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“New Technology Adoption Boosts Wireless Router Market in India”  

By: DT News Network
November, 24, 2017

The wireless router market in India has gained exponential momentum in recent years and it is expected to grow more in next couple of years. To grab the emerging opportunities, brands are bringing high quality devices at a very affordable price. Enormous content on the internet and adoption of mobile devices has pushed the networking market growth in India as well. There are plenty of brands that are providing wireless routers whether it is for home or for offices. More and more smaller cities, towns and villages are getting connected to Internet and that leaves a big market for routers in India. To ascertain the market state from the perspective of leading networking market brands, DT has prepared a special story on the “Growth of Wireless Router Market in India” and integrated opinion of all the key players. To know well about this market, go throw the story below:

Fueling Factors 

In last few years, Indian networking market has grown due to boost in broadband and Internet adoption among consumers. Government push for Digital India which empowers every citizen to have internet access also help this market to grow. According to IDC, Networking market is expected to grow due to digital initiatives, 4G rollouts, VoLTE rollouts, Wi-Fi campus, Hotspots, etc. Majority of the organizations are opting for digital transformation and investing in technologies like Digital Assistant, IOT, AR/VR and Robotics

Marthesh Nagendra, Country Manager, India & SAARC, NETGEAR said, “The growth of current wireless router market is increasing with Internet penetration. More and more smaller cities, towns and villages are getting connected to Internet and that leaves a big market for routers in India.  As we have more and more connected devices in households, small office home office environment, the demand for routers with good processing power is increasing as the router acts as gateway and takes load of all network devices be it wired or wireless and share Internet connection. NETGEAR Nighthawk routers are doing pretty well in this segment as they are designed with better hardware to cope up with these situations. Another technology which is catching up fast is advance Wi-Fi systems which comes in pair and are meant for large homes/apartments, bungalows with multiple floors, small offices etc.”

“The Wireless market witnessed little decline due to various factors, but is expected to grow around 4 to 5% in year 2017. Education, professional services and telecom were the major contributing verticals for wireless market said Mandar Joshi, Head - Channel Business, DIGISOL Systems Ltd. “Wi-Fi hotspots at public spaces and Increased adoption of Wi-Fi by education institutes to facilitate world class infrastructure will continue to see growth in the coming quarters. Technology upgrades to 802.11ac to support higher bandwidth requirement will also follow a growing trend. The demand for Wireless in the future will be accompanied by the growing emphasis on the IoT and Smart devices and workplaces.”

 

The latest innovation in this domain has enhanced connectivity for mobile devices. Sanket Kulkarni, VP – Channel Sales (India & SAARC), D-Link said, “Connectivity is the key as people are constantly looking at ways to interacts & engage with technology being the enabler. This has resulted in huge demand for wireless devices, and uninterrupted wireless connectivity is crucial. As a result adoption of 11AC technology – the latest standard in Wi-Fi is on a rise. The fifth generation of Wi-Fi technology - 11AC, delivers incredible speed and wide area coverage of up to three times as fast as the current "N" Wi-Fi. And D-Link being a leader in networking domain has already introduced a host of 11AC products. The recent noise around 4G is also driving demand for high speed devices. In my opinion 4G services are revolutionizing internet & data connectivity in the country. Being a leader in wireless segment D-Link has introduced devices that support the latest 4G mobile communication standard thereby allowing users to enjoy wireless Internet access at a much higher speed, and since these are unlocked devices they work with all service providers." 

 Frank Rao, General Manager, India & SAARC, Tenda India commented, “If you have asked me same question year back, I would have responded that Router market has grown at good pace and is to see big YoY Sale in coming year, but In last 12 months, the Indian wireless Router market didn't grow too much due to cutthroat offering from Jio which has adversely created new era of cheap mobile data. But then there are limitations to Mobile data compared to speed and connectivity. Even if we consider a prior mentioned effect, the benefit of Jio was that people started using the Internet more freely and frequently, which directly led them to hunger of better speed and connectivity and choosing out Better Router for the hunger of speed which was left out by cheap mobile data. Not to forget to address elephant in the room ‘GST’, which did act as a speed breaker to IT Market as a whole, now that market has been familiar with GST terms and rules, the market is growing stable.” 

“As far as Technology trend goes, We believe that as the new advance smartphones are entering the market, the 11 AC Standard is getting more generalized within customers, foreseeing we can say Dual-band routers and Mesh technology will be witnessing bright light ahead, Frank added. 

Sharing his thoughts, Bijoy Alaylo , General Manager – Sales , TP-Link India Pvt Ltd said, “Wireless has seen a stagnant growth in the first half of 2017 but after the entrance of some companies providing huge data at affordable prices there has been an overall boost and requirement for high speed data and more connection ratio. Home wireless is seeing a revamp again through new connected devices over WiFi the connected home is the newest concept overtaking the regular WiFi requirement.”

