warranty policy for Verbatim flash products. It can be replaced from our service centers on pan India basis.

As of now we have more than 50 service centers covering the territories, from where we are selling our products. Secondly we implement the warranty services through our distributor’s and dealer’s location and thirdly we service the products directly through our office where we have dedicated service desk.

Storage Market- All set to Achieve New HeightsStorage Market- All set to Achieve New Heights

Intro: In an exclusive and extensive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Feroz Rehman, Country Head, Thecus throws light on current market scenario for the Storage Market, Company’s recent storage offerings, trends in the storage market, future of storage market and other vital details.

IT WEB QUEST: What is the current market scenario for the Storage Market? Is the market in a constant booming stage or is it going through stability period?
Feroz Rehman:
Storage market in India is growing & the Indian NAS market is growing at 12-14 percent annually. There are a number of players in market of network attached storage devices (NAS) available these days & becoming popular because users not only want a centralized way to store multimedia and other data, but they also want easy ways to share, stream and remotely access that content. NAS manufacturers see huge opportunities in the storage market, the reason being the rising awareness about data security among SMB customers. The key verticals driving the Indian NAS market would be: Engineering design, high performance computing, offshore development, web services, digital animation. Moreover, the opportunities in NAS market in India would be particularly in the SMB and SOHO space. Every business, big-or small, is continually expanding which needs NAS solutions for huge data backup and storage.

IWQ: What all are your recent storage offerings in this competitive market?
FR: Thecus developed a complete NAS product line in the past years, and recently we have developed cost effective enterprise products called V series to satisfy different demands. Moreover, in the future, we will not only focus in the certain category of end-users, we will be focusing on the full range of category, where demands exist.

Few Advantages:-
• Fail-safe dual OS protection.
• Diskless access & management.
• LCD panel for ease of installation.
• Ease of maintenance.
• USB ports for UPS, backup and printer sharing
• eSATA for high-speed backup & storage expansion

New Technologies emerging in India Market.

Introducing the W Series from Thecus

(Windows Storage Server just become affordable).

Thecus Expands Enterprise NAS Series with High-value 12&16-bay Rackmount Server
(Fight the economic crisis, one NAS at a time).

Thecus Expands Enterprise NAS Series with High-value 12&16-bay Rackmount Server
Fight the economic crisis, one NAS at a time.

Thecus Announces the 2nd Generation Intel Core i3-Based N8900
A powerful 8-bay rackmount NAS designed for professionals.

Thecus announces the AFD42000 Deluxe Coffee Edition
Increase security and effectiveness with RAID 60 espresso.

The Powerful New N8200XXX Enterprise NAS
A rack mount server for a world built on NAS

The Thecus 1U4200XXX Rack Mount
Powerful hardware and advanced firmware for a new NAS experience.

The Thecus N3200XXX Power Home Media NAS
With professional speed and ideal home size, this little NAS comes to market

The Thecus N5200XXX Expands your Horizons
Whether business or personal, give you room to grow.

Thecus Releases the High-Performance N2200XXX Personal NAS
The Thecus XXX series reveals its EXTREME nature.

IWQ: Where are your company’s current focal points in storage offerings?

FR: Network attached storage (NAS) is playing a major role in market these days, not only for the SMB (Small to Medium Business) market, but also for the home users. As more and more people have started using computers at homes, the need for shared storage is becoming a lot more prevalent than in the past. Also, with drive sizes approaching a terabyte, backing up and storing important files requires more than the typical single drive enclosures.
The volume of data stored by businesses continues to soar every year. So there is a need to provide ever greater levels of availability and disaster protection for applications and the data they access.

IWQ: What kinds of trends are you witnessing in the Storage Market?
FR: Demand for storage capacity continues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 43% from 2008-2013. Virtualization, Web 2.0 and ERP/CRM adoption are the key trends in the storage market. Productivity software like MS Exchange, Oracle, SQL will further increase demand for storage. Growing demand for Surveillance data is another big demand creator for storage.

IWQ: What are the advancements incorporated in your products which distinguishes you from your competitors?
FR: Thecus developed a complete NAS product line in the past years, and recently we have developed cost effective enterprise products called V series to satisfy different demands. Moreover, in the future, we will not only focus in the certain category of end-users, we will be focusing on the full range of category, where demands exist. Personal Cloud will fuel the demand for NAS products wherein the consumer would like to have access to terabytes of data from mobile platforms like iOS / Android.

IWQ: How does your company look at the Storage segment in India?
FR: THECUS is working upon adding more technical specifications to the latest range of hard drives that can compete easily with other major Brands in the market. We will be coming up with new products especially in wireless and NAS segments Including NVR Solution & tablets and new accessories to get more penetration in Market. Henceforth, more and more additions with new innovative technologies will soon be seen coming under the THECUS portfolio.

IWQ: What kind of solutions in the storage space will further augment the demand growth?
FR: The opportunities in NAS market in India would be particularly in the SMB and SOHO space. Every business, big-or small, is continually expanding which needs NAS solutions for huge data backup and storage.

IWQ: Channel Partners are very pivotal for any business. Are you planning to further strengthen the channel base? How often do you conduct training programs for your partners to keep them updated?
FR: Thecus Technology Corp. is looking to appoint new distributors in India to improve its presence and increase its market share. In addition, the company has aligned itself with Intel to promote its brand and awareness among the partner community.

M. B. Solution, who is our Sole distributor, is playing a vital role & doing very aggressively in terms of business whether in Channels/Corporates/Govt., providing hands -on training/DEMOs to our clients & giving services in different locations & maintaining a level of satisfaction with clients. They are also coming up with new offices in Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata. We are working towards improving our brand presence in India.


