“Currently more than 65% of our business happens outside the metros”
Vipul Modi, VP, Marketing & Sales, Abacus Peripherals
What is Zion RAM channel structure and on what criteria you categorize your partners?
In a bid to increase the reach of our products, ZION RAM has a very clear channel structure. We consider our channel partners as an important part of our growth, as they do contribute to our brand image. Since, India is a large country where dealer and consumer behaviour varies significantly, we have modified our channel structure to suit each market type. In some zones we have the depth structure where we only bill to selected volume partners and in other areas, we follow the breadth structure where we do broad billing to more number. Currently we are catering to more than 3000 retail, and reselling counters across India. We categorize our base into following categories – Authorized Distributors (Large Volume Buyers), Authorized Dealers – (Mid Volume Buyers), Authorized Retailers & System Integrators (Small Buyers), Authorized Online Partners (Dealers focusing on online sales) and OEM partners.
How many channel partners you have in India and what are the schemes you are offering them?
We have more than 3000 channel partners in our ZION family. We offer several channel-friendly, multi-tiered scheme to incentivize and reward the partner community for their significant contribution to our business. These scheme acts as an additional incentive to partners as it is our conscious effort to help partners in achieving the rewards beyond the usual profits through these scheme. Our schemes keep varying from season to season based on our objectives.
What are the key tech trends for the channels to look over next few years?
We believe that the market is gradually consolidating at its 2 extremes – The Extreme High end and Extreme low end. Both need attention. The high end will drive demand for VR, extreme Entertainment machines as well as Servers whereas the low end will drive demand of the Thin PCs and zero clients.
Who are your competitors? How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
Our main competitors are mainly MNC brands based out of Taiwan who operate globally. Our main difference lies in the fact that we are an Indian brand. We understand our customers better than any of our competition. Hence we are the most awarded, consistently available brand in India with complete range of products available at all times unlike our competition. We are so confident of our product quality that we have challenged ourselves with the ZION Quality Challenge. Here, we offer a silver coin against every RAM module that comes in as faulty along with instant replacement. Since, there is no Grey ZION in the market, we do not ask our customers for purchase proofs like our competition. This gives our buyers a high degree of peace of mind which our competition can never offer! Tell us about your market share and geographical expansion especially in Tier II and Tier III cities. Our major share comes from the T2 and T3 markets in India. We had realised that the real potential lies outside T1 markets pretty early. Currently more than 65% of our business happens outside the metros. As far as market share is concerned, we do believe we are the major share holder in these markets since it’s really difficult to really estimate the market in these areas due to grey channels and influence of bigger cities.
What’s your plan for FY 2017. FY 2017-2018 is a critical year for us. We are looking at a growth of more than 30% since we will be consolidating our server portfolio as well as working more closely with our OEM partners.
What is ‘Zion RAM Quality Challenge’. I think this is one question without which an interview can’t be completed, and am glad you asked me this one. It’s a one of a kind quality challenge which we offer to all ZION patrons. Since our inception, we pride ourselves in offering the highest quality memory modules to our customers. What better way to market it than take up the challenge ourselves.
We have deployed state of the art assembly line as well as QC processes for manufacturing ZION. For each faulty RAM that we get, we offer a silver coin along with the replacement promptly. Each faulty RAM gives us an opportunity to learn further and improve ourselves. I am really glad to say that some of our customers have been waiting for a silver coin for years!
ZION has recently launched the 16GB DDR4 module for high intensity PC users, how is the product response so far.
The response has been fairly muted. Content plays a significant role in driving sales of high end. But we are confident that by the end of the current quarter, sales should pick up exponentially.
How are you strengthening e-sports in India, what are the plans in this field. e-Sport is really in its inception in India, but we are seeing phenomenal interest in e-Sports from the youth today. To develop this, we are working very closely with gamers directly. We try to understand their pain points and offer solutions to the best of our abilities. Zerah ‘Angela’ Gonsalves has been appointed as our brand associate. In addition, we have been participating in lots of gaming activities like Xtreme Gaming League, Clanwars, Mangima and college gaming festivals like Techno India in Kolkata, Technex in IIT BHU, Technovanza at S.M Shetty in Mumbai to name a few.
Our major share comes from the T2 and T3 markets in India. We had realised that the real potential lies outside T1 markets pretty early