Being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the country and retaining a substantial market share hasn�t been a cakewalk for Delhi-based Vintron Informatics Ltd.
p____p The company was established in 1991 when the Indian IT market was just beginning to manufacture motherboards and computer peripherals.
p____p Today with a 20 percent market share in the motherboard market and a growing awareness of its PC brands, the company is determined to bag a better share of the mobo market pie in the coming year in competition with players like Intel and other MNC brands.
p____p The company started upping the ante in 1999 when it made an investment in its motherboard manufacturing facilities to the tune of Rs 10 crore. It looked to consolidate its business by closing down non-core activities like distribution. Meanwhile, it increased its product portfolio to add PCs, modems, keyboards, mouse, monitors and UPS.
p____p “In 1995, when the government brought down the import duties on finished goods but did not reduce the taxes on components, it had become extremely difficult for the company to sustain itself. That was when we took up the distributorships of HP, Logitech etc. We did that for three years till 1998,” explains Manish Agrawal, director (Operations), Vintron Informatics.
p____p Following this, the company decided to restructure its business vision and go back to doing what it was truly good at, that is motherboard and PC manufacturing.
p____p The company now has three plants in Delhi, Daman and Parwanoo. These plants have a capacity to produce 4,00,000 motherboards and 1,20,000 desktops per annum.

Boosting the Channel

Vintron strictly follows two separate distribution strategies for its motherboards and add-on cards and PCs. For its motherboards, the company follows a regional distribution strategy with 100 partners across the country. For its PCs specifically, it has a single-tier set up with 500 dealers addressing the users directly in the market. In all, Vintron has a 2500 strong channel across the country.p____p “For our motherboards and cards we do not have any plans to target the OEMs as we are present mainly through our distributors and the users can easily access our products from them. For our PCs we have a single tier that helps us to be in touch with the pulse of the user market,” adds Agrawal.
p____p As far as PCs are concerned, the company is completely focused on the home segment, institutions and the SME segment.
p____p Vintron has a two-pronged strategy for PCs. Agrawal stated that while the Elixir brand is targeted at the home segment and Bizz 123 is aimed at the SME segment.
p____p Agrawal plans to stick to this approach as the “market already has too many brands that are competing in the same space”.
p____p In fact, he sees the branded PC market pie shrinking as the local assemblers still rule the roost in the Indian PC market.
“The reason why the local assemblers are able to give better pricing is because they save seven to eight percent on duty itself, besides cutting costs on components. The only way we can beat them is to offer better bundling of products and dedicated support,” adds Agrawal.
p____p Currently, Vintron has close to a six percent share in the branded PC market. This year, the company was able to renew its PC supply contract with the government. Agrawal hopes this will add a good amount to Vintron�s revenue kitty and market share of its business PCs.
From Vintron�s business vision and investment plans it is quite plain to even the lay observer, that the major chunk of the revenue comes from its motherboard business.

p____p In fact, the company was one of the first Indian manufacturers to bring out Intel�s 845GL chipset-based mainboard in the market.
Though it competes in a big way with Intel in the mobo market, it is also one of the biggest users of the latest Intel chipsets.
p____p “We tried AMD and still bring out some products based on that but the market sway is more towards Intel so the major chunk of our mobos are based on Intel,” Agrawal explains.
According to him, the Indian motherboard market lags behind the international market by three months. But there is a transition that is taking place in the market, where local brands and manufacturers are gaining ground over imported brands from Taiwan or Hong Kong.
p____p “This is mainly because the earnings percentages are going down and the local manufacturers are able to service and support the products better,” says Agrawal.

Advantage Vintron

The company today prides itself on being one of the oldest mobo manufacturers in the country that provides complete support to its customers across the country.
The company has appointed more than 250 service franchisees across the country that provide support to its distributors and resellers.
p____p “We also have 13 RMA centers across all our branches that provide instant replacement to faulty products,” says Agrawal.
According to him, the company has an added advantage over several other PC vendors because the company manufactures its own components. “That way we are able to keep control over our quality standards,” adds Agrawal.

p____p Now Vintron is on the road to further consolidation. Currently, it is not looking at making any further investments in manufacturing.
“Currently, the company is not capitalizing on the total capacity of our plants. However, with the positive movement that has been seen in the PC market in the third quarter this year, we expect the demand for motherboards and add-on cards to increase,” clarifies Agrawal.
p____p In fact, Agrawal believes that the one technology trend that will have a positive effect on motherboard manufacturing is the integration of several features on the mobo. It is believed that this will aid in reducing the cost of manufacturing, which may in turn impact the price of the motherboard as well.
p____p Not resting on this hope alone, the company is on the other hand clearly focused on bringing in newer versions in its existing product line. “The technology obsolescence is very high, and that puts a lot of pressure on the vendor and the channel to offload the products fast. This also leads to price fluctuations in the market. That is why we want to introduce products depending on the demand,” points out Agrawal.

Slow But Steady

After being in the market for nearly eleven years, Vintron has carved a definite niche for itself.
p____p The company has already developed a good market base in the northern, southern and central parts of the country.
p____p Moving from strength to strength, the company wants to create a foothold in the west, this year.
p____p The company aims to consolidate its channel partners in order to place a greater emphasis on this area.
p____p While these plans may appear rather low-key, Agrawal hopes that the company will achieve a 25 percent growth over its current revenue of Rs 195 crore, in the next fiscal.