THECUS offers a wide range of products and solutions for the SMBs and large enterprise & the products are used in malls, colleges, hospitals, government institutes & retail stores. Thecus renewed efforts in India are in line with its plan to build a more aggressive brand by 2013, this will attract them for doing more business.

IWQ: Could you elaborate on the turning points of the company?
FR: Thecus products are renowned worldwide in more than 30 countries.The need for storage space is ever-increasing, as people want to store everything from data, music, movies, to their personal information like credit card, housing loan, bank statements safely.  The storage market opportunity, especially in the SMB and SOHO space, is doing tremendously well. Every business, whether its big-or small, is continually expanding which in turn is calling for huge data backup and storage. In fact, the storage infrastructure seems to be getting inadequate every 6-12 months for all segments of the market. SOHO buyers have been the largest purchasers of higher capacity drives (because of lower cost per GB) and this market will continue to grow as a result of the digital explosion. India will be one of the fastest growing mid-tier information storage and management markets.  Increasing tele-density and growing reach of broadband is further driving the information growth that creates a huge demand for storage. People are downloading movies, music and other multimedia content which further generates this demand for personal storage. Thecus sees a huge potential for this market through its innovative products that will satisfy the demand for secure and reliable storage solutions.

IWQ: What will be the future of the Storage segment?
FR: In the recent years, high intelligence cell phones are well needed, so does the demand of high resolutions of picture or movies, and the quality of MP3s. Due to the demand of digital media usage from the end-users, NAS is being noted, and somehow the ability is getting improved to satisfy the demand of change of technologies. Therefore, we believe that NAS would has a great potential to become a small home sever in the future.

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Intro: In an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, George Jason, Vice President, ComGuard shares Company’s expansion plans, initiatives taken by the company for partner community, challenges faced by the Company and with other vital information.

IT WEB QUEST:
Which all Vendors falls under your umbrella? Is the company planning to get in to expansion mode by entering in to any tie up or partnership?

George Jason:
Comguard Networks in India has certainly emerged as a niche network and security technology distributor. With a product portfolio that is studded with world class vendors like gateProtect, Acunetix, Array Networks, BlueCatNetworks, Bey​ond Trust, Brovis, EC Council, Infowatch, iolo, and Seclore, Comguard has supported project requirements of leading enterprises in the Indian region and so naturally we are on the expansion mode, like recently we have been appointed as value-added Master distributor by gateProtect, a leading provider of IT security solutions in the area of network protection. As part of this partnership, Comguard Networks, in India will distribute gateProtect’s IT network security products across India. This will enable Comguard to expand its existing IT security product portfolio and we are continuously evaluating other products that fit our portfolio of offering and from a solutions angle we will keep adding more vendors on a regular basis.

ITWQ:
What kind of support do you expect from the respective vendors so as to ensure the brand success?

GJ: We believe in achieving our set common goals by working in synergy with our vendors, for any brand or partnership to succeed it’s important that support should be provided at all stages right from enabling our sales and technical team till helping our post sale team implement solutions on their own.  The hand holding in the initial phase is very important as we would do the same with our set of channel partners.

ITWQ:
Please brief about the kind of initiatives you are taking for the channel community.

GJ: As a Value Added Distributor, Comguard has created a niche for itself in the product distribution space, through its strong channel support, in-house technical support,  inherent strength in infrastructure and customer service skills are always shared with our channels apart from this at Comguard we also conduct “Empowerment sessions” specifically for our channels which focuses on sales training, product training, marketing training where we take initiatives to invite speakers specially for this purpose. Apart from this we also have a strong marketing team that generates a lot of customer enquiries to be passed on to our channel partners.

ITWQ:
What challenges are you facing in relation to the market? What measures are you adopting to overcome such challenges?

GJ:
We have often realized that our channel partners are sometimes reluctant to adopt newer technologies, so it’s our endeavour to constantly make them aware and encourage them for the same.

ITWQ:
Please share your plans for the upcountry market.

GJ:
we have got a good substantial strength with respect to distribution channels across India but we definitely look forward to increase it to newer markets & new alliances. Increase our brand awareness & presence in these upcountry markets.

ITWQ:
What kind of market share are you anticipating?

GJ:
We have started on a good note with respect to market share but we definitely are looking at being the primary choice of VAD (Value Added Distributor) to the channel market, as we are confident about the kind of team & skills we have to offer to the market, we are expecting that it will only grow with the time.

ITWQ:
Please throw some light on the distribution network. Are you planning to further intensify your distribution network?

GJ:
we currently have a  strong (150) channel partners spread across India and are divided according to eastern, western, north & south region, which are combination of SI (System integrators), Re-Sellers & Education distributors etc.

ITWQ:
Do you introduce any kind of training programs for the channels so as to ensure their profitability?

GJ:
we organize exclusive training programs for the channels on regular bases recently we conducted a successful webinar session for our channel which saw a huge turnout.  It is our effort to empower our channel with latest trends in sales & marketing to keep them abreast on new emerging opportunities in the market, we have always made sure that through conducting various training sessions for our channel they can be empowered to realize their full potential & we are totally committed for development of our channel.

ITWQ:
What are your plans for this fiscal year?

GJ:
Our plans are as follows: a) New tie-ups with partners b) Gaining more insight into the markets in India c) increasing brand awareness about Comguard Networks d) bringing/introducing world’s leading products in India e) further improving distribution channels. We are looking at the growth that is more holistic rather than focusing on a particular area, looking forward to leverage on our in-house talents, our employees who we feel are our main asset. We truly believe that this is the right time to have a strong presence & to grow in APAC region by offering best solutions & trainings.

