CEO Speak.........................16

Patrick Lo, chair­man and CEO, Net­gear talks ex­clu­sively to Dqchan­nels on why and how the com­pany is push­ing for chan­nel de­vel­op­ment in In­dia

DQ Channels - - Channel pulse - RA­JNEESH DE (ra­jneeshd@cy­ber­me­

“In 3 years, 50% of our In­dia busi­ness should come from the com­mer­cial side” PATRICK LO, chair­man and CEO, Net­gear

Net­gear has been look­ing at de­vel­op­ing its chan­nel in In­dia for some­time now. What is driv­ing this in­creased fo­cus on chan­nels?

We are by now well es­tab­lished in In­dia as a con­sumer brand, es­pe­cially in tier-1 cities. We are try­ing to lever­age this brand eq­uity on the con­sumer side now to grow on the com­mer­cial side. We will be able to ad­dress SMBs through re­sellers and SIs only and there­fore the need to de­velop the chan­nel. We are build­ing var­i­ous chan­nel pro­grams for this pur­pose. In Asia, gen­er­ally our rev­enue split be­tween con­sumer and com­mer­cial sides of the busi­ness is 50-50 and we aim to achieve this in In­dia too in 3 years time.

What has been the suc­cess rate of this chan­nel de­vel­op­ment drive till date in terms of get­ting part­ners on board? How has Net­gear fared in the In­dia mar­ket in past year in terms of part­ner busi­ness and cus­tomer num­bers?

We cur­rently have In­gram Mi­cro and Rashi Pe­riph­er­als as our na­tional dis­trib­u­tors; to­gether they ad­dress close to 1,000 part­ners in the coun­try. This fis­cal, the com­pany will spread its foot­prints to the top 40 cities, up from the top eight cities and some B- and C-class cities last year. We al­ready have a strong pres­ence in Chen­nai, Hy­der­abad, Ben­galuru, Mum­bai and Delhi and have at least 40 to 50 part­ners in each of these metro lo­ca­tions. We do have some di­rect con­nect with part­ners in tier-2 cities and some of the ma­jor city SIs have con­nect with the smaller com­pa­nies too. We plan to have 20-30 SIs across eight tier-1 cities and 25 sub-dis­trib­u­tors throughout the coun­try.

There are es­tab­lished brands like Cisco in net­work­ing and those like D-Link strongly en­trenched with SMBs. In this sce­nario, what ben­e­fits are you of­fer­ing to your part­ners es­pe­cially in a price sen­si­tive mar­ket?

It is true we have bet­ter de­vel­oped chan­nel pro­grams in North Amer­ica and Europe, but we plan to im­ple­ment the same grad­u­ally in In­dia. The most im­por­tant as­pect is to pro­tect our part­ners’ mar­gins. We have a true deal reg­is­tra­tion in place wherein we treat ev­ery deal on the part­ner por­tal as a se­cret. In case of com­pa­nies like Cisco and HP, many part­ners are in­volved in the dur­ing the bid, and of­ten these ven­dors bid di­rectly. In case of Net­gear, one deal per part­ner is sacro­sanct.

In terms of prod­uct dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, what are Net­gear’s plans vis-a-vis emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies?

We are the #1 NAS provider in the SMB seg­ment that started sup­port­ing vir­tu­al­iza­tion. In cloud com­put­ing, we have in­tro­duced the uni­fied stor­age that would en­able our chan­nel part­ners to pro­vide cloud ser­vices to our cus­tomers and will let our them build their own pri­vate cloud. With the in­tro­duc­tion of the ReadySHARE Cloud, we are en­abling our cus­tomers to ac­cess their data from any mo­bile plat­form.We are in­vest­ing a lot in wire­less LAN and have a skilled team that is build­ing a next gen­er­a­tion wire­less LAN con­troller cou­pled with our se­cu­rity ap­pli­ances, which would ac­com­mo­date the con­cept of Bring Your Own De­vice (BYOD).

What are the prod­uct ex­pan­sion plans in In­dia in or­der to ad­dress in­creas­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties amongst SMBs?

Net­gear in In­dia is fo­cus­ing on its SMART IT vi­sion which en­vis­ages a re­li­able, af­ford­able and sim­ple range of prod­ucts cov­er­ing the en­tire in­fra­struc­ture needs of SMBs, en­com­pass­ing switch­ing, stor­age, wire­less and se­cu­rity so­lu­tions and we fore­see huge growth in this field. We al­ready have home and pro­sumer prod­uct busi­ness in wire­less rout­ing, in­clud­ing 802.11AC routers, ReadyNAS stor­age, and se­cu­rity hard­ware prod­ucts like UTM and VPN. We have now for­ayed into ser­vice pro­vid­ing with 3G prod­ucts and Wi-Fi equip­ment.

With these wide ar­ray of prod­uct lines, we can surely ad­dress the re­quire­ments of ev­ery as­pir­ing SMB com­pany in In­dia. Our prod­ucts are tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent, rightly priced, and easy to use that pro­vides much more com­pelling value propo­si­tion to the con­sumers. We want to see our­selves as lead­ers in home and re­tail seg­ment, com­mer­cial space, and ser­vice providers sec­tor. In In­dia, the ini­tial fo­cus was on low-end mar­ket but now the com­pany is hav­ing very am­bi­tious plans to ex­pand heav­ily into the mid-mar­ket.

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