We expect to get at least to the No. 3 position in India
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) is one of the top tier-1 motherboard manufacturers of the world today and one of the oldest computer companies, being there for more than two decades. ECS business encompasses OEM as well as its own branded products. While at Computex 2010 in Taipei, Jayesh Limaye got a chance to interview David Chien, Vice President, ECS.
How big is the market in India for ECS?
We are the number three motherboard supplier including OEM in the India market today. We moved up due to the aggressive marketing especially in this year. We are currently the number three motherboard provider overall, following Foxconn and Pegatron. 60 percent of our products go to OEM, while 40 percent are for the channel. In the channel market, our position is number three globally. We are number one in Latin America, number 2 in South-East Asia, number 2 in Middle East, number 4 in Russia. ECS is and number four in India as far as ECS-branded motherboards is concerned.
Motherboard is the primary product from your stable. Are there any plans to introduce other products in to the Indian market?
We will soon be introducing ECS VGA (graphics) cards in India under the ECS brand. We will also introduce other products such as notebooks, tablet PC, e-book readers and All-in-One computers which are on display in our booth here at Computex.
There is cutthroat competition in this market. How do you intend to tackle the competition?
There is always competition, be it in India or in the international market. ECS motherboard received the Best Choice award at this Computex for the A890GXM-AU Black series motherboard. We are also focusing on “Deep Green Technology” as well as on adding better overclocking features in the motherboards and at the same time maintaining a price that is lower than our competitors. Our competitors are advertising that their motherboards have “333”, which means SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 and eSATA 3.0 but our motherboards have “3333”. This includes all of what they have with 3 times more gold. Our motherboards have three times the gold coating to minimize chances of oxidation. The gold contacts have a 15 micron gold layer to ensure a longer lifespan. Most motherboards have single USB 3.0 and single SATA 3.0 controllers but some of our motherboards have two controllers for each of them, thus providing twice as many numbers of USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 ports.
What is your opinion about the company’s brand recognition in India? What is going to be the go-to-market strategy?
We have focused more on OEM business and that is the reason why our brand recognition in India is not as strong as we would have liked it to be. Our competitors already have a good foothold in the Indian market, so we will have to work harder for brand recognition. We, therefore, plan to do aggressive marketing with our local partners with road shows, events, media reviews, schemes, etc. We have also chosen Rashi Peripherals as our channel partner in India and are very positive that the brand recognition will grow this year due to that.
How many new product launches are expected this year?
As you may have seen, we have introduced new chipsets such as the Intel 6-series based motherboards, which you will not see in any other booth and AMD 8-series based motherboards. We have also the overclocking motherboard P55H-AK, supporting the new Intel unlocked CPUs. We also have newer chipset motherboards for enterprise segment. In the OEM market, we have several notebooks and tablet PC. AIO computers (All-in-One) with a touch panel screen and 3D screen without glasses are something that we are going to introduce this year. They are different from the rest because they will allow users to upgrade almost everything. The e-book reader is also something new, which we will sell this year. Our WiMAX products such as the WiMAX to Wi-Fi converter/Access Point and the WiMAX dongle are also going to be available this year.
What would be your targets for this financial year in India?
Currently, we are at the number four market position. By the end of this year, we expect to get at least to the number 3 position in India. Quantity-wise, we are looking to get to the second position.
How many units do you intend to sell this year?
By the end of this year, our global target is 9 million motherboards for channel only, which is an increase of 15 percent. In India, we target an increase in sales of 8 percent.
How many channel partners are associated with ECS India? Any plans to increase the count?
We have one channel partner in India, which is Rashi Peripherals. No, we do not plan to have any other partner this year at least as we will be working together with Rashi to promote our brand.
Apart from the existing reseller programs, are there any plans for new programs?
Yes, we do have some reseller programs planned this year wherein the reseller can earn points and get real gold. I think this will work well. In other countries, we focus mostly on the end user but in India we focus on the reseller as well so that the reseller is able to better educate the end user.
ECS has been advertising about green technology products this year. Please tell us more about them.
Almost everyone is talking about the environment these days and ECS is no different. We also care about the environment and we are one of the first motherboard companies in Taiwan to get a government approval for the ISO certificate regarding environment-friendly products. Our newer motherboards support “Deep Green Technology,” which allows the motherboard to consume almost no power in the soft-off (S5) mode. This is even less than the European standard (EUP) for the year 2013. This will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions due to the reduction of energy consumption. We have worked out that this actually is equivalent to planting 2,902,500 trees every year.