 

 

Intro:  Deepak Shetty, Senior Vice President-Domestic Sales and Marketing, Moser Baer India Ltd. in an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST shares about the idea behind the introduction of ‘Expressions’, upcoming products, new plans by the company, verticals targeted, green initiatives by the Company and with many other vital information.


ITWQ: Please let us know the idea behind introducing ‘Expressions’-India’s first range of fragrant discs.

Deepak Shetty:  As on today we normally use greeting cards or e-greetings to wish our near and dear ones. There have been times when we would like to do this over an audio-video mode and would use maybe a Skype or a video phone. We came up with the idea to offer a perfumed disc in a greeting card format, thus adding expression to the message. One can write on the card and record an audio/video message as well on the disc and share it with his loved ones.

ITWQ: What kind of products are you planning to introduce in IT Peripherals & Consumer Electronics division?

DS: Our strength is Storage and Security Storage and we would be introducing products under this umbrella.

ITWQ: You are now planning to foray in to Security Space as well. Can you please provide some details about this new plan by the Company?

DS: Digital Signature is becoming the way of life. The day is not far when individuals will be required to sign all documents digitally whether it is income tax filing, e-tendering or buying and selling of properties. Security concerns of misuse will loom large and there will be a slew of products which will hit the market, offering security for such digital documents. Looking at this booming need, Moser Baer has ventured into this segment. Our first offering is ‘Moser Baer E Token’ which is USB based hard token for such applications. We have tied up with G & D as our technology partner for this offering.

ITWQ: Which all verticals are being targeted by you currently when it comes to storage?

DS: We serve various storage verticals

-Optical Media through CDR, DVDR and Blu-Ray discs

-Flash media through Pen Drives and Micro SD/ SD cards

- Security Tokens through USB drives

ITWQ: How many channel partners do you have? What are your immediate plans for the channel fraternity?

DS: We have approx. 100,000 outlets promoting and selling Moser range of products; be it Optical media, Flash drives or Micro SD cards etc. We continue to engage with them and grow our business with profitability for all involved. We are currently in the process of appointing distribution partners for Security Tokens

ITWQ: Are you facing any kind of problem when it comes to Indian Market?

DS: We see no major challenges as we have been around for over 10 years and share a very healthy relationship with the market.

ITWQ: What is your current Market share and what kind of market share are you anticipating?

DS: Optical Media: We are a market leader and have approx. 55% market share in Optical media. We have recently introduced high archival life Platinum range of DVDR especially for the Photo channelwhich has been very well received. We also introduced perfumed DVDR during Valentines’ called Moser Baer Expressions range which can be used as an alternate for a regular greeting card providing customer with the option to record their audio video bringing life to their greetings. Such value added products go towards opening newer market segments adding to growth.

Memory Products: We have close to 14% market share and we are growing rapidly. By next year end, we may touch 25% market share. The market is growing at 20% y-o-y basis. We are the only company with manufacturing for Memory products in India and hence can offer the fastest lead time to market. Also with our strength with content ownership, we have been able to offer differentiated offerings creating a niche for ourselves.

ITWQ: Green IT is certainly the need of the hour these days. What initiatives is the Company taking in this respect?

DS: We are responsible CSR oriented company. Very recently, we have launched an initiative called STEP to collect old CDR and DVDR through a school project which can then be recycled. The manufacturing team is working on reducing carbon footprint through various engineering projects.

In an interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Ajay Kogta, Country Manager, Indian subcontinent, Strontium shares about recently launched products and strategy for the year ahead.

IT WEB QUEST: Please brief about the recently launched Solid State DRIVE?
Ajay Kogta: Strontium Technology has launched the world’s fastest Solid State Drives as their new Matrix series in 120GB capacity .Based on industry-leading 25nm NAND flash memory, the Strontium SSD Matrix Series delivers more performance and reliability features. It is targeted for corporate IT or PC enthusiasts who would like to have a substantial performance boost over conventional mechanical hard disk drives.

IWQ: How is the overall market for SSD poised currently?
AK: The product which will make inroad in Storage Market is Solid State Drive (SSD). SSD is more reliable and faster in speed thus it makes great rival to HDD some characteristics of SSD like Booting speed, Data transfer performance, reliability of SSD continues to increase at an amazing rate even exceeding some of the optimistic predictions of a few years ago.
Price barrier in SSD is major hindrance in the growth of this market, a price range of $70-80 for 128 GB will drive growth of this market.

IWQ: What all verticals are you stressing more upon?
AK: Our focus will be more on flash products as market is growing exponentially. More and more applications are friendly with flash chips.  We are expecting a sharp growth in the SSD market in 2012. In DRAM, market is moving from downgrade quality products to Major Brand Quality products, and partners prefer Strontium modules which have least failure rate and have prompt warranty support.

IWQ:
What are your marketing strategies for the year ahead?
AK: Our approach in 2012 will be to continuously increase awareness of Strontium products, Quality, After Sales Support amongst Tier 1, Tier 2 Resellers, Retail Partners, and System Integrators in the form of Trainings, Seminars, Road Shows and various benefits programs. Right now we also have a weekly newsletter for our channel partners to keep them updated with latest market situation and that helps them to manage inventory optimally and profitably. On the channels side we are going to keep working with our distribution partners to make the product available throughout the length and breadth of the country. Apart from that we have planned an advertising campaign in various trade media across India to highlight to our partners understand the value we bring to them.

