By Priyanka Pugaokar

martheshAmerican global networking company, Netgear has announced very ambitious growth and expansion places in India. The company, which operates through its strong channel network in the country, is committed to the growth of its partners and has announced a slew of channel initiatives focused on partners’ education. In a candid interaction with Channel Times, Marthesh Nagendra, Country Manager, Netgear, India and SAARC highlights the channel initiatives of the company and the go to market strategy of the company in 2017.

CT: What are your key thrust areas in your new role as the Country head in 2017?

I am excited and humbled to be in my new role and we have a tremendous opportunity to expand our business in the region. Our vision is to be most preferred vendor for our partners and customers in the space that we operate. India is moving towards digitalization and 100+ smart cities are coming up in the near future. The awareness and adoption levels are increasing in the Tier 2 cities and we are here to provide accessibility.

Our business model is entirely channel partner and solution partner focused requiring us to further strengthen our engagement with our partners. We will have equal focus in Retail, Business & Home security systems segments and are in a process of increasing our team strength to take our offerings across all the major locations in India. Our integrated branding and marketing approach will see an increased brand campaigns, marketing activities and trade shows participations to support us in deeper penetration and higher growth rates in 2017.

CT: What new initiatives and programs you intend to roll out during this financial year?

We have rolled out initiates on the Retail and the Solution design segments to enable a balanced growth. On the retail front, we will have customer experience zones in all major cities across India. The concept of “Netgear Stores” will increase visibility of our consumer products. We have planned Round table conference with consumers of key verticals across various cities to offer our award winning switches, storage and wireless solutions.

Netgear will incentivise solution partner who incorporate multiple product line of ours into a single solution as it provides a single point of vendor contact for them to integrate our product offerings to meet the end customer needs. We will continue to reach the high-end homes through our existing alliances in order to maintain the leadership position in the Orbi wi-fi system segment.

CT: What are the key target verticals in India? What is your visibility in the online and offline marketplaces?

Netgear is omnipresent in places where people require wired or wireless connectivity, robust storage and security solutions. Our major industry verticals are IT, manufacturing, education, BPOs, KPOs, telecom, banking & financial services, hotel & hospitals.

We have a sound track record on online selling and this will continue. Online marketplace helps our customers with fulfilment and our offline marketplaces are shifting towards a bespoke – customised solutions providing. We see an encouraging trend in the interest shown by the solution partners and channel partners to deliver tailor-made solutions.

CT: Please highlight your channel engagement in India? What are the upcoming channel plans in 2017?

Channel partners are pivotal contributors in the value-chain to help get customers what they need and enhance the value of products services. We have good manpower to engage, support, manage and grow our large channel partner base across India.

Netgear is conducting a 22 city training program to empower the channel to integrate and sell our product offerings. ‘Netgear Power shift partner program’ will give first-hand information of our latest launch and offer target based incentive program. Netgear solution partner certification program is a 3 day training, which enables to install and support our high end switching storage and wireless solutions. We regularly participate in trade shows and exhibitions to showcase our offerings and work closely with channel partners

CT: Since the networking and storage space is highly contested in India, what unique value proportion do you offer to your customers?

Data requirements are doubling every 2 years and data is continuously increasing in size. There is more streaming happening, and with increased file sizes. All this data growth means more bandwidth is required for your business and homes. The network and the Internet are getting used more often and for longer. Our offerings are aligned, customised and optimised for businesses.

Netgear offers wide range of smart, fully-managed 10G offerings to meet the needs and requirements of bandwidth hungry mid and large enterprise customers. The combination of high-speed 10G switch series and robust network attached storage solution offer reliable, affordable and easy to manage solutions for SMBs/SMEs.

CT: What growth prospects do you see for partners in these two spaces? What skills set and support you offer them for better profit margins?

Netgear is committed to enhance product and solution knowledge to our channel partners as this will enable them have better connect with the market. The cutting edge technology used in building our products provides a promising product line. The brand campaign initiative will help us garner more traction from the customers and businesses. Partners must prefer a single brand like us to reduce costs, have better vendor engagement, good service supports as we offer award winning solutions in switching, storage & wireless.

CT: What investments do you intend to make in the business expansion in India?

We have rolled out and integrated branding and marketing program and have invested in social media platforms to increase brand awareness. We will continue to invest in our people and increase the core team size. The Research wing in India is supporting the global teams in coming up with innovative products and solutions.

CT: What is you Go-to Market strategy in terms of business and channel expansion in 2017?

The India and SAARC market place is volatile with ever increasing demand and a dynamic mix of channel and solution partners. Considering the pricing and distribution patterns, our 2017 Go-to-Market strategy, in a nutshell is to penetrate into more cities, increase core team size, increase solution partner base and lay emphasis on bespoke-customised solutions, launch of certification and training program to empower channel and solution partners and introduce innovative products in retail and business segments.