By Swaminathan B
Gaming in India is one of the most happening sectors in India, especially with the advent of mobile gaming. Today, consumers are willing to invest into gaming components unlike in the past. Likewise, the Channel community is getting equipped, updated and interested in selling gaming products. Looking at the growth of the gaming market, the channel community is more inclined and focusing towards gaming segments. In an exclusive chat with Channel Times, M A Mannan, Country Manager at Corsair India, speaks on the currents trends in the channel on the gaming sector.
Channel Times: What are the recent trends you notice in the gaming sector in India?
Mannan: There are different stages in the life of a gamer and we can foresee the changes happening now in India as the gamers who get addicted with their mobile games are slowly forced to move towards PC gaming. The mobile games are simply too simple and interested gamers are getting bored and moving to real games on the PC platform. We have seen consumers investing in high end cases, power supply, graphic cards and mother boards in a big way and recent trends shows consumers are also interested in buying gaming specific keyboards, mice etc. to enhance their overall performance.
Channel Times: We believe, the Indian channel community is not equipped for selling gaming products like they are comfortable with a consumer or enterprise product. What is your take on this? Please explain your views on this.
Mannan: The change has already started and as the markets see one success story in gaming products, others will surely follow. This is a new segment where they make not only top line but healthy bottom line as well. These products with special features give them an opportunity to strike a chord with the customers who are technically sound and are looking for technology cutting product lines. More and more partners are getting aligned towards promoting gaming products which wasn’t seen a few years back.
Channel Times: What are the top 5 challenges the peripherals and accessories industry is facing post GST?
Mannan: There is not much impact on implementation of GST as the overall taxation remains the same except for few products which fall under 28% GST. One of the gaming products is the power supply which falls under the 28% bracket which is something wrong on the part of the government. Overall the GST will do good for the industry. But the increase to 28% tax on power Supply is a wrong step.
Channnel Times: What are the top 3 channel roadmaps for Corsair in this year?
Mannan: Corsair is spreading its wings meticulously, with our distributors Supertron Electronics and Abacus Peripherals we can proudly declare that Corsair is now available across India cutting all boundaries and territories. Our channel roadmap is to ensure Corsair products availability across India in every nook and corner, appoint Corsair dedicated partners across India to promote our brand and create a positive brand image for Corsair- the go to brand in India. With our distributor’s extensive distribution network, excellent service we are positive to reach this goal in short time.
Channel Times: How is the online Vs Offline channel balance for your product?
Mannan: Online in India is in its nascent stage, trying to break the barriers of the channel setup. We still feel online has a long way to go. We have no issues balancing the offline and online products and ensure everyone have a win-win situation to promote Corsair.
Channel Times: How are you ensuring the price parity amongst various channels?
Mannan: Our strength is our channel partners with whom we directly work very closely, the Corsair dedicated partners are like close knit family so there is no chance of price parity in it. The distributor is instructed to bill to Corsair partners at a price point to all our partners with no pricing difference which helps us in bond building and they in turn promote Corsair brand.
Channel Times: One key issue faced by the channel partners in the peripherals is the lack of proper policies after-sale support from the vendors. How unique is your after-sale support.
Mannan: Our strong selling point is our service. Our clear cut policy is do the sales and leave the service part to Corsair. We have our service center across India and consumers can avail our services be it technical query, compatibility issues or any question related to Corsair they can call 18004255464 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a dedicated resource who is trained in the USA by Corsair HQ to handle all such queries.
Channel Times: What is your policy when it comes to the post-sale of Obsolete or Discontinued Products? Will the warranty be calculated from the day of purchase or from the day it was sold to the channel partner (end-reseller)?
Mannan: Corsair policy always considers the consumer as the king. Obsolete or discontinued products are replaced by the next available model with identical features or much better features. There are many instances where consumers have availed and applauded our services like a defective 4GB usb drive was replaced with a new 8GB usb drive when 4GB became obsolete. Warranty is always calculated from the date of purchase, but with conditions applied. But overall the consumer is never at a loss at Corsair.