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"By the end of 2004, BenQ will be a household name"

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DQW Bureau
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Acer Communications & Multimedia (Acer CM) had announced that it would

change its name to BenQ on December 5, 2001 and operate as a brand that is

independent from Acer. BenQ is still new to the Indian consumers and to the

channel, but it has had a change in top management for the second time, Ashish

Bakshi, joined BenQ last year as Country Head and has taken efforts in building

the infrastructure but still has a huge task ahead, Nancy Sudheer of The DQ Week

met up with Bakshi to learn more on BenQ’s plans on creating its brand

presence in India

When you took charge of BenQ, it was still a new brand, which had not made

its impact in the Indian market, what steps and changes you have been

instrumental in bringing about in the company?



Streamlining was one of the first steps taken in all the areas right from

company manpower, distribution structure, service, marketing and also product

division. There were three product divisions made which were IT components,

mobile products and digital media. The distribution structure had to be revamped

after which eSys was appointed for display and mobiles, Godrej for projectors

and plasma, Ingram Micro for input, Jupiter for media and Tech Pacific for

storage and imaging products. We are also managing the operations in Nepal,

Srilanka and Bangladesh. The service infrastructure has also undergone a major

change as initially we had our service centers across 17 cities but now we are

present in 50 to 60 cities. There were 21 service centers but now there are 175

service centers across all the product lines. It was also essential for BenQ to

venture into the growing metros, which are the B, C and D class cities. Infact

BenQ recently has also consolidated its service offering nation wide by starting

a franchisee model service centers at Lamington Road at Mumbai and Nehru Place

at New Delhi. BenQ also plans to cover Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta by April

2004 and also smaller cities of Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Pune by June

2004.

Two million dollars, this was the amount you had reserved

for brand building in India. But today the brand ‘BenQ’ is new, as the

end-users are still not aware and many of the channel partners are still

skeptical about the brand, what are the efforts you are putting in creating a

brand presence in India?



Last year, our concentration was on setting up the infrastructure but now in the

year 2004, it will be on making our presence felt in the channels and among the

end-users. There was no point in spending on promotion last year therefore, BenQ

would now focus on advertising, roadshows, and also creating confidence among

the channels. In-store management would be conducted for brand building. BenQ

has concepts like BenQ spots or corners and enjoyment space, which would be

implemented, across retail stores in India. In the future BenQ may also look at

opening flagship stores only after establishing the brand in India. In short, by

the end of 2004 BenQ will be a household name.

Why did you create a separate product segment called ‘digital

media’?



The differentiation in product categories was created to give focus

especially all the products are so different. Digital media covers products like

the projector, plasma screens which deals with a unique customer. Channels will

always be our focus and therefore will never move away from it, but this

category needs special attention because of the type of customer and product

line. Therefore, even with our distributors there were apprehensions when we

moved to national level distributors from regional level players. But this was

required as their wide distribution network and logistics were needed for the

brand.

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