IWQ:
Are you planning to come up with any scheme or offers to boost the sales of your products?
AK: Greater awareness is required, to create brand recall in customer mind for Strontium products so that Customer treat us as a Premium Brand in comparison of competitors, We will also engage 2ndtier partners by offering them rewarding channel schemes, We will also target niche customer in all segments.

IWQ: Are there any plans to foray in to Terabyte category in coming times?
AK: New Product launch we will update on continuous basis. Our product/Research & Development team is constantly working on it.

IWQ:  What kind of strategy are you embarking upon when it comes to retail expansion?
AK: Online/tech savvy/youth) Facebook/social media and other technical forums by engaging end-customer with FB Schemes and Online offers, taking part in various colleges annual fests

• Tier 2 Partners with Channel schemes engaging/meeting in various meets
• End customers with brand visibility by all medium (online/print etc)
• B2B through cross branding/offer

IWQ: What will be your roadmap for the coming year?
AK: We will continue to add more sales resources to reach closer to the market. Next year more focus will be on consumer market with our product offering in flash products.

Intro: In an interaction with Jalaj Roy Choudhury of IT WEB QUEST, Sanjay Yadav, Director, Sales & Distribution, Consumer and SMB, Dell India shares big focus of Dell today, consumer behavior pattern witnessed in the PC business segment, Company’s pricing strategy and upcoming innovations by the Company.

IT WEB QUEST: What is the big focus of Dell today? What are some of the top priorities for Dell in India?

Sanjay Yadav: Today, the industry is at a critical inflection point, and we’re seeing a re-defining of what customers expect from technology. At Dell we are focused on innovation & building great customer experiences, targeting specific customer segments and delivering unique Dell solutions that exceed expectations. The most important thing is to stay close to your customers and never stop listening and adapting based on what you hear. One of the things we’ve done at Dell is to form distinct customer business units to get us closer to our customers and their unique needs. By listening to our customers, we have realized the importance of delivering products that offer customers the best value without compromising on style and performance. Our product portfolio is evolving to address changing consumer preferences towards thin and powerful laptops. We have a single purpose in mind – to enable our customers to grow and thrive in everything they do. We are also seeing a huge convergence of user devices which enable consumers to easily connect anytime, anywhere. Consumers are constantly on the look-out for devices which help meet their digital needs, combining entertainment with functionality. We are creating more compelling consumer experiences by delivering the broadest array of products for everyone, from students to Gen Y and families with kids.

IWQ: What kind of consumer behavior pattern are you witnessing in the PC business segment in India?

SY: Indian consumers today are abreast of global trends and are as tech-savvy as consumers anywhere in the world. India is a country that leads technology trends, and people are looking to change or upgrade their laptops to match the latest in style as well as performance. That’s why Dell’s product portfolio is evolving to address changing consumer preferences: in the laptop market, colours and designs play a significant role in purchase decisions, apart from performance. By listening to our customers, we have realized the importance of delivering an extensive choice of products for the best value. We have a single purpose in mind – to enable our customers to grow and thrive in everything they do. For instance, our new XPS laptops come with all the must-have features -- from next-generation Intel Core I processors for superior performance to full HD screens that are up to 50% brighter than standard displays – all in a stunning form factor, while gamers can enjoy true 3D games on our Alienware systems. We have a laptop for every personality with the new Inspiron R series that come with changeable lids featuring Intel’s 2nd generation Core i3 and i5 CPUs for high definition enjoyment and creation. This collection of Inspiron includes 10 new eye-popping lids, sporting vibrant colors and unique India inspired designs. Furthermore, the Indian consumer wants nothing but the best user experience and their exposure to high-end consumer technology products is increasing the demand for intuitive user interfaces, such as the Dell Stage. In short, the Indian consumer no longer accepts a compromise between design and performance. Features are a must-have, but in a beautiful design and stunning form factors. They also look at the value of the technology being offered for the price paid and not always prefers the cheapest products. Many of them choose branded products over others, for the assurance of service and reputation, even when they are priced a little higher.

IWQ: What kind of strategies have you adopted so as to enable the partners to keep their focus intact on the PC business?

SY: From a partner perspective, Dell offers numerous tools and resources, from business development to sales and marketing support, to help VARs raise profits from the opportunity mentioned above, while providing the flexibility and expertise their customers deserve. We’ve proven that Dell can be a stable business partner for the Channel and we intend to continue to grow that business; as we do, we’ll continue to deliver on what we promise to partners.

IWQ: Are there any new channel partner programs expected to push the sales of products and services?