 

“The Wireless router market is on a growth path and it is not going to slow down very soon but will grow even further thanks to the exponential growth of the Smartphone market fueled by the increasing internet bandwidth made more affordable to consumers.” Prabu Subramanian, Sales Manager, Linksys-India and SAARC says, “Although IOT is touted to be the next big thing, there is still sometime for it to get into the masses yet. On the other hand a new trend called the Whole Home WiFi is catching up really fast across the world and it won't be a long time when we see it here in Indian Consumers' homes.”

 

Growth Obstacles 

Commenting on the factors that are hampering market growth, Frank Rao said, “Indeed though Technology has remained exceptional and people are upgrading their smart devices, a foremost hurdle we observe is the acceptance of people on investing money on the router. As far as price is acknowledged, yes, the cost is an important part but Tenda’s strength of having its own manufacturing unit with ample resources, help us to attain and sustain the affordable price segment with best quality products in this fiercely competitive market. At present we are operating pretty good and planning to invest more on marketing front to educate our customers and to maintain and build up the brand notable and distinguished Identity in India.”

“The major challenge is to reach to the consumers at the most affordable prices since the data consumption and data speeds have increased and people require higher end routers to suffice their needs. TP-Link has introduced a big range of High-End products to offer a mix of options to the consumers”, said Bijoy Alaylo.

“India has always been a price sensitive market but that said, it is one of the biggest markets in the world which is on a growth trajectory. One of the major obstacle that we face is the slower adoption of the new technologies than some of the more developed countries in the world. This trend could be reversed if there are policies that support the industry by offering SOPs and making IT more affordable and thus increasing its adoption more in the Infrastructural development ”added Prabu Subramanian.

“With rise of free sim cards and low tariff on LTE, we see the entry level segment or the low cost router market segment is getting affected. Customer in this segment are opting for a LTE Sim and making their smart phones as hotspots as this feature is supported by most smart phones.” Marthesh Nagendra said, “However, these are making shift arrangements.  Customer who wants quality Internet and want to stream content into TVs are customers who would always prefer to go with high speed broadband with 100 Mbps and above speed available. We are targeting this market segment that need high speed Internet in all the connected devices with high performance so that streaming service, online gaming etc works flawlessly.”

                                                               

Channel Engagement Framework

Channel partners are integral part of a business and talking about the engagement and support provided to partners Mandar Joshi said, “As a regular activity, this year also we will undertake events for our channel community, where we will be having 1:1 interaction with our channel partners. We also actively participate in the trade shows, expos, etc. Apart from these, we will also aggressively promote in-shop branding. We will regularly connect ourselves with our partners who have been selling our products through regular marketing updates and marketing brochures. Apart from these we conduct many training sessions to help upgrade their skills. We have big focus and budget to promote DIGISOL brand on digital media and create customer pull in the market. With advent of Digitization, Mobility and Social media, the brand presence on digital media is a must. The presence on online channel increases the visibility of the products and some customers who see the product online call the offline stores for products. In other words, online visibility brings business to the traditional channel as well.” 

“We have a major portion of our marketing funds for Trainings and Seminar which helps the Channel to understand these markets and be technically qualified for offering these solutions. DIGISOL invests considerably in training and empowering their channel partners to build their own technical expertise as well as enhance the DIGISOL’s brand positioning and visibility in the industry. Sound market knowledge and in-depth understanding is helping us to emerge as a front runner in delivering end-to-end products to customers covering a broad spectrum in SOHOs and SMEs. We come up with new offers and schemes every quarter. We offer, loyalty and incentive schemes to motivate the channel partners. There are two parts of profit: One is upfront margin on the sales and the second if they give a certain amount of business quarterly they will get some extra incentive”, Mr. Joshi further adds. 

Sanket Kulkarni says, “Channel continues to be an integral part of our business strategy with channel engagement & partner profitability being of high precedence. As a result Partner engagement is crucial for D-Link, and we ensure all our strategies are devised keeping channel welfare in mind. D-Link conducts seminar/ partner engagement program at regular intervals to interact directly with channels. D-Link organizes such roadshows throughout the year in A, B & C class cities. The objective of these meets is to introduce partners to the latest in networking technology, update them on the product range, and address business concerns if any. To enable partners to sell better D-Link also conducts training & certification programs. For our Structured Cabling product line we have rolled out ‘D-Link Certified Cabling Expert (DCCE) program across India. DCCE provides participants with in-depth information on the technical aspect of the subject, evaluates trends for both copper &fibre products, and train them to design, install and conduct post-implementation testing of D-Link passive networking components for Infrastructure projects. Further, we at D-Link introduce various schemes on regular basis for partners that give them an opportunity to enhance their business value.” 

“Channel Partners can sell more by joining hands to provide the consumer with the better technological products by understanding their requirement, This way partners can sell a better product to the consumer giving both parties benefits on advancing technology and in this it is evenly important to join hands with the Global Brand which gives them technically competent products to service that customer to have better Experience.”Frank Rao said “This way everyone will be having a win-win situation. For channel engagement policies, we at Tenda prefer to closely cooperate with those determined channel partners who are also ready to put their efforts in Tenda products in his respective region.  We make sure that Tenda’s partners get easy sell whenever they are pitching out our product to the consumer, with our continuous Investment in branding which results in customer knowing Wi-Fi, uses of Wi-Fi and how our products can help them in their day to day life. This invariably leads to demand. Not to forget, we make sure that our partners are promoted prominently across channel magazines and our official Facebook page, which gives customer trust on our partner and bonds our relation with our partners. To provide lucrative benefits Schemes and offers are introduced from time to time according to market requirement and status.”

