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D-Link reaffirms its focus on networking

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DQW Bureau
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Digicams, motherboards, storage, LCD monitors, set-top boxes. Considering the manner in which, D-Link India had diversified into a range of product segments in the recent past, one almost started to wonder about the true identity of the company. Further taking into account the fact that D-Link often challenged the lead commanded by networking majors like Cisco, its growing business interests in non-networking arena were raising quite a few speculations in the channel community.

But in a recent interview, the company sought to set the record straight. 

“Our focus was on networking and will continue to be on networking,” affirmed Anand Mehta, Manager (Marketing ), D-Link India. He refused to accept that entering into product segments like digicams or motherboards implies dilution of the company’s focus on networking. 

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“We never considered digicams to be a completely non-networking product as it was always projected as an Internet communication device,” he explained. He added that once the company realized that motherboards had started to integrate networking components like NICs, the most logical step for the company was to manufacture motherboards in order to achieve growth. 

“We are similarly positioning our LCD monitors. These would soon have wireless capabilities and hence would fit perfectly well in a wirelessly networked kind of environment,” said

Mehta.

And it is to further strengthen its image as a hardcore networking player that the company has launched a wide range of networking products, especially targeted at the enterprise segment. These include metro/carrier class routers, multi service access routers and layer 3 switches. 

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“The next two-three months would see an increased activity on the hardcore networking front, beginning with a 24-city roadshow called NetIP Vision 2003,” informed Mehta. While ruling out that there would be an increase in the channel base, he however is keen on upgrading the existing channel. 

Prabodh Vyas, Director (Sales), D-Link too attested to the fact that as a company, D-Link's focus will continue to be on networking. “To make sure there is no confusion about our identity, we even formed Digi Giga Systems, a JV with Gigabyte to take care of our motherboard and peripherals business,” he added. 

According to Prabodh, this way D-Link India's identity would remain intact as a pure networking company.

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Even D-Link's distributors endorse this strategy and are quite comfortable with the way D-Link has positioned its networking business. Sejutronics, D-Link's Mumbai distributor reports of a very high month-on-month volume growth in the networking business. 

“Close on the heels of launch of high-end networking products, we have recruited two specialized personnel and will be getting few more people on board to ensure a strong presence of D-Link's networking product range,” informed Sejutronics Partner Prakash

Mody.

D-Link is now aiming at tapping markets with an estimated potential of Rs 700 crore by offering end-to-end WAN solutions to enterprise and carrier class service providers. “Strengthened by our product development and R&D, we are uniquely equipped to bring to our customers a wide range of networking and communication technologies and end-to-end solutions.

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With the launch of a whole new range of products, the company is looking at a significant growth in the current fiscal,” remarked KR Naik, CMD, D-Link India.

So what happens to other product lines? “We are holding back our plans on storage front and will wait for the market to grow. Set-top box was a one-off activity since we already possessed manufacturing strengths. Very soon we will start manufacturing LCD monitors from complete knocked-down stages as against semi-knocked down stages now,” said

Mehta.

According to him, there's no reason for anyone to see an aberration in company's vision. “D-Link was, is, and will be known as a networking company, period,” he summed up.

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Goldie


(CNS)

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