SY: Efforts taken by Dell for strengthening the channel business have been constant and consistent. Very early in the year Dell announced a new GCC structure, to provide commercial channel partners with a single point of contact, to lead to higher productivity and improved time cycles and enable more customized programs to support the partners in the market. The new structure protected partner profitability by bringing consistent pricing across different Dell commercial businesses and offer the partners increased growth opportunities with solution centric offerings and a broader end customer base. And in September 2011, Dell has further restructured its Global Commercial Channel team to increase Dell’s penetration and footprint in the market especially in the Tier II regions- which is a heartland of commercial and SME businesses. Dell has also doubled its salesforce in the last two quarters. Under the new strengthened structure, we have added more enterprise specialists since we
realize that our business customers need direction on how to optimally deploy limited IT budgets. Also, Dell, in May this year, announced an enhanced structure for commercial channel partners under the GCC program with PartnerDirect, to expand their ability to deliver value to their customers and reward them for their investment in key Dell solutions, at the same time helping partners drive business growth. The newly enhanced PartnerDirect program featured a new structure which set out increased rewards for certification and training, including new rebates for premier partners, expanded deal registration terms, financial incentives, and marketing and technical assistance. Early in May this year we also launched Dell Empower program which is a two-fold incentive program for Consumer channel partners. This one-of-a-kind channel program is aimed to provide differentiated experience to the customers and will keep enhancing the benefits to the channel and end-consumer. As part of the Empower program, the last tier of channel (Resellers/retailers) is required to give demo of the product, explain the features and record the end customer details during the retail sales. This data is then 100% verified and fed into the Dell systems to update the warranty in the name of the end customer. The Dell sales affiliate is then rewarded for every verified form received. Furthermore we have the Sales Affiliates program – This program enables smaller partners who cannot invest heavily in inventory to sell Dell products directly. This has played an important role in enhancing the confidence we enjoy with the retail and channel community.

IWQ: Is there any new service oriented strategy adopted by Dell to gain market in PC business segment?

SY: At Dell, our core value is about giving every one of our customers, solutions and services that allow them to do more. We want to make the experience of using a Dell product simple, easy and, above all, fun. We are committed to improving the customer experience for all products while lowering total cost of ownership to enable our customers achieve success and the power to do more. We believe that after-sales support is a means of ensuring total customer satisfaction. Our service offerings such as our onsite service footprint of over 650 cities across India, next business day on-site support, Dell CompleteCover, default onsite warranty and the advanced exchange warranty have helped us gain customer trust. We also have the CompleteCare Accidental Damage Service that can help you avoid or minimize business disruptions. It is a repair and replacement service that covers most accidental damage like spills, drops, surges, breakages that not covered under the standard limited warranty. Apart from this we are also the first company to introduce the unique Advanced Exchange Warranty on our Tablet and smartphone products, that is, if your Dell phone or Tablet faces any hardware issues Dell will replace the product with a new one. These services have helped differentiate us in the market.

IWQ: Seeing this current competition scenario, the prices of a product plays a very decisive factor in incrementing its demand growth. Have you adopted any aggressive and strategic Pricing policy so as to ensure performance and prices goes hand in hand?

SY: Our goal is to create more compelling experiences; People are demanding “best-in-class” entertainment capabilities from their PCs. We were among the first to recognize this convergence of technology and entertainment, and our portfolio of systems allows people to experience the best entertainment, including high-definition video and audio and 3D. Today the consumers no longer accept a compromise between design and performance. Features are a must-have, but in a beautiful design and stunning form factors. Consumers look at the value of the technology being offered for the price paid and our products cater to their needs. We believe in following Dell’s purpose, to give our customers the power to do more, and so depending upon customer needs and requirements, we will focus on creating fresh and innovative products and solutions for the best value.

IWQ: How do you ensure increased channel revenue?

SY:
At Dell, in an effort to be a better technology solution provider, we are listening to our customers at every possible occasion. Our overarching channel approach is to accelerate channel revenues without cannibalizing the direct business, while providing minimal disruption for existing partners and allowing for customer choice, Our strategy to achieve the same is simple - Develop a loyal network of solution provider partners by leveraging a differentiated value-add that expands our reach into the channel segments through certified practice areas aligned to Dell strategic areas. We continue to have a laser focus on our certified partners, while driving partner acquisition and activation, and we will continue building commitment with our partners by soliciting feedback and improving our business processes. As we continue to engage with our partners, their feedback has helped us evolve a more robust go-to-market strategy for our indirect business. We have earnestly listened to our partners and the single point of contact under the GCC team is a result of the partner’s feedback.

IWQ: What would be the next innovation for which the consumer should be ready for?

SY:
We expect to see a proliferation of devices in different screen sizes to meet different needs as accessibility of information-on-the-go, becomes inevitable. We will therefore continue to work towards creating, combining and enhancing technology that delivers the best value to our customers over the long term.

In an exclusive interaction with Jalaj Roy Choudhury , Editor, IT WEB QUEST , Vinay Shetty, Country Head Component Business, ASUS India shares vital details about recently launched Xonar Essence One by ASUS, technological advancements incorporated in the product, big focus of ASUS, plans of the Company in 2011 and some other important details.

IWQ:  Choudhury: Please shed some light on the recently launched Xonar Essence One by ASUS. Are you branding ASUS products any differently?

Vinay Shetty: Asus has always branded itself as a technology company which pioneers in innovation and comes up with new innovative products. Our R&D and product quality are our key strengths and we let our products speak for themselves. A legacy of providing good, robust Motherboards - which is also our flagship product segment - gives us the edge when it comes to customer recall on what ASUS is all about. So the effort to introduce products becomes that much easier.

IWQ:  What all are the technological advancements and innovations incorporated in the newly launched product to further intensify the user’s experience? 

VS: Our latest offering in the audio segment, the Xonar Essence One, is a USB capable DAC (digital-to-analog convertor) that supports sample rates upto 192 kHz. Using up scaling, this can go right up to 384 kHz. The Xonar Essence One is said to able to drive headphones with impedance going to up as high as 600 Ohms. The op-amps being used on the Xonar Essence One can also be interchanged, which should help in changing the characteristics of the headphones connected to it.  The Xonar Essence One can also be connected to its source without the need of a PC. It has a USB input, coaxial/Toslink inputs and outputs in the form of XLR, dual RCA and 6.3mm connects. A 6.3mm to 3.5mm convertor is also bundled with the DAC. It is a very niche product with very specific target audience and in terms of quality is second to none.

