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.