“The In­dian mar­ket is re­cep­tive to new tech­nol­ogy”

Voice&Data - - NEWS&VIEWS - gen­eral man­ager and se­nior vice pres­i­dent, Tom­Tom In­dia Rukhsar Saleem

What is your per­spec­tive on the In­dian nav­i­ga­tion mar­ket?

We have been in In­dia for last 10 years mak­ing maps of places and ge­ogra­phies. It was only last year, we fo­cused on the qual­ity of our prod­uct in the In­dian con­text as it is a mar­ket with huge un­tapped po­ten­tial. With time, we have re­al­ized that first we need to cre­ate aware­ness and need for the ser­vices and then ac­quire clients.

We are ex­tremely hope­ful of the In­dian mar­ket as peo­ple here have great abil­ity to adopt new tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket is very re­cep­tive and ex­per­i­men­tal, which is a per­fect sit­u­a­tion for us. We will pro­mote safe driv­ing and will limit er­ratic move­ment through our prod­uct range.

There­fore we launched 3 prod­ucts cus­tom­ized for the In­dian mar­ket in Septem­ber 2011.

How do you plan to tap the In­dian mar­ket?

We have chalked out 3 cru­cial things that we plan to do in In­dia—es­ti­mate pre­cisely the po­ten­tial of the In­dian mar­ket as nav­i­ga­tion is in its nascent stages here, ed­u­cate the masses about the im­por­tance and util­ity of nav­i­ga­tion, and bring our ex­per­tise in de­sign­ing and mak­ing high-qual­ity soft­ware and hard­ware nav­i­ga­tion prod­ucts and ser­vices.

We are far ahead of our com­peti­tors as Tom­tom is the only com­pany in the world to have ex­per­tise in de­sign­ing and mak­ing hard­ware as well as soft­ware nav­i­ga­tion prod­ucts and ser­vices.

What are the chal­lenges you have faced in this mar­ket?

In­dian ge­og­ra­phy is very dif­fer­ent and dif­fi­cult as 70% of its streets do not have names. In In­dia, nav­i­ga­tion is done through land­mark iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. So we bought peo­ple to work on the In­dian ge­og­ra­phy and built ‘Tom­tom land­mark nav­i­ga­tion’—prod­uct cus­tom­ized only for the In­dian mar­ket.

What is your mar­ket­ing strat­egy in In­dia?

We have de­vised a chan­nel strat­egy to build up a strong dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel through tie-up with chan­nel part­ners and deal­ers to push our prod­ucts. We have also tied up with Re­liance Dig­i­tal, Re­liance Au­tozone, and Car­na­tion. We are also plan­ning to col­lab­o­rate with au­to­mo­bile com­pa­nies to pro­vide in­built nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem and area maps for con­ve­nient and safe driv­ing.

For ex­am­ple, we have tied up with Re­nault in Europe, where 1 mn cars are in­te­grated with our nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem and maps. With high qual­ity and cus­tom­ized nav­i­ga­tion prod­ucts and ser­vices suit­ing the In­dian ge­og­ra­phy, Tom­tom is hope­ful to cre­ate aware­ness and need for nav­i­ga­tion in In­dia.

rukhsars@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Jo­ce­lyn Vi­greux

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