D-Link has been expanding its infrastructure lately. The paradigm shift is towards quality propositions rather than generating mere profits. D-Link has been able to capture a substantial market and mind share in the Indian networking industry.

Yogesh Sharma, GM (North India), D-Link shared his views about the recent trend swings of the networking market with
Shweta Sharma of DQW News Bureau. Sharma thinks the recent shakeout phase has left D-Link stronger and it has big plans in the future.


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How have been the recent times for D-Link, especially the recent technological swerve?
The shakeout phase has left a lot of players at loose strings that not many could survive. Such a scenario has been very beneficial for us; there are numerous small players who had to drop out. The technological swing is in our favor. We have been able to cash upon our agility and prudent steps. Now the impetus is on creating viable technological solutions to our channel partners and end-consumer. Now our platform is fortified then what it was before this shake-off time.

How are the sentiments of your channel partners and customers?
Last two months have been very optimistic. 9/11 had left us in a daze, but everything now seems to be smooth sailing. The shift is from external networking products to internal networking products. For instance, external modems now do not fetch the same market share as they used to six months ago. High-end products are in demand and end consumer is much more involved in the buying process and final solution implementation.

How is the range, especially the motherboards, that D-Link launched in last six months, faring in the market?
Market has given a positive feedback to our products. We have been noticed very well for the motherboards, but somehow other activities took away the handholding that motherboard production required. Rest of the products has been success. I would attribute this success to our meticulous pre-launch market research and healthy channel relations. We have our channel partners from varied profile, which can support any kind of product, and this is why I am so confident about our product range.

Let us talk about the focus area for forthcoming products and if high-end products are in pipeline too?
Networking products are commanding their presence now. The market is growing at a high pace in north India, particularly in ‘B’ and ‘C’ grade cities. We plan to tap these regions maximum as we already have a strong infrastructure in place. We plan to launch Gigabit products, lease line converters and other high-end products. Now we want to give our channel partners quality products that will have considerable profit margins.

What is the future plans for D-Link?
Irrespective of the market trends, we will soon expand our infrastructure in terms of manpower and geographic reach. Focus will be on creating technologically advance networking solution. We want to move along with the market dynamics through agile networking solutions.

How do you plan to approach the high-end product market? 
High-end product offerings are inevitable we have to keep a tab on technological innovations. Our strategy is multi pronged; right from educating end-consumers to knowledge management, we will keep our product offerings technically advance. We have identified a group of people, which would enable this process and pave way for the complete transition into a techno-savvy company.

What is it that the networking market in India requires-new products or technologically sound solutions?
We need both! But out of two, we need the technical expertise sooner. The SIs and our channel partners are getting our inputs on this aspect. We are giving them regular inputs on technological advances and newer product offerings. Technological advances can only be exploited with a proper solution offering; thus a proper balance between both is imperative.

What would be the contribution of IT-es in Indian networking market?
One segment that is driving the networking market and is growing at a good rate is the ITes. This will give the much-required boost to the otherwise stagnant networking market. The forecasts are bright and we plan to cash on these trends.

What do you plan in north India for next two quarters?
So far, we have been able to meet out targets, in fact we have over achieved. The present quarter aims at total revenue of Rs 9-10 crores. The Q1 of FY 2002-03 would depend on the coming budget and market trends.