IWQ:  What future trends and scope you foresee in this audio Industry? What are the Growth Drivers?

VS: Asus still is in the nascent stage when it comes to audio industry so for now we would reserve our comments about future trends, but we as an entrant in this exciting segment, we aspire to introduce some really innovative products for our customers and ensure that the user gets value for money proposition with every Asus purchase.  As for the growth drivers, with competition increasing and user understanding improving on what they really need when it comes to audio products, the scenario looks very bright and encouraging. We also see a lot of growth prospects for high end audio segment and demand for dedicated solutions for audio and video usage.

IWQ:  What is the big focus of ASUS today? What are some of the top priorities for ASUS in India?

VS: In terms of the overall Asus Component business focus we’re now diversifying our interests into multiple product categories. Earlier they focus was only on motherboards but since the last 2 years product categories like graphics cards, optical drives, wireless and networking products and media players are all doing exceptionally well and the horizon of priorities has enlarged. This gives us more confidence that our quality and innovation skills are being received well in the market. 

IWQ:  Are there any new channel partner programs expected to push the sales of products and services? 

VS: Channel remains a very integral part of ASUS business and one of the key reasons for introducing new product segments in India is to encourage our partners to move into newer product categories and increase their profitability and revenue. We also constantly work on improving our service network and wish to create a service pattern that reduces the TAT or the repair time. We also work on educating the partners about using the right combination of products when they build a system and also educate them on crucial aspects like how to handle service products and how to improve the interaction and experience of the consumer at service location.

IWQ:  Is there any new service oriented strategy adopted by ASUS to gain market in audio industry?

 VS: We are learning on a day to day basis and for us service remains a USP, in terms of Service setup we are training repair agents to understand and revert back what are basic customer FAQ’s so we can modulate our service offers.

IWQ:  What are Plans for ASUS in 2011? Are you planning to come up with any unprecedented marketing initiative this year?

VS: Marketing built up for Asus depends from product to product and with new product lines increasing for us, you surely can expect varied activities from ASUS, city wise / state wise / region wise. We strongly believe marketing cannot be a generic activity so we customize as per our target audience and product demand.

IWQ:  How do you ensure increased channel revenue?

VS: By introducing new products, maintaining our unique identity in the market and educating our partners on the concept of “Selling Right, Selling More”. Our partners’ profitability is closely related to our increased channel revenue and we ensure a win-win situation where both parties grow together. Most of our loyal partners have been with us for many years now and the number is growing steadily. Their support, co-operation and understanding over the years have been one of the crucial reasons for Asus success in the Indian market.

IWQ:  What would be the next innovation for which the consumer should be ready for? What kind of products are in demand?

VS: Media Player is one such segment which is fast racing ahead and consumers are clearer on their requirements. With increasing HD and Blu ray content, this product line is what the consumers should keep watching out in terms of innovation and trends.

IWQ:  What are the Potential Growth Opportunities and Key growth initiatives for ASUS in India?

VS: Sticking to the basics of improving what we are doing today and getting products on time in India are the areas where we see developing growth opportunities. Ensuring value for money for the end users in all products that we introduce are the key growth factors which we focus on.

IWQ:  Are you planning to affiliate to any new Channel and distribution strategy for 2011?

VS: Plans are being worked out for 2012 to be precise and focus would be deeper penetration in D and E class cities and ensuring the range of product is well understood by our partners. The concept of “Selling Right, Selling More” remains our key mantra. We are working very closely with our partner Rashi Peripheral who are helping us to take forth our philosophy of value addition rather than just distributing a product.

Seeing the current competitive scenario, the price of a product plays a very decisive factor in incrementing its demand growth. Have you adopted any aggressive and strategic pricing policy so as to ensure performance and prices goes hand in hand? Price has always been a factor too critical to be ignored and competition brings the best out of yourself, we always have a wide range to balance this from entry to high end and we cherish the fact that we have not only survied but have been steadly improving the situation. So with a wide range of products we help the customers to choose the best solution for their needs.

 

Mr. Kulbhushan Seth, Head Sales and Marketing, Casio India Co. Pvt. Ltd.
Intro: In an exclusive interaction with IT WEB QUEST, Kulbhushan Seth, Head- Sales and Marketing, Casio India Co, Pvt. Ltd. provides an insight about the latest product offerings by Casio, future trends and scope he foresees, Potential Growth Opportunities and Key growth initiatives for Casio in India etc. Here are the excerpts.

Jalaj Roy Choudhury, Editor IT WEB QUEST: Please shed some light on the recently launched products by Casio under Projector series. Are you branding Casio products any differently?

Kulbhushan Seth: The all new range of eco- friendly projectors are launched with features such as 3D projection as well as converting the projection screen into an electronic blackboard by mouse operations. These projectors are environment friendly and use a light source with no mercury lamp to eliminate the release of toxic elements.
Our branding strategies for new products mainly include press conferences and events where these products are launched.

IWQ: What future trends and scope you foresee in this Industry? What are the Growth Drivers?

KS: We are growing 30 per cent plus year-on-year, so we would like to continue that momentum. We target half-yearly growth that is almost similar year-on-year.

IWQ: What is the big focus of Casio today? What are some of the top priorities for Casio in India?

KS: Casio mainly focuses in bringing to the people such technologies which are not only consumer friendly, but also somewhere heal to the environmental disasters. With such a focus, Casio’s all new Projector series are environment friendly and use a light source with no mercury lamp to eliminate the release of toxic elements.

