Hitachi GST to extend Its Reach to Tier II and III Cities

By VARINDIA - 2010-02-18

Hitachi GST to extend Its Reach to Tier II and III Cities

Brief us about your operations in India?
Hitachi GST is committed to the Indian market, and currently we have strong local support and sales team in India. We see potential growth in India’s storage industry and it will certainly play in Hitachi’s growth. We constantly evaluate and identify opportunities to improve our foothold and operations in India and to strengthen our local team in the market. We offer advanced desktop and mobile hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, and innovative external storage solutions and services fit for a broad range of market segments, including enterprise, desktop, mobile computing, consumer electronics, and personal storage.

What is your marketing and distribution structure in India?
We have three distributors in India: Cyberstar, Redington and Neoteric. We have reseller partners under these three distributors.

Our marketing strategy includes the following elements:
· Capitalize on growth anticipated in 3.5-inch consumer electronics areas like DVR/Set-Top Boxes and surveillance applications
· Continue to drive capacity leadership in mobile and desktop hard drives
· Expand our leadership in the 2.5-inch segment and continue to grow our presence in the 3.5-inch segment
· Continue to build our portfolio strength and presence in enterprise
We will also explore new business opportunities and extend our product lines. For instance, in December, we announced the strategic partnership with Intel to launch the new enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs) for servers, workstations and storage systems, with the first products expected to be available in early 2010. And in February, we announced the acquisition of Fabrik, Inc., a leading supplier of powerful storage solutions, through which Hitachi can expand into the fast-growing external storage market.

In order to provide our end-users with personalized and quality products, we plan to reach out to both consumer end-users and business end-users. For instance, organizing campaigns and promotions, and participating in trade shows, active media outreach, and speaking opportunities, etc.

What are your major plans for the Q2?
India is a significant market for Hitachi GST and we plan to widen our distribution reach to tier II and III cities and enhance the brand loyalty of resellers via the Hitachi Partners Privilege (HPP) programme, which is aimed at strengthening Hitachi’s channel partner network and capturing the rapidly-expanding market opportunity across India.

We will also conduct more product trainings in tier II and III cities to improve brand exposure. To achieve our targets, we will continue to do what we are doing and provide quality products to our consumers and also seek more media product reviews.

What are your plans for the channel partners?
We certainly have plans to extend the network of partners to tier II and III cities, and enhance the brand loyalty of resellers via the Hitachi Partners Privilege (HPP) programme, which is aimed at strengthening Hitachi’s channel partner network and capturing the rapidly-expanding market opportunity across India.

With the success of HPP launched in India last year, we have revamped the programme with more features to help our channel partners boost their sales and profitability. The new HPP platform will be available online which allows our members to gain more personalized access to our company and programme. We will also provide a more diverse rebate system and quarterly promotions, differentiated partner tiers and benefits, etc.

Apart from the HPP programme, we will continue to provide our partners with consistent and quality channel support like organizing annual partner appreciation conference, quarterly partners meeting and training, sales and marketing materials, retail branding materials, and resellers/retailers certification. Moreover, our relationship managers will provide our channel partners with the best-in-class channel support.

Have you drawn up any guidelines for channel partners to overcome these challenging times?
To overcome these challenging times, we have demarcated our growth strategy that includes:
Continue to strengthen our relationship with existing channel partners
Expand distribution reach in tier II to III cities
Address new business opportunities/segments with partners
We have three distributors in India and several reseller partners under these three distributors and we will continue to work closely with all the channel partners toward a win-win for both partners and ourselves.

Currently, Hitachi GST has almost 500 registered HPP members across the country, including resellers, system integrators, system builders and retailers. Ongoing, we are recruiting more new members into the HPP programme. Registered HPP members in India achieved a 345-per cent increase in their reported sales volume of Hitachi GST’s desktop and mobile products in Q4 2008 versus Q1 2008, when the programme was first launched in the country.

How are you going to tap the Indian market in 2009?
We are planning to cover the market through the following:
Product Leadership: We will continue to offer new models and provide the best-in-class products with #1 ranking quality and reliability in the traditional HDD market and the consumer-electronics market.

Application Leadership: We will pinpoint target applications for market expansion like the surveillance/CCTV market, which is a growing opportunity in India.
Going Green: Hitachi will continue to be an eco-friendly business partner focussed on minimizing environmental impact across our HDD portfolio.

Strategic Partnership with Intel: Launch new SSDs that help enterprise customers meet the skyrocketing demands for performance while reducing space, power and cooling costs.

Enhanced HPP Programme: Strengthen the relationship with resellers by launching a new HPP platform with more incentives, personalized features and support.

Comprehensive and Consistent Channel Marketing Support: Organize annual partner appreciation conference, quarterly partners meeting and training, sales and marketing materials, retail branding materials, and resellers/retailers certification.

Do you have any expansion plans for increasing channel base?
We see channel partners as our strategic business partners and customers, who help us to grow our channel footprint and strengthen Hitachi’s presence, market share and awareness in the marketplace. They also help to tap new and emerging applications via channels that reach out to specific vertical sectors like surveillance, media/ broadcast segments, SMBs, etc. We also have plans to extend the network of partners to tier II and III cities, and enhance the brand loyalty of resellers via the Hitachi Partners Privilege (HPP) programme, which is aimed at strengthening Hitachi’s channel partner network and capturing the rapidly-expanding market opportunity across India.

With the success of HPP launched in India last year, we have revamped the programme with more features to help our channel partners boost their sales and profitability. The new HPP platform will be available online which allows our members to gain more personalized access to our company and programme. We will also provide a more diverse rebate system and quarterly promotions, differentiated partner tiers and benefits, etc.

Apart from the HPP programme, we continue to provide our partners with consistent and quality channel support like organizing annual partner appreciation conference, quarterly partners meeting and training, sales and marketing materials, retail branding materials, and resellers/retailers certification. Moreover, our relationship managers will provide our channel partners with the best-in-class channel support.

What are the growth opportunities for you?
With the advancement of the hard drive industry, Hitachi continues to grow at a healthy pace. Our high-performance technology, low-cost storage for the ever-increasing amounts of data is the growth opportunity for us.

We plan to introduce more eco-friendly drives and low-power consuming drives. As India is a very price-sensitive market, we will also focus on cost-saving drives. We recently introduced the Deskstar 7K1000.B desktop hard drive, the world’s most energy-efficient 7,200 RPM one terabyte (1TB) hard drive. It offers an exceptional blend of power efficiency and performance, making it an ideal solution for power-friendly consumer and commercial PCs. The new three-disk design improves idle power consumption up to 43 per cent over its 1TB predecessor, which was already among the industry’s most energy-efficient hard drives.

For the 2.5-inch segment, we have launched the Travelstar 5K500.B, Hitachi’s second 500GB mobile drive that combines advanced data encryption technology with eco-friendly features, such as halogen-free design and a read/write power specification that is the lowest in the industry. Travelstar 5K500.B uses the industry’s latest 250GB-per-platter technology to deliver a half terabyte (500GB) of capacity in an industry-standard 9.5mm mobile form factor.

Under the strategic partnership with Intel, we will launch new enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs) that help enterprise customers meet the skyrocketing demands for performance while reducing space, power and cooling costs. The first products are expected to be available in early 2010.
 


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