Manisha Sood, Country Manager, India & SAARC, SanDisk Corporation
Sandisk is a well established name in the arena of flash drives and Memory Cards. Reliable and effective, this brand is a household name. In a rendezvous with Manisha Sood, Country Manager, India & SAARC of SanDisk Corporation, Mathew Thottungal finds out more about the company and its plans.
Over time SanDisk has grown to become a leading provider of flash based memory storage solutions with total annual revenues of USD 3.57 billion worldwide in 2009. With the recent change of the guard at the helm of SanDisk Corporation, what effect is expected on the company and its business portfolio in the near future. Comment
SanDisk has been at the helm of the flash technology revolution. Founded in 1988, SanDisk continues to invest in groundbreaking research and manufacturing techniques. SanDisk invented flash storage cards and pioneered the USB fl ash drive, and developed or co-developed the CompactFlash, SD (including microSD) and Memory Stick PRO card formats. SanDisk also invented the Multi-Level Cell (MLC) technology and leads in the development of X3 and X4 (3-bits and 4-bits per cell) technology to maximize the storage potential of each memory wafer.
Coming to the second part of your question, SanDisk’s leadership team has not changed; Dr Eli Harari is a part of our technical advisory team and will continue to provide his guidance to the company for a period of two years starting Jan. 1, 2011. We do not anticipate any material change in our strategy as the current strategy has worked well for us as demonstrated by our Q310 results.
In India, many tech-savvy consumers are foregoing their PCs and shifting to a mobile phone or a Smart Phone as their primary computing device. As a global leader in flash based memory products, the shift in consumer trends is a welcome addition. Nonetheless, how do you see the Indian market maturing in the near future given the fact that the HD feature in digital cameras is increasingly becoming a norm which necessitates the need for high end memory cards. Comment
Mobile phones are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They have evolved into multimedia devices and are close to becoming full-fl edged computing platforms. As they evolve, they require more storage capacity. HDDs, with their mechanical parts, are not likely to advance into this area. The ideal solution, of course, is fl ash memory. At present, more than 1.2 billion mobile phone sets are shipped in the world every year. Among them, 800 million are equipped with a card slot for fl ash memory. This fi gure will exceed 1 billion within a few years. These global trends refl ect in Indian market as well. In terms of market scale, this represents tremendous opportunity for SanDisk.
Consumers are taking more pictures, listening to more music, recording and watching more videos and saving more personal memories. As the library of digital content increases, consumers value it more, especially data that cannot be replaced, such as personal photos. Hence the need to store data securely is on everyone’s wish list. In the Indian market because of its disorganized nature, the sales volumes are higher in gray sales. How do you intend to plug the loopholes and at the same time come up with a pan India marketing strategy, towards making it more transparent. Comment
Counterfeiting of brand-name and products is a global problem and is not unique to India. The huge demand for flash memory cards has made the category a prime target for counterfeiters. Unfortunately, consumers are the ultimate victims. Fake flash memory cards are poorly designed and assembled, which may cause them to fail within a few months, operate slowly, or destroy data files. Since its appearance resembles the original, it becomes extremely difficult to distinguish between an authentic and fake product. The existence of the grey market is also a challenge that our partners face. A grey market is where the memory card or any sort of electronics is available at a much
lower price due to avoidance of Government duties.
SanDisk worked very closely with the Indian Cellular Association in 2010 to bring down the duty structure on flash memory products. In addition, we are moving aggressively to stop the manufacturing, distribution and sales of counterfeit flash memory cards carrying our name.