Kingston - World's Largest Independent Manufacturer of Memory Enhancement Products
'We are a channel friendly lifestyle technology brand that has been ranked as one of the fastest growing brands globally.'
In 1987, Kingston entered the market with a single product. Founders John Tu and David Sun addressed a severe shortage of surface-mount memory chips with a memory module that would serve to redefine industry standards for years to come.
Today, Kingston Technology Company, Inc. is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Kingston designs, manufactures and distributes memory products for desktops, laptops, servers, printers, and Flash memory products for PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players.
Through its global network of subsidiaries and affiliates, Kingston has manufacturing facilities in California, Taiwan, China, and sales representatives in the United States, Taiwan, China, India, Australia, Vietnam, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and Latin America.
In an interaction with Sujata Sangwan of BW Disrupt, Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology – India shared present achievements and future plans of the company.
Kingston completes 30 successful years in the Industry, Tell us how has your journey been for the Indian Markets?
Firstly, we at Kingston are elated and extremely proud to be part of one of the rare success brand stories in the world. Kingston has transformed from being a small garage store in 1987 to become a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. The journey has been rather exciting as we diversified our portfolio, initially with Flash based products like USBs, and eventually positioned ourselves successfully as a lifestyle technology brand. Gaming was our next big step which was too well received.
Ever since the beginning, our goal has been to offer the best quality products and solutions to our customers in terms of affordability, performance, quality and design. We are proud of our progress and the independent research studies only strengthen our motives. In the emerging market like India, Kingston works with channel partners to meet the local needs through tailored sales and marketing strategies.
What has been the biggest learnings so far?
India is a vast market and that has been a given. With the immense potential that the country brings, it also brings the challenge to reach the audience effectively. On the positive front, we are happy to see Indian consumers demanding value for money products that do not compromise on quality. Another positive learning is that most consumers in India are at par the developed countries in terms of eco-system awareness. The gap between consumer preferences too isn’t too big, given the awareness campaigns that we run.
What are your marketing plans and roadmap for 2017?
Kingston is predominantly a channel friendly lifestyle technology brand. We plan to strengthen our GTM strategy to give us leverage in terms of better reach and delivery. In terms of product, our focus in always to improve quality at better price points in more industries with a positive intent and to suit consumer preferences. Kingston believes in providing the best quality products that add value to the customer’s experience. Since our quality benchmarks are industry standards, our memory modules sport a ‘Lifetime Warranty’ tag. The consumers are confident in using our memory modules for their quality, pricing and even our strong after sales support.
Not just that, our business plans have special focus on after-sales service at its core. Our channel partners will play a key role in sustaining and expanding the brand’s presence in the country. We are very confident about establishing a stronger foothold and building brand awareness in India.
What have been the unique proposition / key features of your company?
We are a channel friendly brand that believes in growing with the partners. There are many reasons why partners have been working with for many years. Apart from the expert advice on market trends and global situations, we help them understand the right time to buy, stock and sell. This has always been one of the reasons why most partners are happy with us.
Additionally, our products are best-in-class and are well backed by the excellent after sales support team. Not just that, we provide a free technical support to anyone (not restricted to customers) who needs help regarding our products. To sum it up, the key feature of Kingston is that it gives the consumer a tension-free solution at a value price point.
How has been the customer response over the after sale service? And what all plans have Kingston come up with, to keep the consumer intact to the company?
Over the last few years, we have revamped the way customer service was dealt with. With new strategic partners for service and a healthy communication model, we have seen a positive response from not only the customers, but also the channel partners. We have been successful in transforming our challenges into healthy relations.
Though we are channel friendly, our communication is focused to different target audiences to develop an easy connect. We have an all-round plan to keep a positive dialogue with customers via media and high-impact events with the likes of ESL India Premiership, India Gaming Show 2017, etc. Our social media properties also work wonders when it comes to keeping the audience alive and engaged.
How is company currently positioned in India?
In 2015, Kingston had a dominating 64.7% memory market share globally, and we have grown ever since. A more recent example would be the fact that we shipped the second most SSDs in channel worldwide in 2016.
We are a channel friendly lifestyle technology brand that has been ranked as one of the fastest growing brands globally. Response in India has been equally overwhelming in the last few years. What’s good for us is the fact that we are able to add value and enrich the customer experience across price points on a regular basis. We set our own benchmarks in the industry and will continue working towards making the best quality products mainstream. We are looking forward to grow our reach geographically especially with Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and cities. Not just that, our business plans have special focus on after-sales service at its core. Our channel partners will play a key role in sustaining and expanding the brand’s presence in the country. We are very confident about establishing a stronger foothold and building brand awareness in India.
What is your current plan on the product expansion?
Today, Kingston is one of the world's largest independent manufacturers of memory products. Though we are the best at what we do, we attempt to serve our customers better with enhanced quality, design, innovation, superfast performance, affordability and customer service. India poses as an extremely attractive and volatile market, so our aim is to see people upgrading their old systems rather than buying newer ones. We recently launched our A400 SSD which improves the boot time, load time and transfer time compared to mechanical hard drives. In addition to this, we have designed our server grade DC 400 SSD to be ideal for read-intensive applications such as boot, web servers and lower data rate operational databases and analytics.
The high performance division of Kingston – HyperX – launched the Cloud Revolver S, a gaming headsets with 7.1 Digital Dolby surround sound and Alloy FPS Gaming Keyboard, built with a solid steel alloy frame and featuring Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches. To further strengthen our reach in the market, we have plans to announce the HyperX Pulsefire mouse soon.
Last but not the least; tell us few tips for the Tech Startup Company that will be facing same challenges as you did as company.
Being part of the 30-year success story, I believe success is the result of a positive attitude, hard work, patience, learning from failures and above all being fair. Much of Kingston's growth can be attributed to how we treat those we work with. Being fair to our customers, partners, vendors and employees creates a strong working relationships, which then results in successfully producing quality products each day.
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