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“Our national distributors also act as importers and supply our products to regional distributors who further sell them through various channels”

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DQC Bureau
New Update

Once synonymous with Kodak's digital camera division, Sood is now trying to

bring her marketing chutzpah to SanDisk's memory cards and USB storage devices.

And with digital devices becoming ubiquitous and customers becoming highly

conscious of what they buy, her job has become a bit easier

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How has the market of flash memory cards grown in India over the past

three years?



Over the past few years, the flash memory card market in India has been

doing very well and I guess in the coming three to four years, there will be a

revolutionary change in the market trend. I expect the CAGR will increase by 100

percent.

The most crucial factor for such a tremendous boost is the adoption of

digital devices in Indian market. Buyers are highly conscious of the utility and

features of the digital products and their interest and urge to possess them has

resulted in such a positive trend.



Manisha Sood



Country Manager, SanDisk Corporation
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There has been an increasing demand for digital cameras and mobile phones

that can attach more than two memory cards with it and hence the installation

rate is high. Following the trend, the attachment rate of memory cards is

expected to rise upto 50 percent and 70 percent in mobile phones and digital

cameras respectively.

Do you think that the Indian market is moving at the same pace as the

other countries in the subcontinent?



India has just stepped into the market of flash memory cards and has got

immense potential. Currently, the demand of storage devices is in growth phase.

As far as the entire sub­continent is concerned there is already a high level

of awareness and the market has matured. There is a gradual trend of decline in

demand due to saturation worldwide. After China, India is the hottest market for

memory cards.

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SanDisk is highly optimistic about business prospects in the Indian market as

there is a substantial increase in the sale of digital cameras, mobile phones,

video games and laptops. We expect this trend to continue in coming years.

What is your channel structure in India?



We have a well-designed channel structure. At the top, our distribution

system is divided into three main parts -memory cards, USB pen drives and MP3

players. Each division has its own distribution portfolio.

Our national distributors also act as importers and supply our products to

regional distributors who further sell them through various channels. We have a

comprehensive network of retailers and resellers who take initiatives to bring

awareness among buyers for the latest consumer electronics and IT products.

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What are your plans for the channel partners?



We are highly committed to the market and ensure that the customized range

of products reach the right group of customers. SanDisk has therefore taken

initiatives to strengthen its channel in a practical manner. We give our

authorized partners training to increase their awareness about the features of

our products.

We are also taking measures to customize the MRP of storage devices that are

currently present in market, as their margin is as high as 300 percent. We do

not have any intention to cut down the price of the products but we aim to sell

them with genuine price tags. This initiative would enhance confidence among

customers to buy these products.

We are aiming to increase the number of resellers to 14,000 in the first

quarter of 2007. This will provide us with better recognition in unexplored

pockets of the country.

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Talking about brand recognition what is on your agenda in this regard?



We have a consolidated plan to expand the market of flash memory card in an

organized and structural manner. Moreover, we plan to educate our customers and

make them aware of new products through hoardings, magazines and advertisements

in newspapers



as well.

We have also conducted campaigns and training program for retailers and

resellers in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Cochin and others. This

initiative has helped our resellers in feeling the pulse of the market and

supplying products in a more systematic fashion. We have established OEM tie-ups

with companies like Motorola, Sony Ericsson and this strategy will also empower

us to perform extremely well in the Indian market.

Which are your key markets in India?

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Our top three markets in India are Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, where we have

received overwhelming response due to the increased awareness and IT knowledge.

Population also plays a big role in boosting the sale of products complemented

by a high-level of education and living standard.

Besides, we are doing extremely well in cities like Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and

Lucknow. Moreover, there is a rising trend of penetration of these items in the

upcountry segment that will swell the demand of memory cards and USB cards. We

have plans to expand our presence in the entire nation for which we are

advertising through magazines, newspapers and hoardings.

What other initiatives can be expected from SanDisk in the coming year?





We have many projects in the pipeline for 2007 that will expand our presence

in a broad manner. We are aiming to establish our brand in over  28 more

cities with training programs to train and educate our resellers and retailers.

Till now we have successfully executed such programs in



15 cities. The overpowering response of our resellers as well as the customers
is a big compliment for us that will propel us in the coming years.

-DQC NEWS BUREAU

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