Infofriend spoke with Mr.Jason Xu, Director, TP-LINK India on their market presence in India and future plans in India.
How would you evaluate TP-LINK’s global performance in recent years? What’s it like in India?
Headquartered in Shenzhen, TP-LINK is a global provider of networking products and the World’s No.1 provider of WLAN products. Founded in 1996, we are committed to intensive R & D, efficient production and strict quality management, aiming to provide high performance, high quality and high value SOHO networking products to global end users. After nearly 7 years’ penetration into the international market, we have made our way to the largest supplier of networking products in Germany, the UK and many other countries. Meanwhile, TP-LINK has established 29 overseas offices around the globe, spreading our business to over 120 countries and regions. We now cooperate with more than 400 distributors worldwide with annual sales volume of over 100 million units. According to IDC, in Q1 2013 TP-LINK maintained our dominance in the global WLAN market by unit shipments with a market share of 42.6%, for the 13th continuous quarter.
As a big nation and a large market where we see rapid growth, India occupies an important position in TP-LINK’s global strategy. We established our India subsidiary in 2010, focusing on the supply of high quality, high value and reliable networking products to the end-users. While we began from zero, we are growing very fast. We look forward to an increase of 80% by the end of this year, which is very inspiring. This rapid growth would not be possible without the support of all of our business partners and end-users. Without their support and trust, we couldn’t have achieved such impressive success.
TP-LINK has a remarkable presence around the world. What are the reasons behind this?
TP-LINK’s remarkable global presence is a result of several aspects of what drives our company. I think this can be concluded as follows:
A. Professional Research and Development
Being in the IT industry, TP-LINK is heavily focused on new technology and product development. The company has a significant number of Intellectual Properties. We believe good product begins with great design. We have many engineers that have been focused solely on networking product development for over 10 years. Those engineers cooperate closely with chipset providers, developing new technology simultaneously, thus ensuring new products’ prompt delivery to the market.
B. High Class Supplier
We believe that just as “Good bread comes from good flour”, TP-LINK cooperates with the world’s best suppliers, such as Qualcomm and Broadcom in the US, in new technology and new product development. TP-LINK also maintains strict standards of its material suppliers to ensure consistently high product quality. Benefiting from this, TP-LINK’s products have gained acceptance and loyalty from global end-users. TP-LINK is also Qualcomm’s largest Wi-Fi chipset customer.
C. Powerful Manufacturing Ability
With the largest and most professional factory in the networking industry, TP-LINK is one of the few networking companies that insist on manufacturing our products independently. The company’s new manufacturing campus is almost the size of 40 football fields. Through clustered production control and efficient management, we can control every detail of a product’s quality, cost and delivery time.
D. Continuing Product Improvements
TP-LINK cooperates with top US and European design firms to create new product packaging and product Industrial Design. By cooperating with world class material and craft technology companies, we aim to enhance our products’ substance. TP-LINK also continues to focus on end user feedback and interact with end users to improve the user experience.
E. Experienced Sales and Marketing Team
By coordinating global and local market experience, TP-LINK’s sales and marketing team is able to provide effective marketing and sales strategies ensuring execution and effectiveness, getting more great networking products into the hands of end-users around the world.
What are the major challenges before you in increasing sales and how are you addressing these challenges?
The Indian market shows great potential, as well as challenges. For example, the depreciation of the Rupee is being used as an opportunity by local Indian export-oriented enterprises, while to us who focus on importing; this is quite a big challenge. To ensure the stability of our MSRP, we have taken several of measures to reduce our operation and logistic costs, meanwhile we flattened our channel and reduced the cost of sales, which has led us through the shock.
Secondly, India has a vast territory and a large population, which has been an obstacle for us to promote the Flattening Strategy. We made an effort to improve our coverage in the channel. At present we have already established cooperative relationships with over 60 regional distributors in all major cities. However, there are also a lot of vacant regions in B and C class cities remaining to be developed.
TP-LINK has always been striving to provide our end users with a high quality product experience, and have achieved remarkable success in that. That said, there have been certain circumstances wherein our products have not lived up to our own standards and the demands of our customers. We recently received some feedback on our TD-W8951ND product. As soon as we were informed about this situation, we arranged very strict tests based on the real application environment in our laboratory. The outcome was as follows: the chips in some of the products that came from a certain shipment are over-sensitive. They may work abnormally under some circumstances and this affects the user experience. After our communication with the chipset supplier, they have improved their production process. The chips in the new shipments no longer have this problem. For defective products that are still circulating in the Indian market, TP-LINK offers a free replacement warranty. To our users: if you are faced with this problem, please contact us by 1800 2094 168. Our engineers will offer you fast and reliable replacement service. TP-LINK is a worldwide brand with independent research and development capabilities. Thanks to our close partnership with upstream suppliers, we have the ability to react promptly and solve problems with high efficiency.
Please elaborate on your market strategy in India? What are your future plans?
India is an emerging market with high potential, to which TP-LINK holds very high expectations. In the aspect of marketing, with reference to advanced experience from some mature markets such as USA and UK, and also the understanding of the Indian culture by our local team, we are able to deploy scientific and detailed marketing strategies. With regard to our products, we won’t change our attitude of serving customers with high quality yet affordable products and friendly user experiences. From a channel perspective, we aim to build win-win relationships and create value for our partners. We have achieved very good results through a series of effective measures. In the future we will go on with our strategy and carry it out thoroughly.
What efforts has TP-LINK made for branding? What’s your plan in the near future?
Branding is one of the major missions of our Indian subsidiary. Based on the information we have gathered about the Indian market and experience from Europe and America, we have made several plans elaborately and carried them out. We cooperate with online retailers for promotions, offering end-users affordable, high quality products; we cooperate with media partners for advertising, press outreach and product testing to make ourselves known to end-users; we cooperate with business partners and introduce various activities, such as schemes and dealer meetings, to motivate the channel. All these plans are now in process and will be continued in the future.