What is the overall performance of Zebion?
Since inception in 2004, we have consistently seen a year on year growth pattern of 50%. In other words we grow on and a half times each year. Last year was no exception. We recorded double digit growth last year. The effect of demonetization was felt only during the month that it was announced, as consumers went into a self imposed spending freeze. Over the span of two quarters, we found that demonetization actually helped us, as illegitimate players forming part of the underground economy made way for genuine players.
What was the key highlight of Zebion in terms of security arm and infotech arm last year?
In FY2016-17, we augmented our portfolio in both arms and the newly introduced products are well received by consumers. In the security arm our most prominent release was EasyGo, part of our Netveillance range of IP Systems. EasyGo is a kit with 4 cameras and a wireless DVR. What is amazing about EasyGo is that is functions completely wirelessly and its range in an incredible 100 meters. Our customer base found EasyGo incredibly easy to setup and convenient to use. It also helped fortify our place in the Surveillance industry as a serious player in the IP genre. In the Infotech arm we have introduced a slew of Home Theatres and multimedia speakers.
What is the new product lines you are planning to introduce soon?
Firstly we have a new range of Power Banks that will hit the market in early July. These are all BIS certified and are very durable. Later in October, we will launch our first Zebion TV – a 32 inch LED system. After our success with monitors this was a logical path to follows our television will be affordable to the Indian masses, while at the same time there is no compromise in quality. There is also a distinct possibility for us to introduce a new business arm within the next 18 months which may be referred to as the Networking Arm. This arm would contain routers, switches, firewalls and network security software. We are also planning to introduce certain services in conjunction with the product in our Security Arm. This is part of a 360 degree security consulting service, which we call ‘Sampoorna Suraksha’.
In the current multi-channel marketplace, as a vendor, how are you planning to maintain the price parity amongst the online and offline channels?
We try to give distributors and dealers the very best rates and the most advantageous schemes, so that prices of products available in high-street retail outlets, is roughly the same, or at least comparable with prices in online marketplaces. Moreover, we try to help and guide our distributors to sell our products on Marketplaces as well, and help them with necessary paperwork.
How channel-friendly is your eco-system? What are the channel plans you have for your products?
I believe we have a very friendly ecosystem, and very close ties with our growing network of Distributors and Dealers. Currently we have about 200 distributors and 12000 dealers registered with us. I foresee this will double to 400 distributors and 24000 dealers within 2 years. We maintain an open-doors policy with all businessmen who want to join the network. Certainly we have many stipulations to maintain quality, but every potential business partner has access to me directly, or to my partners. Our on-boarding and training process takes just a week.
According to you, what changes will happen post-GST in the accessories segment?
Costs of many products may become cheaper to produce or procure. I envisage a price drop of about 8-10% on long term basis. Most vendors like us would prefer to pass on any such advantage to channel partners, who in-turn may choose to pass some or all of the benefits to consumers. I feel all parties will be better off. A side effect of GST would be that unbranded or spurious products will be ejected from the marketplace. This would be advantageous for us. It would also be good for the consumer who will always get a proper Invoice and reap the benefits of a warranty.