With the embedded systems market in India emerging as a significant growth opportunity, Intel has outlined strategies to improve its channel focus for the embedded business by adding more 50 partners in the fiscal 2012-13, focusing more on the West region.
Commenting on this strategy, Natarajan S, Country Business Manager - Embedded Markets, Intel South Asia said, "Yes, we agree that our partner network is not that strong for embedded business. And, for strengthening the channel network for our embedded products, we are leveraging on our traditional PC channel partners. As of now, only the North region channel partners are aggressively contributing to about 15 percent to our overall embedded business. So, in this fiscal we have decided to focus on our West partners and train them for gaining grounds in the embedded market."
He also added that if the current fiscal looks bright for the embedded business with the western region's channel partners, Intel will certainly sketch out its plans for tapping the South and East regions aggressively. The total semiconductor market in India is expected to hit $36.3bn in 2015 with employment projections of 7.8mn in 2015, according to the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA). A significant portion of this is the embedded and communications market.
Intel is working with its partners to come out with more products and solutions in this area. He also added that there are 2/3rds of channel partners who are interested to tap this market and have approached Intel on how to go ahead in the embedded business.
When further asked about tapping the tier-2 and toer-3 regions for embedded products, Natarajan said, "Currently, we are targeting only the metro cities of the four regions, wherein we will be considering only the qualified partners who are interested to take our products ahead as it is not easy like selling PCs in the market. There are new products in the embedded space, as we can match make them with ODMs to take the deal ahead and help them out."
Hence, Intel India is conducting several training and channel enablement programs to educate them about the embedded products and to work on their go-to-market efforts to address the customers in the Indian embedded market. Recently, it conducted a training program named ‘Intel Embedded Solutions Day' in Delhi and Mumbai, wherein the partners are given hands-on training on the low to high end embedded products.
"Speaking further about the significance of embedded business for the Indian channel partners, Natarajan explained that there is a huge opportunity for partners, wherein they will be offered a better margin of profits with the embedded products as compared to that of the traditional PC market.
Since enterprise is a niche segment, there are a few embedded markets on Intel's radar like storage, retail, VoIP, which are picking up with a clear focus. Currently, Intel has about 20 channel partners addressing the embedded business in India.