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
How has the market of flash memory cards grown in India over the past
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
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.
Country Manager, SanDisk Corporation
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
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 subÂcontinent 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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.