IWQ: What are the Potential Growth Opportunities and Key growth initiatives for Casio in India?

KS: We are into consumer electronics and all our product categories are unique. But we are an electronic company even if we manufacture watches and sell their maximum number quantity wise worldwide. All Casio products, even if it is an Rs 800 watch with a battery life of 10 years, are based on our core technologies which focus on miniaturisation, low power consumption while maintaining high durability and usability. Our projectors are green, our calculators work on solar power, many of our watches also run on solar power

IWQ: What all are the technological advancements and innovations incorporated in the new range of launched products to further intensify the user’s experience?
 
KS: With our new range of Projector series are equipped with 3D projection technology and are mercury free which makes them environment friendly. A light source with no mercury lamp eliminates the release of toxic elements. These projectors are targeted to education sector as Casio projectors are compatible with interactive learning where in projectors can be integrated with our mathematics teaching tools furthermore content that can be customized as well based on requirement.
 
IWQ: Are you planning to affiliate to any new Channel and distribution strategy for 2011?

KS: Our existing channel is more retail-oriented and a projector is not a retail product. It’s more of a corporate or
institutional product where mostly direct sales take place. We are going to choose some direct channel partners who are going to be pan Indian. We have channel partners like small IT retailers or educational retailers, who supply educational products to schools and colleges and also provide projectors to educational institutes. We would therefore, like to tie up with them and develop a channel so that they offer our green projectors also. The educational sector is highly important and appreciable. We also have many other education related products, so now with the green projectors we will be able to make more contribution to this sector.
 
IWQ: Seeing this current competition scenario, the prices of a product plays a very decisive factor in incrementing its demand growth. Have you adopted any aggressive and strategic Pricing policy so as to ensure performance and prices goes hand in hand?

KS: Talking about competition with other brands on the basis of price as an aspect, our product is cheaper than mercury-lamp projectors. For example, if you take five average years and eight working hours a day, we can save the cost of six lamps, each lamp costs around Rs 10,000   so you can save Rs 60,000. If you take that period in account, we are cheaper.

"

IWQ :  What is the big focus for Fujifilm in India? Please provide an overview of the company’s growth path in 2010 and prospects in the year 2011?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  India is a special place for us with interesting markets and a huge potential. We started here in 2008 and since then have been consistently growing. In the year of inception we focused on building infrastructure and targeted 3% of market share in the digital camera segment, which we achieved. In the present year, we achieved considerable market share and we are targeting a 12-13% market share in 2011. We are highly committed towards making our presence felt in the digital camera market, which is witnessing a 40% growth year on year. We launched a range of 14 models featuring 3D, high definition (HD) movie and HD photo options last year. Our focus in India is to provide the best quality product range with value addition (like 2 year warranty period exclusively in India) at affordable pricing.
IWQ:  What are your objectives to increase the market share?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  The Indian digital camera market was 14lakh units last year but it is expected to grow to 24 units this year. Though there has been an increase in numbers of new buyers entering the market but we are also seeing an upward swing among customers who want to upgrade themselves to mid and premium segments. We are consistently advertising across different platforms and undertaking a nationwide PR campaign to connect with the end users. Our aim is to strengthen the brand image of Fujifilm digital cameras by reinforcing technical and marketing support to the existing channel network and penetrate deeper into the Indian market
IWQ:  What kinds of efforts are being made by the company in the research and development arena? What are your R&D plans for the year 2011?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  Fujifilm’s philosophy is to enhance the quality of life through its every single product. We believe in having a robust core technology which ensures customer satisfaction that in turn sets a better pace for company’s growth. That is the reason why we consistently invest 7% of our turnover to fortify our R&D.  It is because of our commitment towards consolidating our R&D that we can deliver a vast range of products across fields like imaging solutions, printing solutions and medical imaging.
IWQ:  How has the Indian retail segment matured over time? What kind of growth do you foresee for Indian retailing?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  The Indian Retail sector is presently estimated to be worth Rs.20 lac crore and is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture. As per the McKinsey’s study, organized retail in India is expected to reach US$ 450-billion by 2015. With the proposed relaxation in FDI norms in multi-brand retail, it is expected that several large multinational retail chains such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Tesco, Metro AG, Marks & Spencer, etc. shall spread out their operations in India.
IWQ : Share the retail presence of Fujifilm in India. How has it taken off?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  We had chalked out decisive retails sales and customer care strategies to consolidate our presence in India. We recently tied up with large format retail (LFR) chains , Consumer Electronics chains, Camera Speciality stores, Photo & IT channels, etc., to leverage upon the wide geographical footprint and network of the cross sectional channel segments
IWQ : What are your plans for strengthening your retail network and increasing the company’s presence in Tier 2-3 cities?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  We are actively trying to penetrate and strengthen our presence in Tier 2-3 cities where we have identified a lot of untapped potential. There are 2500 multi-brand stores that actively sell digital cameras and Fujifilm’s is eyeing to be present in 80% of these outlets.
IWQ : What is the biggest USP that comes along all your products?
Mr.A Rajkumar:  Our belief is to give ‘value for money’ to our customers. Hence, we have advanced features like HD movie and HD photo in all our 14 models. We provide other features which are highly appreciated by the customers like variable optical zoom (3x to30x) in our cameras. Basically, Fujifilm has products that suit the needs of each and every kind of customer.

"

IConic Electronic Industries, involved in wireless communication systems and products, is to extend its leadership over to IT audio market. In an exclusive interview to IT Webquest, V. K. Mani, Founder and President, IConic Electronic Industries, reveals company’s plans for the Indian market.

