Over the years, Kingston Technology has grown from a single memory product and two employees in 1987, to more than 2,000 products and more than 4,000 employees. The company celebrating 26 years in the industry with unwavering commitment to quality and reliability and also the partnerships that have contributed to the company’s success. In an interview with Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology – India about the major initiatives and future plan of Kingston in the Indian market. Excerpts of the interview
How Kingston is faring in the Indian market? Could you highlight some milestone which Kingston achieved in 25-years?
We celebrated our 26th successful year in the industry, in last November. In India, we purely focus on providing innovative products and solutions to our customers. Being dedicated in our approach, we have evolved into the most trusted brand in Memory and Flash products in about 125 countries around the world. Kingston outperforms the industry with its range of quality products. With the launch of the DataTraveler HyperX Predator, we became the first company to introduce a 1TB capacity USB flash drive in India and also globally. We also recently launched our high performance HyperX Predator memory with a highest speed of 2800MHz. The Indian market also given us a warm response for our Wi-Drive and the competitive range of Solid State Drives.
What are the main storage trends in the India? How have they changed or evolved over the years?
Today, even the average consumer consumes more data, either with the desktop, laptop, tablet, phablet, smartphone, digital camera, SLR, DSLR, music consoles, etc. Since commencing operations in India, Kingston has seen the user demands shift steadily from 512MB to 1GB to 2GB to 4GB and so on. Even hard disk drives are evolving into much faster, lighter, better performing and durable Solid-state drives (SSDs). In 2014, this new technology is going to create a niche of its own in the storage market. Moreover, storage today is no longer constrained in corporate offices. We are seeing an increase in the usage of digital data, be it your personal data or corporate files. The demand of portable flash storage will grow both in units as well as capacities as these make the processing faster and much more reliable to store data.
At present what market verticals are you targeting?
As mentioned earlier, most of the industries are moving towards digitization. The need for data consumption is growing exponentially and so is the need for safely storing it. Given Kingston’s hard earned reputation and reliability in the market, the company is strong with most of the verticals. Along with the consumer market, we are also focusing on growing in the server market as we have the expertise and quality products that work smoothly with the servers available today. Kingston products are of high quality, secure, durable and provide high performance. We have a wide range of products with newer and faster technology which cater to needs of both, the niche market as well as the budget users.
What is your channel strategy? What are your future plans for your partners?
According to the third-party research firms, Kingston is ranked as the #1 memory module manufacturer in the world with close to 50% market share, and we have similar plans for India. Kingston is a channel friendly company and we believe in growing with our channel partners. We have made a stronger communication model to reach our channel more effectively. In 2014, we plan to reach out to enterprises and thus expand on our existing market. The channel partners will play a key role in sustaining and expanding the brand’s presence in the country. We believe in strengthening and supporting our partners by introducing exciting creative marketing promotion for the channel partners and end users.
What are the major challenges before you increasing sales and how are you addressing these challenges?
The Indian market is dynamic and has given us a good response for our products. The market here is vast and the demand is huge and ever increasing. More and more people are getting aware of the benefits of the new technology. Thus maintaining a consistent supply to match this demand can become a challenge. Apart from this, the fluctuating dollar rate also hampers the markets. We are addressing the challenges with a better and dynamic strategy for 2014. Knowing this, we have made some changes in our marketing plans that will help our partners to earn other benefits through schemes and incentives.
As a Marketing Director, India, what do you see as moments that have been very satisfying?
I have lead Kingston in India for more than seven years and have implemented numerous projects that have set a trend in the industry. We have worked hard towards re-positioning Kingston in the channel network from being just a hardware manufacturing company to a lifestyle IT brand. We now focus more on relationship management rather than just sales with channel partners as we are a channel friendly company. With a communication model now in place, we can reach them faster and more effectively. Even the channel partners are now more confident to work or us. We have even started engaging with the end users to understand them and encourage a better brand recall. We launched REX, our superhero, with superpowers that the end users could relate Kingston to. With these initiatives, we could create a positive vibe for the channel and customers, thus indirectly strengthening the brand recall. Our innovation and good quality products provide a better experience to the users.
What are some of the key points where Kingston products score over the competing forces in India?
Kingston is the leader in the industry with a strong customer support. One statement makes our product different, “It’s from Kingston!” Since 1987, Kingston has been known for the highest quality memory products available. We assure of Superior quality, guaranteed compatibility, Convenience, Stability, Reliability, Expertise, Legendary Warranty and after sales support.