Adoption of flash storage is strong in India

Updated: Jan 20 2014, 09:02am hrs
The rapid growth of mobile handsets, tablet PCs and camera in India has opened up significant opportunities for the flash memory products in the country. SanDisk, one of the leading players in the flash memory storage industry has identified India as one of its key market globally as Shuki Nir, Senior VP, corporate marketing and general managerretail, tells FE in an interview that they would be making multi-year investments in the country that would bear fruits over a long period of time. Edited excerpts.

How do you see the flash memory market growing in India

The flash industry in India continues to grow, driven in part by the increase in content creation and consumption, a proliferation of mobile devices and enhanced connectivity. These trends are key reasons why average capacities are expected to increase over time for flash storage being designed into smartphones, tablets, ultra-thin computers, servers for enterprise applications, and consumer products such as SD and CompactFlash cards.

The flash storage industry has grown dramatically over the past 25 years. Current analyst projections have the flash industry reaching approximately $30 billion in 2013. Since our inception in 1988, SanDisk has evolved to become a leading storage solutions provider, and a leader in the flash storage industry. Together with our strategic partner Toshiba, we produce close to half of the industry bit output on an annual basis.

Adoption of flash storage is strong in India, driven by the increasing use of a broad spectrum of consumer electronics such as mobile phones, digital cameras, and personal computers. As a market leader, SanDisk is positioned to capitalise on the storage needs of these large, fast-growing markets.

What branding initiatives would SanDisk undertake in India

SanDisk is a global leader in flash storage solutions, and the brand stands for products with cutting edge technology, quality, reliability and trust. With SanDisk flash storage products, consumers can preserve their memories with confidence. Being ahead of the curve has always been a key component of SanDisks strategy. The companys goal is to continue offering Indian consumers high-quality products that help them do more with their digital devices.

Accordingly, we intend to continue developing products to lead the flash memory storage solutions market.

How is the awareness level among Indian consumers with regard to flash memory products

Today, the SanDisk brand is recognised around the world and our flash memory technology has been deployed pervasively. Top electronics companies embed our memory solutions into their devices, and over 260,000 retail outlets offer SanDisk products to consumers globally. SanDisk set up operations in India in 2005 and has since made significant inroads into the flash memory market in the subcontinent.

Consumers in India are taking more pictures, listening to more music, recording and watching more videos and saving more personal memories. With the growing amount of digital data and increased need for mobility in our daily lives, the demand for portable storage devices is on the rise. The higher the capacity and performance, the more value is added to the devices. SanDisk will continue to spread awareness and educate consumers on the importance of robust flash memory solutions for smart gadgets going forward.

SanDisks high-performance, high-capacity products are sold in over 400 cities in India through a network of over 2,000 dealers, leading LFR chains and online sellers. SanDisk will continue to build its retail presence in a growing number of key cities and urban centres.

Will SanDisk also look at the enterprise segment in India

We definitely see the opportunity in the enterprise segment with lot more data centres being set up in the country. This would include the entire eco-system of hardware and software players. The requirements of the enterprises is different from that of the consumer segment. We are going to expand in this segment by working with major original equipment manufacturers and system integrators. The enterprise segment has witnessed rising adoption of flash solid state drive products.

What are the growth plans for SanDisks engineering centre in Bangalore

Since opening the facility in 2005, our centre in Bangalore has been an instrumental part of our research and development efforts at SanDisk and, in fact, several of our India-based engineers have been awarded patents. At the centre, we focus on ASIC, memory design, firmware and software development. It is a hub for compatibility/ testing and IT development and support for compatibility/testing. We have approximately 375 employees at the centre. Bangalores design centre is part of SanDisks global centres of excellence, and plays a key role in helping fuel SanDisks leadership in the flash industry.