In an exclusive interview with Khalid Wani, Senior Director – Sales, India at Western Digital, Rajeev Ranjan explores the intricate world of storage solutions for the Indian CCTV industry. Khalid elaborates on the distinct requirements of CCTV storage, the evolution of storage solutions to meet industry needs, and Western Digital's unique position in providing comprehensive and efficient video surveillance storage options. The conversation also delves into the brand's support for channel partners in navigating the evolving business landscape and its initiative to combat the sale of counterfeit tech products. Discover how Western Digital is shaping the future of video surveillance storage in India.
Rajeev: How are the storage requirements for CCTV different from PCs?
Khalid: CCTV storage demands increased write cycles and endurance to meet the challenging requirements of surveillance systems, particularly in applications like e-policing and continuous road network management. Uninterrupted multi-stream capture is essential for these scenarios, necessitating storage platforms that can handle constant data writing and rewriting, especially in high-resolution formats.
The reliability over time of storage solutions is crucial, and higher endurance becomes a key factor in ensuring the effectiveness of CCTV systems. The ability to endure a wide range of weather fluctuations is also vital for optimal operation in various environmental conditions, thereby reducing downtime and maintenance costs. Choosing storage options with higher endurance is pivotal in withstanding the rigorous demands of continuous surveillance, making it a crucial consideration for the efficient deployment of CCTV systems in public safety and security applications.
The need for 24/7 support for microSD cards becomes evident in maintaining the reliability of security systems during component failures or outages. This support is essential for sustaining the growth and reliability of CCTV applications, particularly in areas such as traffic management and public safety.
Rajeev: How have storage solutions available in the market evolved to meet the changing needs of the surveillance industry?
Khalid: The evolution of storage solutions in the market aligns seamlessly with the dynamic needs of the growing Indian CCTV industry, projected to achieve a remarkable CAGR of 20.60% by 2028. This growth is largely attributed to government initiatives focusing on smart cities and efficient governance. In this landscape, the selection of appropriate storage solutions has become a paramount consideration to ensure the efficiency of surveillance systems.
Significant advancements have been made to address the imperative for higher endurance in storage options, a critical factor for withstanding extreme weather conditions and concurrently reducing maintenance and downtime.
The WD Purple™ microSD card, featuring proactive maintenance alerts, serves as a prime example of this evolution by offering a robust solution for continuous surveillance. Additionally, the integration of smart video surveillance Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) further contributes to system efficiency. Specialized HDDs, such as Western Digital's WD Purple™ Pro HDDs, are specifically designed for 24/7 multi-stream, multi-camera use, presenting distinct advantages over standard HDDs.
In the realm of efficient traffic management, the market has seen the emergence of surveillance HDDs like WD Purple™ Pro HDDs with substantial capacities, such as the 22TB model, tailored to meet central storage needs. Furthermore, the inclusion of SD/microSD™ cards for on-camera storage complements this evolutionary trend, providing local storage options within individual cameras or network video recorders. This setup ensures quick access to critical footage. The collaborative synergy between WD Purple™ microSD cards and surveillance HDDs highlights a comprehensive and efficient video surveillance storage solution, adeptly meeting the evolving demands of the industry.
Rajeev: What is one thing that sets your product apart from the competition?
Khalid: Addressing the demanding requirements of surveillance systems, which necessitate continuous capture and streaming, resilience to varying weather conditions, and adaptability to unforeseen errors, poses a significant challenge. Western Digital stands out by offering an unparalleled range of storage devices designed to meet diverse needs in the surveillance industry. A key distinguishing factor is the comprehensive and synergistic approach to video surveillance storage provided by Western Digital. The integration of specialized storage solutions, such as the WD Purple™ microSD card with proactive maintenance alerts and the WD Purple™ Pro HDDs designed for 24/7 multi-stream, multi-camera use, sets the brand's offerings apart from the competition.
The inclusion of large-capacity surveillance HDDs, as exemplified by the 22TB WD Purple™ Pro HDD model specifically tailored for central storage in traffic management applications, further establishes Western Digital as a leader by offering a comprehensive storage ecosystem. The collaborative synergy between these storage solutions underscores Western Digital's commitment to meeting the evolving and diverse needs of the booming Indian CCTV market, positioning the brand as a leader in providing advanced and tailored video surveillance storage options
Rajeev: How is Western Digital supporting its channel partners in navigating the changing business landscape, considering factors such as online shopping trends, digital adoption, and holistic marketing programs?
Khalid: At Western Digital, our channel policy is built on partnership, trust, and mutual growth. We see our channel partners as an integral part of our extended family, empowering them for success while delivering exceptional value to our customers. Our commitment is to provide partners with a diverse portfolio of cutting-edge storage solutions, ensuring every customer's unique needs are met, whether it's high-capacity data center storage or consumer-friendly external hard drives.
We prioritize partner support through comprehensive training, technical resources, and marketing assistance, fostering growth opportunities. Our transparent pricing policy enables partners to remain competitive, maintaining healthy profit margins. With a dedicated channel team and a robust partner portal, we're committed to addressing challenges, providing technical aid, and exploring new possibilities. We run various channel partner programs to educate and equip our channel partners to leverage diverse market opportunities. We also offer them support to better connect with consumers. For example, our SanDisk League of Heroes (SLH) recognizes and rewards the high-performing channel partners in the consumer segment while our MyWD Partner reward program enables and encourages partners who sell storage drives, NAS and Surveillance/smart video solutions.
Over the years, we have been consolidating and segmenting our channel partners for growth in key channel networks ranging from mobile, retail, IT, surveillance, and enterprise channel networks. We have an integrated channel marketing strategy built on three key pillars - education, reward, and engagement. In recent years, we have also aided our partners with digital toolkits, such as TechTalkApp, which helps them adapt to shifts, trends and new technology in today’s digital world. We also offer product collaterals and sales generation resources and connect them with prospects across social platforms. By empowering partners with the right products, resources, and support, we collectively deliver outstanding storage solutions, driving innovation and creating value for businesses worldwide.
Rajeev: Could you provide details on Western Digital's 'Buy Genuine' initiative and how it actively combats the sale of counterfeit tech products?
Khalid: When a retailer deals in counterfeit products, consumers may experience low-quality products without warranty, and, in the case of storage products, they may not get the capacities and speeds they thought they were buying. From the retailer perspective, selling counterfeit products can corrode their reputation. When consumers experience problems with products that are not genuine, this can potentially lead to losing customers over time and forgoing a chance to work with renowned brands such as SanDisk.
To counter this problem, Western Digital launched a ‘Buy Genuine’ campaign to combat counterfeit product trading in India. It is an educational outreach aimed at raising awareness amongst the channel partners about the importance of buying genuine products and adverse effect of counterfeit products. As part of the initiative, we are collaborating with channel partners and local retailers to encourage SanDisk brand retailers to sell genuine products.
We are also informing our channel partners and retailers about our authorized national distributors. Western Digital has an exclusive list of four authorized bona fide national distributors in India via whom all products bearing the trademark and brand “SanDisk” are imported into and sold in India. These four authorized national distributors are Rashi Peripherals Pvt. Ltd, Ingram Micro India Pvt. Ltd, Compuage Infocom Pvt. Ltd, and Redington India Ltd.