As curiosity gripped me to know more about Honeywell India, I reached out to Shailesh Deshmukh, the current Country Manager, who, thankfully agreed for an interview immediately. Here he doles out the success story of his company and the road ahead for them.
Seema Seth(SS): Give us a background of your company.
Shailesh Deshmukh(SD): Honeywell Scanning & Mobility is a leading manufacturer of high-performance image-and laser-based data collection hardware, including rugged mobile computers and bar code scanners. We work in providing solutions for verticals such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and logistics.
In India, we have had a direct presence since 2008 and in these short few years, we have gained a strong foothold, particularly in the retail vertical.
We deliver our solutions to our customers through our dedicated Tier 1 partners and a growing network of Tier 2 resellers providing an ever growing geographic presence in India.
SS: Could you elaborate on the varied product portfolio of Honeywell?
SD: We’re proud that our product portfolio is one of the broadest in the AIDC (Auto-Identification and Data Capture) industry. By combining advanced laser and imaging technology with powerful wireless communications and support services, our mobile computers, hand-held, hands-free and biopic scanners deliver everything you could ask for in a retail environment.
We want to ensure our technology gives our customers the capability to increase productivity, sales and earnings. We also complement all of our products with advanced software, services and professional solutions that enable customers to effectively manage their data and assets.
SS: What are the challenges the company faced while bringing in their solutions in the country?
SD: We found the India market had very industry-specific needs. We needed to ensure our products and solutions could tailor specifically to each unique vertical and industry and meet their biggest challenges.
We are also still quite new to the AIDC market in India so we have needed to work hard to establish our foothold and name within the industry. Luckily, Honeywell is a well respected and recognised brand within India so it has helped us. Customers associate Honeywell with innovation, reliability, and best-in-class quality, and our scanning and mobility portfolio delivers nothing less.
SS: How have you contributed since you joined this company?
SD: I have worked SS within the AIDC industry for the last 6 years, which helped me to “hit the ground running” with Honeywell. My focus has been on building our channel business across the country as well as engaging key, large customers and we have seen some great success in these areas.
SS: What measures do the retailers need to take in order to ensure efficient logistic operations in their stores?
SD: Retailers need proper data collection and communication solutions to ensure efficient logistic operations. This is done through automating their information gathering process and using the right products to effectively manage and monitor their inventory. Accuracy in their data capture process is critical along with automating everything from inventory tracking to work-in-progress processes. Honeywell products ensure retailers can keep track of inventory levels from reception to sale.
SS: How is the new smart phone going to help the users?
SD: The new Dolphin 6000 scanphone will help users because it bridges the gap between the needs we have in a consumer mobile phone versus an industrial mobile computer and bar code scanner. It empowers the user to connect, collect, and communicate in one device. Mobile workers are able to use this scanphone to increase their productivity through its scanning functionality which eliminates the need for manual data entry and helps in data processing. It is also a worker enhancement tool in that it has enterprise class features such as a long life-cycle, remote management, warranty options, software development kits, etc.
It’s more rugged than a smartphone and is resistant to moisture and particle intrusion, making it suitable for use in adverse conditions. The D6000 also has an integrated megapixel camera and is optimised for voice communication, multiple wireless options, GPS, bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
SS: How varied is your client base in terms of the solutions that you are providing?
SD: We work in a variety of verticals – the key ones being retail, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.
SS: In terms of technology of your solutions, does it differ for the Indian and International market?
SD: The technology does not differ too much as we want to equip our customers with world-class solutions and technology across all countries. We do see a difference in certain trends that are embraced from country to country. For example, within North America, mobile point-of-sale and mobile couponing is a popular trend but we do not see as much of this in India. We stay up-to-date with our customers and the trends they are following in order to tailor our products to best suit these requirements.
SS: What is your promotional and marketing strategy?
SD: Our current strategy is simply to ensure that customers within the vertical industries that we focus on are aware of and understand the quality of our products and solutions. Retail, manufacturing, transportation & logistics, and healthcare are our focus and we will continue to show the value we can offer within these verticals. Our technology is best in class and we want our customers to know that we are not simply offering a product – we want to ensure we provide full solution. This means customised applications, exceptional service and support, and comprehensive training.
SS: How are you going to scale up your business?
SD: We want to work hand-in-hand with our partners. My focus is to enable and educate the partner fraternity in India. We just finished a cross-country roadshow with our sales and marketing team. We spoke to resellers and customers across the country – talking about the company, our latest products, our technology, and most importantly, listening to their needs and learning about the pain-points they face in their line of work.
SS: How are you penetrating the market? Which cities are you targeting?
SD: We are focusing on the top 7 key cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Kolkata) along with Tier 2 and 3 cities.
SS: What is the market in India for your products and what is it going to be in the future?
SD: We are seeing new industries looking to leverage our type of technology; they want to automate their operational processes, reduce human error, increase productivity, and ultimately maximise ROI. Airlines and metro rails are great examples. Our market in India is vast and I am confident it will continue to grow rapidly.