NETGEAR’s Focus Is On “Smart IT” and not on “Big IT” Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & SAARC

Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & SAARC

Subhodeep Bhattacharya, Regional Director, India & SAARC

ITVoice: Over the years, what has redefined the networking market, which was more about switches and routers?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : It has been about switches and it has been defined by increasing speeds, better manageability and lower TCO. But what has really redefined this is the standardization and commoditization of the network switches. Today quality, price and support network is a very important aspect, as is reach across India. We feel SDN is going to change lot things in future.

ITVoice: Networking to a large extent is a commodity market. The SMB segment is attaining maturity in terms of connectivity, but is highly price sensitive and not really ‘brand conscious’. Comment.

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : SMB segment is price sensitive but they are increasingly looking for more feature sets, manageability, high speed networks and overall quality and reliability, and these are things which are not really a function of lowest price. We think the SMB segment is looking for a lowest cost of ownership over the life cycle of the product and not necessarily the lowest price.

ITVoice: How easy or difficult is it to be an end-to-end networking vendor for SMBs, as there is a need for continuous R&D to encompass latest range of routers, NAS and other networking products?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : It depends on the focus. NETGEAR is not just an end to end networking vendor but an SMB Infrastructure provider and we focus on products which will fully address the infrastructure needs of SMB. This means we are focused on developing products in networking – wired and wireless, storage, and security and are assigning R&D resources to be able to provide global products targeted at the SMBs. SMBs are our mainstay and hence R&D is an enabler of quality products.

ITVoice: NETGEAR also competes with entry-level brand like ZyXel, TP-Link, Belkin and local Indian brands like DAX in the SOHO/SMB segment. So, why should a systems integrator work with you?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : NETGEAR has three divisions. The Retail Business group focuses on Home and SOHO segments and we have a set of competitors in this segment. The Commercial business group focuses on SMB infrastructure and the Service Provider group focuses on telecom service providers and ISPs. Each group has a separate business mission and channel model. The system integrators work with the Commercial business unit who are focused on SMB infrastructure and there is a clear value proposition that every system integrator appreciate.

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ITVoice: Your close rival D-Link is moving fast towards enterprise segment without losing grip on the SMB market in India? Why is NETGEAR staying clear of the enterprise and upper mid-market?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : NETGEAR is addressing SMB & SME segment, which by definition is not just small sized organizations. Referring to the industry standard definitions this extends to organizations of size of up to 1000 employees. This category forms a bulk of the Indian business and includes Government, manufacturing, education, healthcare, hospitality, mid size banks, corporate offices etc. NETGEAR is focused on delivering a reliable infrastructure to these organisations and we would want to continue to be doing so.

ITVoice: Networking has a big role play in datacenters backed by virtualization, collaboration and cloud applications. What is your innovation in these emerging technologies and how can partners leverage the same?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : Our focus in delivering a strong 10 G portfolio and our landmark XSM7224 range is frequently used as a Top of Rack product in datacenters. We have a whole range of offering with enables virtualization not only through networking but through storage. NETGEAR’s business growth is based on cloud applications where we visualize our products facilitating the connectivity of access devices to the public or private cloud. We have cloud enabled ready share services for customers to manage their data better from anywhere. These are concepts which are value addition for our customers and partners alike.

ITVoice: What is your roadmap for BYOD in terms of product and partner strategy?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : As we are focused on SMB we have had to rigorously consider BYOD, allowing access of diverse types of devices on to the network. Our entire range of switches supports BYOD environment.

ITVoice: How has NETGEAR fared in the India market in past year in terms of partner business and customer numbers?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : We do 100% of our business through channel partners and this has been growing strongly for us. Today we reach > 20 cities and are expanding reach to 25 more. This is possible due to expansion of channels and quite of this expansion is distributor enabled. NETGEAR operates in multiple segments. On one hand we are focused on home and SOHO segment through our sub-distributors & retailers and on the other we are driving midsized SI with our SMB products and solutions. We have been very successful in expanding both the motions.

ITVoice: How have you been innovating so that partners benefit well? Any schemes & offers for them?

Mr. Subhodeep Bhattacharya : We are focused on developing relevant products for SMB. NETGEAR’s focus is on “smart IT” and not on “big IT”. In addition to product development we also offer one of the best product ranges for the partner to offer to customers. This is backed up by a competent support network and this ignites confidence in our partners. We do provide schemes and promotional offers from time to time and these are focused on driving growth in specific product categories.


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