IWQ: What all are the products offered by Iconic in
the Audio market and which of your products is doing well?

Mr. Maini: Within the audio market, we have a whole range of products like DVD Players, Car Multimedia Players, USB/MMC Players, Home Theatre systems and Multimedia speaker systems. Products like DVD Players and Car Multimedia have always done very well, but Home theatre systems have shown tremendous growth potential within the past 3-4 years. Multimedia Speakers and Home Theatre systems, being an essential part of both IT Market and Electronics market has vast variety of customer base with diversity in demands and choices.

IWQ: Being a latest entrant in the IT audio market, what
is the company's strategy to take on competition from other players?

Mr. Maini: Iconic is a brand with vast customer base through its excellence in product quality. We entered this market as a brand for the niche expecting everything in the product, and that is why we were one of the first brands in India to introduce USB/MMC/FM Players in speakers. With a vast range of quality products, we are now entering into all segments of the IT Audio market. The brands new models are very different from the rest, which will make a huge impact and that is what we are looking forward to in this competitive market.

IWQ: Tell us about your geographical presence in India? Do you plan to open more offices?

Mr. Maini: Iconic is an omnipresent brand present in almost all parts of India through its various product categories. However, within the IT Audio market the brand is going with a state-strike strategy with focus on singular states at different time frames. Iconic has gained large markets in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, MP and Delhi. Yes, we plan to establish an office in at least 85% of the states by the end of 2012.

IWQ: what is the market trend you see in India?

Mr. Maini: Indian market is prompt, aggressive, demanding and cognizant. The customer is aware of the happenings in the market of the products they are buying. With the growing number of brands, increasing media exposure the customer is much more aware of the price and quality of the products. As of now, the trend is shifting towards quality products that are an “all-in-one package”. This is the reason for which it can be said that multimedia speaker systems will soon replace the existing multimedia players like USB Players and DVD Players.

IWQ: How have you structured the sales network in terms of competition?

Mr. Maini: As of now, Iconic has a very distinct sales network with or without company branches around India. The company keeps full trust on its CNFs and builds direct relationships with CNFs and super distributors of states. This gives the company distributors “a personal touch”. Iconic has been working and achieving monthly targets and this structure of sales has been helping it achieve such success. The company’s ASMs have tried to keep the company posted on any new activities in the market, while the distributors have been providing the company with every insight of the market. The large information base of the company and prompt actions has kept Iconic ahead of the market competition.

IWQ: What are your top 3 guidelines for Dealers to tap the Iconic potential?

Mr. Maini: Iconic is market oriented brand, so dealers are guided to work “In the market, for the market and with the market”. The dealers are the main information base for the company, so the dealers are requested to keep the company posted on any information bag collected by the valuable sellers. Last, but not the least, treat the customer above all. Iconic treats the customer as god and expects the same out of its dealers.

IWQ: In
this soaring competition era, the price of a product plays a very vital
role in augmenting its demand. Have you adopted any strategic Pricing
policy so as to ensure performance and price goes evenly?

Mr. Maini: I wish I could deny the fact that this is a price-competitive market. This is a market where price comes first. However, Iconic has provided its customers more than they desire. Iconic has been able to prove much more price effective than any other smaller or larger brands due to its market-forecasting techniques. Also, Iconic has been able to persuade its buyers to buy few models at a higher price due to its innovative and newer products in the market. With our newer models coming into the market, we are expecting to rock the market from our highly attractive looks with features never seen before in the Indian market."

"

IWQ: What about growing your market share in India? Is KVM still a good business story for solution providers?

Karthik: After China, India is the largest revenue for us from APAC region. With a dominant market share of 60 percent in the Indian KVM market, we work closely through our sole distributor Cubix Microsystems.They have a 500 plus partner base of system integrators and resellers across India. With a majority of over 60 percent revenues from Altusan, we are empowering partners to focus on enterprise/SMB products from this brand. The KVM industry is growing multifold and is expected to touch 1 billion dollars by 2012 according to the industry reports. Apart from KVM opportunity, our foray into video is another marketplace for partners to make margins.

IWQ: Your main competitors like Raritan and others are introducing innovations like IP based KVM switches. What makes Aten a market leader?

Karthik: We have rightly priced technology for KVM market. Vendors like Raritan and Avocent operate across certain set of KVM solutions. With a comprehensive portfolio, we are a one stop solution for KVM needs of enterprises of all sizes. In KVM over IP solution, if a customer needs accessories related to entry level product, they would not be able to provide it. We recently bagged number of Government tenders against competitors in India on price factor without compromising on quality.

IWQ: Will the same set of partners who sell KVM be selected for other technology offerings?

Karthik: Cubix has been engaged with a dozen odd partners who will specialize in video space. Partners who have expertise in A/V integration and good customer base in medical, education, hospitality.Digital signage is huge business in India across ATMs, check in kiosks. Video is an important vertical for us as our products are technology compliant with latest technology needed by users like HDMI, Compatibility, HD A/V and so on.

IWQ: Do you think virtualization would reduce the demand for KVM switches with decline in physical servers? What is your roadmap to leverage such emerging technologies?

Karthik: Virtualization is relatively nascent in India due to high cost of setting virtual infrastructure. As data and related business applications record exponential growth, the demand for physical servers will continue to grow. Servers cannot exist without KVMs and vice versa. Be it storage or server virtualization, there would be need for KVM switches in a different format. Infact, we are looking at virtualization in our technology roadmap to incorporate co-existence of virtualization and KVM in a typical enterprise architecture.
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