“We focus on several verticals in the Indian market, a product line which is emerging for the Indian market is the image processing solutions.”-Mr.Rajiv Bhalla , Managing Director , Barco India

In an exclusive interview with IT Voice, Mr.Rajiv Bhalla , Managing Director , Barco India, reveals his strategies for business in India.

Mr.Rajiv Bhalla

Nisha Harshwal:-How do you see your performance in the Indian market vis-à-vis the global market? 

Rajiv Bhalla:-India is one of the top markets for the brand globally and is the second biggest market, in terms of business functions, after Belgium. We have seen double-digit growth in India in the last two years, and with an increased focus on “Make in India”, we are positive of sustaining this growth. Another testament to the importance of the Indian market is the fact that the large video walls from Barco are made in India.

In our Pro AV and events segment, our Indian business grew at a rate of almost 100% year-on-year in 2017-18. Last year our business grew at about 54% year-on-year. So, in this segment, we are growing much faster than the market because as per the last Infocomm data, the market was growing at the pace of around 18% year-on-year but Barco was growing at three times that pace.  

While we focus on several verticals in the Indian market, a product line which is emerging for the Indian market is the image processing solutions. In the events space, where the industry has to deal with multiple inputs to the projectors, the event management control systems come in handy. Barco’s flagship products called Barco E2 and S3-4K are considered premium products in this segment of the Indian market.

The way we see the entertainment industry in India, it is evolving and at a different stage compared to the US and European markets. There are certain emerging market specific products with optimum mix of product value & price initiatives that we have taken, like with the recent product we have launched on the projector platform, the G60 series, which is a cost-effective solution – flexible and simple to use. In the mid-level segment, we have the UDX series. So yes, the company has taken some aggressive India-specific market strategies to compete with our peers in terms of pricing of the product to enhance the purchasing power of the customer.     

Barco being a serious player for the Indian market is committed to innovating the right product with relevant pricing for the customer and there are projects that are in the pipeline.

Nisha Harshwal:-Which are the major segments you cater to, globally and in India? 

Rajiv Bhalla:-Our target space is somewhat niche in nature. The four verticals that we target in the entertainment industry are Cinema, ProAV and Events, Virtual and Augment reality and simulation. 

  • Cinema: In the cinema segment, Barco is undoubtedly the industry leader with over 50% of the market share. There are two types of customers we cater to in the movie theatre space – Large movie theatre chains and single screen players. While we deal with the bigger chains directly, our partners handle the smaller players. Recently Barco Joined hands with China Film Co. Ltd., Appotronics and CITICPE to form a global company named Cinionic, where it holds the majority stake. The new company is focused on a combination of innovative cinema solutions, flexible financing and a comprehensive service model that enables exhibitors to focus on engagement with their moviegoers while simplifying their technology and operations. The joint venture aims to serve as the dedicated commercialization solutions channel for each company’s products and services for the global cinema market, excluding mainland China.

  • ProAV & Events: In ProAV & Events Business, Barco is among the top players in its target segment. Our core focus, basis the Indian market is the 3D projection mapping space, water fountain space, large auditoriums and convention centres and experience centers and our business in these segments is growing quite fast.

  • VR and AR: The market is very niche here and we target it with a set of 3D projections for specialized customers, especially in the 3D application space.

  • Simulations: We have special technology products like moving platform projectors, aviation simulators etc. for pilot training in the aviation industry as well as the automobile space. The market is small and quite fragmented.

Nisha Harshwal:-Who are your potential customers and how do you plan to expand and train your channel partners?

Rajiv Bhalla:-As digital technologies disrupt industries, governments, enterprises and societies, all these verticals continue to adopt new technologies and we are expecting to cater to their digital transformation journey. We have multiple business lines and different businesses have different go-to-market strategies.

For the meeting experience-specific business, we have over 200 channel partners across the country for products like ClickShare and WePresent.  We have hired professional resources/partners to bring all the registered partners on a common platform and enable them to learn about technology trends, high growth areas and other necessary details through online training and webinars. We ensure that all our authorized partners are well-trained and well-equipped. We conduct various training programs across the nation, which can be both in-house and on-premises, to train our partners on product segmentation, technical troubleshooting, service and other technical aspects.

Barco also has numerous certificate programmes to train the trainer where we are creating a group of trainers certified and nurtured by us. In return, these trainers further train 250+ resources of partners nationwide. We also conduct partner connect programs and organize multi-city enablement programs where Tier 1, Tier 2 partners and Tier 3 resellers are trained on a regular basis. Currently, we are driving 8 City partner enablement programmes for meeting experience. In this forum, all small dealers/resellers from upcountry locations are also invited.

Barco also keeps on introducing interesting and exciting channel incentive programs for Tier 2 and Tier 3 channel partners. These are essentially target-linked quarterly programmes where partners’ efforts are recognized with a set of tailored rewards

In the entertainment segment, our partnerships are project-specific. Typically, these projects are front-ended by the large AVSI partners. They are already knowledgeable and from the go-to-market perspective, pegging your product to the target is very important. We map the end customer directly and maintain a healthy relationship with the consultants who help us in this. We have a strong service team in place for this purpose, helping with project deployment and working closely with the AVSI partners to ensure the execution excellence.

Nisha Harshwal:-What are the projects that you are working on currently?

Rajiv Bhalla:-There are many large projects wherein Barco is working very closely with its valued customers and partners. Barco’s technology innovation and extremely high quality are sources of confidence for its customers. Additionally, many projects pertaining to the Visualization and Entertainment domain would be up and live in the upcoming months.

Nisha Harshwal:-What are the major geographical areas you are targeting?

Rajiv Bhalla:-For Visualization and Entertainment BU, our major focus are metros & state capitals. For penetrating wireless collaboration solutions in the education vertical and DC projectors (E Cinema to D Cinema conversion initiatives), we are heavily focused on upcountry markets, leveraging on our partner ecosystem.

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