“In 2024, Our Channel Plans Revolve Around Expanding Beyond Distribution And Reseller Channels”

“In 2024, Our Channel Plans Revolve Around Expanding Beyond Distribution And Reseller Channels”

The Indian SSD market is experiencing rapid growth, fueled by increasing demand for high-performance storage solutions. Emerging technologies like NVMe are revolutionizing the storage industry, offering faster speeds and improved efficiency. Micron has been at the forefront of this growth, achieving remarkable success in the Indian market. With a strong focus on innovation and product quality, Micron has positioned itself as a key player in providing cutting-edge storage solution to meet the evolving needs of Indian consumers and businesses. Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal recently held an exclusive interaction with Rajesh Gupta, Director Sales - India & SAARC, Micron Technologies. He talked about the significant advancements in the Indian storage market. Read below the excerpts:

𝐐. Rajeev: How has the Indian SSD market evolved over the past few years?

𝐀. Rajesh: Over the last five years, there has been significant progress in SSD adoption. According to the CMR report, SSD consumption in the consumer segment in India has grown almost fivefold, which is significant growth. This growth signifies that consumers are increasingly upgrading their laptops or desktops with SSDs. Previously, there was a need to educate consumers about the advantages of SSDs. However, now, communication regarding their benefits, such as speed, lower power consumption leading to better battery life, and durability, has led to widespread awareness. The availability of SSDs at similar price points to traditional hard disks has further accelerated adoption, making better technology accessible to a broader consumer base. Overall, increased awareness and affordability have driven the strong adoption of SSDs in the Indian market.

𝐐. Rajeev: What factors are fuelling the SSD market?

𝐀. Rajesh: In India, the prevailing business trend revolves around extended upgrade cycles primarily due to limited PC manufacturing. Laptops and desktops in enterprises typically have a lifespan of three to five years, while it extends to around five years in homes. The prevailing culture in India leans towards maximizing the value and lifespan of products, often beyond the typical cycle, driven by the relatively high costs of warranty maintenance. Consequently, individuals tend to continue using functional systems, leading to prolonged upgrade cycles, and PCs frequently undergo multiple cycles, fostering demand.

Every three to four years, the size of operating systems and applications expands, necessitating more memory and storage space. This growth prompts users to seek solutions for performance bottlenecks, either through online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart or traditional retail channels. Micron has addressed compatibility concerns through the popular Memory Selector tools - Crucial Advisor & Crucial System Scanner. Using Crucial Advisor tool, users can simply select their PC's brand name and model number from drop down menu and get tailored recommendations for tested and qualified Micron memory and SSDs, streamlining the selection process.

Another factor is the emergence of new use cases like Social media Influencers, content creators, designers, professional gaming etc who need much more performance and capacity than usual home/business users.

Overall, the growth of the SSD market in India is propelled by increased awareness, performance-driven upgrade cycles, emergence of new use cases and the rising demand for data storage. Platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and retail channels serve as key conduits for meeting these market demands, with Micron playing a significant role through its user-friendly tools and quality products.

𝐐. Rajeev: What will be your key channel engagement plan for year 2024?

A. Rajesh: In 2024, our channel plans revolve around expanding beyond distribution and reseller channels to focus on the SIs and VARs segments. This shift involves comprehensive efforts, including training, providing samples, and customization for these channels catering to various verticals, local Data Centers, and small to medium-sized businesses. We have allocated resources and initiated regular training programs to engage effectively with SI and VAR partners. Our strategy includes leveraging face-to-face training sessions to facilitate hands-on experiences, particularly beneficial for the SI and VAR channel. With the memory and storage industry recovering in 2024, marked by technological transitions like DDR4 to DDR5 and the growth of NVMe SSDs, we emphasize preparing our channel partners to meet evolving customer demands effectively. As business recovers this year, customers will seek the best products, and our focus is on ensuring our channel partners are well-equipped to meet these demands.

𝐐. Rajeev: How does Crucial Pro product cater to gamers and empower them?

A. Rajesh: Online gaming, in particular, has been rapidly growing, both in the professional and amateur spheres, as people construct gaming systems and immerse themselves in gameplay. This trend is evident in India as well. Gamers demand specialized products that can maximize their gaming experience, extracting every ounce of performance from their hardware. Recognizing this need, Crucial Pro is a product line tailored specifically for gamers who need everything to work seamlessly with simple plug and play.

Crucial Pro offers DRAM modules designed with gaming requirements in mind. These modules feature optimized heat spreaders/heat sinks to effectively manage the heat generated during intense gaming sessions. Unlike standard consumer DRAM, gaming DRAM is engineered to withstand the rigorous demands placed on it by gamers, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

In addition to DDR4 DRAM modules, Crucial Pro offers DDR5 products, catering to gamers' desire for the latest and most advanced technology. With speed grades reaching up to 6000, these products provide exceptional performance without the need for overclocking. However, for those seeking even greater performance, Crucial Pro also offers overclocking-capable parts.

Furthermore, Crucial Pro extends its product line to include SSDs equipped with heatsinks/heat spreaders to maintain peak performance during extended gaming sessions. By utilizing the highest quality components and cutting-edge technology, Crucial Pro products are engineered aesthetically to meet the demands of both professional and budget-conscious gamers.

The acceptance of Crucial Pro products has been exceptional, with availability through reputable distributors such as Rashi Peripheral and Supertron. Additionally, Crucial Pro products can be found on popular online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon, ensuring easy accessibility for gamers across India.

Q. Rajeev: How important is the Indian market for Micron?

A. Rajesh: Beyond its significance in terms of business, India serves as a powerhouse of engineering talent. Leveraging this talent, Micron has established two development centers - one in Hyderabad with nearly 3000 employees and another in Bangalore with almost 1000 employees. With around 4000 engineers engaged in cutting-edge work across various product lines and projects, these development centers contribute to our global operations.

Micron takes pride in being the first company to bring semiconductor manufacturing capability to India. Construction of our manufacturing facility, initiated after a groundbreaking ceremony in August last year, is progressing well. Our CEO, Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra, announced during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that shipments could commence as early as January 2025 - a significant milestone for both Micron employees and citizens alike.

Once operational, this manufacturing facility will integrate seamlessly into our global supply chain, enabling us to produce and distribute products not only within India but also worldwide. Construction is progressing swiftly, marking a promising advancement in our endeavors.

Q. Rajeev: What are the risks associated with purchasing refurbished SSDs, and why do you advise against?

A. Rajesh: The refurbished market poses a challenge to the entire economy, so I always recommend to avoid refurbished SSDs. These products, sourced from scrapped or warranty-replaced parts, can lead to early failure due to the limited remaining life of internal components. Even if the external packaging is refurbished, the internal parts may not be, posing a risk to consumers. Electronics lack visible indicators of remaining life, making it challenging to assess. Refurbished SSDs often lack warranties and are not advisable due to their uncertain lifespan and could fail just when it’s needed the most. Choose new, reliable products for better performance, predictability and longevity.

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