How this brand is making the most of digitisation

Given the increasing penetration of handheld devices and the consumers' demand to create, save, and access huge amount of data on the go, personal cloud category of Network Attached Storage (NAS) is likely to see high growth and adoption in the future.
Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director - South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital

Digitization today has created greater horizons and driven by this is the rate of data creation which in turn is fuelling the demand for data storage solution. By 2018, public cloud spending in India will reach nearly $2 billion, from $638 million in 2014, suggests research firm Gartner.

Given the increasing penetration of handheld devices and the consumers’ demand to create, save, and access huge amount of data on the go, personal cloud category of Network Attached Storage (NAS) is likely to see high growth and adoption in the future.

In an interaction with Retailer media, Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director - South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital spoke about the value of the Indian data center infrastructure and solutions market and the next mega-trends in this industry segment.

Talk to us about Western Digital and the journey so far?

Founded in 1970, Western Digital Corp., Irvine, California, is an industry-leading developer and manufacturer of storage solutions that enable people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content.  With San Disk, G-tech and HGST, we offer complete range of storage solutions to serve the purpose of home users to datacentres. WD's external and internal storage products provide solutions for consumers to store and backup data and hence enabling digital lives and everlasting memories. Also the special focus remains on creative professionals with our specific products (SD cards San Disk, external storage WD and HGST).

Our reliable hard drives and solid state drives, marketed under the WD and HGST brands, are everywhere that digital information and content is found.

Talk to us about the recent trends in digital technology space?

According to the research firm Gartner, PC penetration is still below 12% and therefore there is an opportunity to increase PC penetration in India through digital infrastructure. People now are opting for higher capacity drives which are suiting their changing lifestyles.

WD identifies it as a significant opportunity to cater to this growing need wherein consumers look forward to solutions fulfilling mass storage digitally. An increased focus on security, both at personal and national level is leading to a surge in demand for surveillance drive; this is where WD sees the potential to further build on its category of WD surveillance products.

What is your targeted group of customers? Please tell us about the USPs of your products?

The targeted consumers are all those people who are avid data users. The market today seems to be coming of age, witnessing a shift from legacy IT services to cloud-based services.

Western Digital offers a wide range of internal drives and external storage products under the WD brand. We have classified our storage into ‘easy to recognize’ colours that give customers the power to choose the right product for their needs.

The consumers today need an easy and private way to store the data, access it and manage it from anywhere in the world using any device. Keeping in mind the growing demand, Western Digital has further strengthened its commitment towards prosumers solutions with the recent launch of My Cloud EX2 Ultra, a high-performance, two-bay network attached storage (NAS) system.

WD Black hard drives are designed for gamers, and power users who demand performance. It offers enough capacity and process higher data for extra downloadable game content and combines with an SSD for maximum PC performance.

Security is a growing concern, not only across the country, but globally. It is for this reason that CCTV and surveillance cameras are being deployed everywhere, right from homes to large enterprises. To support these, WD Purple drives are optimized for 24/7, round-the-clock surveillance environments and consume less power to offer longer-lasting benefits.

Talk to us about your online store.

We already have our presence with our global online store available. We also sell through our online retail partners and all WD products are available on major e-commerce companies.

Share about your Pan India presence and future expansion plans?

WD is already a preferred data storage brand in metros and non-metros across India. To further expand our reach in metro cities, we tour these places regularly to address and understand the growing demand of our storage products in these areas and introduce solutions to cater to these needs.

Western Digital has a widespread presence in India with its distributors’ branch offices present across 58 locations in India. Further, the company has over 100 drop points & WD Express service touch points.

We ensure that we maintain strong bonds with our current channel partners, as well as continuously reach out to new ones so as to increase our presence across the country, not just in tier I and tier II cities but also in tier III cities. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead with South India as our key focus where we'll be introducing new solutions and technology, especially storage for SMBs and large enterprises.

What have been the major challenges in scaling up so far?    

Some ongoing problem facing the industry is country’s infrastructure (i.e., bandwidth constraints etc) and the inconsistency of its power supply in some areas.

India also presents a mixed policy environment for storage and cloud services. Some elements of the environment remain undefined (e.g., India lacks a formal data breach notification rule), while others are clearly positive (e.g., there do not appear to be tariffs on software downloads) and some negative (e.g., government procurement, which though a major source of IT spending is reportedly a complex, multifarious process).

However government is acutely aware of these challenges, and its ambitious Digital India program aims to address some of the infrastructural weaknesses, though it remains to be seen if this will lead to significant improvements.

With storage at the heart of digitization today, WD plays a pivotal to enable digital lives of its customers function seamlessly and ensuring that the PM’s Digital India and Smart Cities vision is fully supported.

Khwaja Saifuddin