Western Digital is a leading provider of data storage solutions & products that create environments for data to thrive. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, Western Digital’s industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data. Their data-centric solutions are comprised of the WD, Western Digital, G-Technology, and SanDisk brands. Western Digital also provides world class gaming memory solutions. In an interaction with NCN, Mr. Jaganathan Chelliah, Senior Director – Marketing, India & MEA, Western Digital, shares about their product strategy, channel policy and plans.
Q. Please brief us about the positioning of Western Digital and its market focus in 2022.
We are a global leader in providing data management solutions, be it for a home consumer or a small and medium business user or a large enterprise customer. We have end-to-end solutions for all our customer needs. Our portfolio on the consumer side have SanDisk and WD brands which offer different types of storage solutions to consumers, depending on what type of device he/she is using. We have a very strong SSD Portfolio too, starting with WDBlack for gamers, WD Blue for mainstream computing to WDGreen for everyday computing.
Surveillance is another segment that calls for an effective data management model primarily because of the kind of video feeds that that are happening today, with a lot of high-resolution video content coming through and the need to store more data. We also have WD Purple Surveillance Hard Drive Purple and WD Purple Pro Surveillance Hard Drive depending on the consumer use cases as storage solution for surveillance. For Enterprise customers we have Western Digital Ultrastar SATA Series, best in class high-capacity hard drive and high-performance SSD solutions for enterprise customers.
We have purpose-built storage solutions, depending on the consumers need and current use cases. As a technology leader, we are constantly looking at what are the emerging opportunities and innovating to come up with new products.
Q. What kind of partners and how do you divide the criteria, and position your brand in that market?
The consumer segment channel has mobile and PC retailers actively working with us and our distributors to display and market our products. From Western Digital, we engage very closely with more than 4,000 retailers across the country to help them market our SanDisk products. Similarly, for PC retail segment, we engage with more than 500-1000 partners directly to help them display and sell our products. We run multiple programs to educate them and recreate demand for them to sell our products. Our product presence is in about 100+ cities. This is our model for driving product availability and demand for the consumer brands, with the SanDisk and WD brand.
We have a very close engagement with system integrators who provide gaming solutions and provide PC updates for customers. We educate them on how to do these things and what is the best way to get the right performance from these computers.
The surveillance segment has system integrators who specialize in deploying custom-build surveillance solutions, depending on the needs of a consumer. For example, someone may have multiple offices in the same city or across multiple cities and need to have a surveillance solution which integrates all of them together. It is a unique channel, and we work closely with this channel too to market our WD Purple portfolio. Lastly, on the enterprise side we work closely with enterprise system integrators who could integrate our products – WD Ultrastar SSDs and Hard Drives and platforms – into their overall solution and then they deploy it in their customer premises.
We have a 3Es model – ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EXCITE, to build high level of affinity, making it a win-win relationship. We ensure that they have the necessary tools and demand to sell our products.
Q. Please give us highlights of WD Black Cup Season 3.
WD Black Cup today has become one of the flagship e-sports events in India. We have been conducting it once, every six months. As we see the interest levels with respect to participants and the increase in viewership, we are very excited. This would not have been possible without the support of our partner – AMD. They have really helped us build the necessary credibility and scale that has worked well for us.
As a leading technology brand, we thought it is our duty to provide a platform for the budding gamers and teens in India to compete on their skills and at the same time get rewarded. Looking at season 3 specifically, it has evolved as compared to the previous seasons. Today, we have 3 sub tournaments within this, and one of them is for Women-only teams. We are encouraging women to get into e-sports, and we see a very good response. This time we have added teams from neighboring countries too, like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal etc. The scale and impact have grown manifold and our endeavor is to continue, conducting WD Black Cup every six months. We should be confirming the dates and announcing very soon.
What are your USPs and marketing strategies that help you stay ahead of your competitors?
We always have the interests and needs of our consumers at the center. We are here to provide the best possible solutions for consumers to be able to effectively preserve, store and analyse their data as and when needed, which is our primary objective. All our marketing initiatives are designed to deliver the best experience to consumers. Eventually, it is for the consumer to decide what he/she wants to buy. The onus of the brand is to give the consumer the necessary information so that they can make an informed decision. We have always tried to become a trusted partner for the consumer when it comes to managing their data, and that has really helped us succeed in the marketplace.
What is your message to partners?
Our lives in both the professional as well as the personal front are getting integrated with the digital world. Continuous increase in creation and consumption of data is clearly visible. With this in context, the need for having digital storage solutions will continue to grow. Western Digital as an organization is at the Center of creating the necessary storage solutions for different consumer needs. We are also conscious that our success is dependent on the success of our partners who market our products to the consumers. So, working closely with the partners is going to be a great win-win relationship for both Western Digital and the partner community. We are confident and convinced that India as a market is going to grow, and we should be able to succeed in India along with our partners.
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