Bijoy Alaylo said, “TP-Link has always been running more and more channel based schemes to keep the partners engaged. We have launched various schemes in and around our focus products for the channel to push it through to the consumers. We always promote our channel to go hand in hand with us through our strategies.”

“Linksys is a completely channel driven and pro-channel brand. We do everything to keep our channel partners happy, be it promotions or technical support or training or incentives, we do it all. Our partners are the pillars of our business and many of them have stood with us for almost a decade” commented Prabu Subramanian.

“Visibility on the shelf, Emphasis on Security & Coverage, Training on features & providing installation guides, incentivizing partners, Parental controls for kids safety, Better selling tools to address the needs & requirements of the customer. Empowering them to address the basic trouble shooting issues” said Marthesh Nagendra.

                                                                       

Service Support Model

“In today's highly competitive business environment, customer is the King. And customer service is very important to any organization because it is often the only contact a customer has with a company. When customers buy your product he shows some kind of faith and confidence in your products and you have to honour that with very high quality customer service and support.” Mandar Joshi said, “DIGICARE has embarked on a journey of consolidation and improving customer experience through a new model of service network that offers faster turnaround of customer service. Through its easy-to-access DTAC contact center and a wide network of Partners across the country, DIGICARE has implemented a lean and yet efficient service model where the customer can get his/her defective product exchanged with good units at the customer touch points instead of repairing them. This network is supported in the backend by the state of the art Repair Hubs at Goa which ensures the repair quality standards are maintained. With this new service management model, DIGICARE is all set to provide the best possible after sales support to DIGISOL and help making DIGISOL the most preferred Brand. 

Customer engagement is a long term commitment and after sales plays a crucial role in building a brands credibility. Customers are sensitive towards brand reputation, and are constantly looking for friendly local after sales support. Adding more, Sanket Kulkarni, says, “We at D-Link have invested in delivering exceptional customer experience through our service model – wherein we offer service right at the comfort of their door step through DDS (D-Link Direct Service). Further we have also launched service center at all major cities.  These centers offer facilities for customer demo, product testing and problem simulation, quick replacement, along with accessories sale. D-Link reaches out to its customers in 150+ cities through its own D-Link Service Centers (DSC), which is support by its wide network of D-Link Service Partners (DSP) and Partner Courier Pickup (PCP). Further D-Link offers ‘Service at your door-step’ for Broadband, Wireless and 3G Lifestyle products through D-Link Direct Service (DDS).” 

Sanket further adds, “Advance Replacement Next Business Day Warranty (AR-NBD) by D-Link is a premium support program designed exclusively for enterprise customers, wherein it offers hassle free quick resolution through a dedicated tech support team, along with advance replacement facility to customer location at zero additional cost. It is indeed D-Link’s unique service support model that has enabled it to sustain our customer base & also retain our leadership position in networking technology domain.”

“At the primary point we make sure that products Tenda sells to its customers are of Best quality with minimal to no issues, but even though as it is an electrical device, problem ought to arise, thus we make sure our customers get easy access to services and RMA centers without much hassle. If the problem can be solved digitally, we have our technical support team on call for our customers. We understand that excellent service is essential and one of the most important aspects to do business in any market. And we at Tenda are planning to expand more service centers in multiple areas and provide on time after service” added Frank Rao.

Bijoy Alaylo said, “We at TP-Link has always strived to provide a reliable service to our consumers. Service support is the base of retaining customers towards our brand and we have been continuously enhancing the service support by increasing our touch points in various cities. Going ahead in the rest of 2017 we would be increasing our Service points in every important city of each state for consumers to reach out to us with more ease.”

“We at Linksys believe that a Brand becomes big only by the service that it offers to its customers at all the levels and the trust that its customer puts in the brand. To us Customer Service and Satisfaction is paramount. We strive to give our customers all the possible support which makes him happy and walk out with a smile by offering him a toll free line for any technical support that he may need or if the product is faulty, he can just go back to the point of purchase with the RMA number that he gets from the toll free tech support and replace his faulty device with a brand new unit without any questions asked” commented Prabu Subramanian.

Marthesh Nagendra said “NETGEAR always believes in providing quality service and hence we are committed to customers for warranty and support. We provide 3 yrs warranty on our premium router category like Nighthawk Series & Orbi whereas we provide 2 yrs warranty on entry level 11ac routers. Technical support is provided by our highly trained support engineers through a toll free number and we make sure customer issues are resolved within 1st call of customers. Other than this we provide new box pack units as replacement and customer gets an upgraded model if the bought model is out of stock or end of life.”

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