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“We Keep Evolving and Updating Our Channel Engagement Programs from The Traditional Approach”

April, 21, 2018

We observed enormous growth in data consumption in recent years which was primarily fuelled by digital transformation, smartphone usage and internet penetration. Effective data storage solutions are not only important for organisations now, but the end users are also required to enhance their storage solution capabilities.  Western Digital, the leader in this domain offers wide range of storage solutions as per consumer’s requirement. Khalid Wani, Director - Channel Sales, India, Western Digital Corporation, reveals company’s overall performance in year 2017 and his entire channel plans to be executed in new calendar year. 

DT: What have been the crucial milestones of your company during year 2017? 

Mr. Khalid: This year our focus has been to expand our expertise in different markets and cater to the changing needs of our varied consumer base. There was an extended focus on digitalization for storage needs in the media and entertainment industry, which has been a big business driver this year especially in the Indian market. Digitalization has gradually started to make its way into every industry and the entertainment industry has not shied away from adopting emerging technologies. Western Digital’s association with various media houses in India and outside has initiated an innovation in the media and entertainment business including multiple production houses in India and globally . A critical part of our business now is to identify the trends in each sector and to grow from there. 

DT: What are the key products introduced in Indian market?

Mr. Khalid: We have also expanded our product offering by launching the SanDisk Dual Drive series this year, which serves as a solution for quick data transfer from android smartphone to any other devices, thereby resolving the smartphone’s need for more storage space in the most effective manner. We have pushed the borders for mobile storage solutions through the launch resulting in storage coming to the forefront catering to both B2C and B2B market. This change is positive. Along with this, we also focussed on our surveillance and internal SSDs segment. We recently launched the WD Black PCIe SSDs, which is a next generation high performance storage device and the latest offering for PCs. This device unleashes performance for next level computing and is an ideal fit for gamers, developers and other consumers, looking out for high performance within their small form factor PCs. 

In December, we launched our innovative and reliable storage solution called My Cloud Home in India, which will allow consumers to store, save and access all their memories on the go with the one personal cloud storage solution. In the coming year as well our primary focus would be to grow our pillar to pillar strength in the country and ensure that we have a strong core that helps in creating a robust value system for our customers. 

DT: What's your channel strength currently in India?  

Mr. Khalid: We have a strong channel base within India. Our channel plans in India have focused on leveraging the existing channel base and transferring to them more enterprise specific knowledge. We keep evolving and updating our channel engagement programs from the traditional approach. We aim to work with our channel partners more closely and continue our associations with system builders, integrators and value sellers that operate in the storage sector. 

DT: How do you plan product positioning and awareness across all regions? 

Mr. Khalid: We also help ensure that the channel partners are offered the right product for the setup they may be working on. This is also critical, considering the 1000s of touch points that exists around the country, dispersal of the correct information across geographies and in multiple languages becomes important for ensuring efficiency in a multilingual environment. Channel partners awareness of flash storage products in addition to our hard drive products enables the existing channel base to open more gateways for our products. 

To ensure that the right information is being fed to the channel ecosystem, training and education programs are scheduled for the channel partners via different mediums which would include, in-person, online and mobile apps. Apart from these programs, get-togethers, programs and workshops are arranged across different regions in the country on regular intervals. This widely spread enablement ecosystem for the channel partners has generally led us to be known as a channel friendly organization. 

DT: How do you assure your customer excellent service support? What are your investments plans to enhance service support infrastructure to cover entire India? 

Mr. Khalid: We at Western Digital aim to provide our customers with a robust value system and on the same lines we have adapted to service support infrastructures to adhere to the current Indian market. We will have 25 new OTC replacement centres equipped with testing infrastructure that is deployed to ensure over the counter replacements for customers at key locations. These OTC replacement centers would cover a majority of the WD Express and drop point requests. These replacement centers will help ensure that customers receive their replacement drives the same day with available inventory in case the necessary product testing confirms a defective drive. Along with this, 50 new drop points with testing infrastructure will be deployed for expediting returns for the customers at key locations. Real time integration with one of the largest electronics manufacturing services company and WD will also be maintained in order to reduce processing time and improve information accuracy. The end result is to help shorten lead time and improve customer satisfaction. 

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