Our focus primarily remains on localisation: Om Buffalo, Product Liaison for India, WPS Office | Interview

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Published: October 17, 2019 2:36:16 AM

Kingsoft wants to serve the needs of India’s workforce, with its latest offering, as it not only provides a clutter-free, all-in-one and easy to access Office Software Suite, but also offers much more features than existing brands in the market, says Om Buffalo, product liaison for India, WPS Office

 Kingsoft Office Software, WPS Office 2020, Beijing, Om Buffalo, product liaison for India, WPS Office, China India is our biggest market after China and therefore we decided to announce the global launch of WPS Office 2020 here, says Om Buffalo, product liaison for India, WPS Office

Beijing-based Kingsoft Office Software, a fast-growing office software and service provider, recently announced its entry in the Indian market with its flagship Office suite, WPS Office 2020 (expanded: Writer Presenter Spreadsheet). Kingsoft wants to serve the needs of India’s workforce, with its latest offering, as it not only provides a clutter-free, all-in-one and easy to access Office Software Suite, but also offers much more features than existing brands in the market, Om Buffalo, product liaison for India, WPS Office, tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

What is your go-to market strategy in India?
India is our biggest market after China and therefore we decided to announce the global launch of WPS Office 2020 here. Our primary strategy in the market is to really focus on the consumer segment and their needs. This means a heavy emphasis on localisation, not only in terms of our product, but also operations.

WPS Office 2020 is already available in Hindi, and as part of our localisation efforts, we plan to add more Indian languages. We also have customised templates with Indian designs and are working with local designers to add more. On the commercial side, we are exploring partnerships, but right now we are focused on individual users. Currently, we are marketing the product online and on Mobile App stores where users can acquire both the free version and the Premium version at just $29.99.

What is your value proposition?
While many Office software exist in the market, most are either high-priced or lack the potential to cater to the needs of the dynamic worker. WPS Office 2020 is built to serve the new-age workforce of professionals, students, and freelancers, who are constantly looking for tools that suit their evolving needs but at an affordable price.

WPS Office 2020 is lightweight, which saves valuable storage space; it is fully-compatible with all mainstream Office formats so that users don’t have to worry about installing multiple Office suites to share or collaborate; it supports all major operating systems and allows cross-device synchronisation for users who are on-the-go. The suite also includes powerful PDF tools, including PDF converters and OCR features, so that users don’t have to open other software to work with PDFs.

One of the highlights of the suite is its massive library of free pre-built templates and an intuitive tab-style interface, perfect for users to quickly and easily prepare perfect looking documents that showcase their unique styles. In addition to all of this, WPS Office 2020 is specially designed to run seamlessly on Apple/macOS devices, a challenge that most macOS users have faced with other suites in the market. We are sure that macOS users in India will find our suite much more powerful and consider switching from existing suites.

India is your most important market after China. How do you plan to take on the existing market monopoly?
We think our product is distinct while offering unique features tailored for the modern world and a dynamic work environment. We are focusing a lot on localisation of our product to fulfill the varying needs of a diverse user base. Comprehending users and understanding the local market can be a challenge but we are taking this as an opportunity to show that we care about our users, and that we will not have a one-size-fits-all product to offer to them.

We already have over 23 million users in India and we are confident that users will see the value in WPS Office as they try the free version. Furthermore, recent studies has shown alarming levels of software piracy in the country, alongside many other countries, primarily owing to high prices and consequent inaccessibility. We are embracing those users who need high-quality Office software suites daily but are unable to afford them. We want to tell all these users that there is a fully licensed alternative—WPS Office, which is highly efficient, with more features, and is either free or available in a highly affordable premium version.

What is the distribution model for WPS Office 2020?
Globally, our business is split into B2B and B2C, but in India we are focusing on developing our B2C base. Currently, the product is available on mobile app stores and our official website where users can download the free version or buy the premium version.

Will your profitability be based on the usage of premium features?
Right now we are not thinking about profitability; our primary goal is to spread awareness among every user segment about our product and have them try the suite to understand its full potential.

What are your plans to grow and scale operations in India?
In terms of business, we are aiming to double users by end of the year. To help us achieve that goal, we have already built a team of 10 in India. As we expand our business here, we are planning to hire from India’s incredible IT talent pool. We are also looking at moving some of our R&D here from China as our focus primarily remains on localisation. Furthermore, a third of the $300 million that we intend to raise at our upcoming Shanghai Stock Exchange IPO will be devoted to creating worldwide markets, including a big percentage in India.

What are your plans to grow and scale operations in India?
In terms of business, we are aiming to double users by end of the year. To help us achieve that goal, we have already built a team of 10 in India. As we expand our business here, we are planning to hire from India’s incredible IT talent pool. We are also looking at moving some of our R&D here from China as our focus primarily remains on localisation. Furthermore, a third of the $300 million that we intend to raise at our upcoming Shanghai Stock Exchange IPO will be devoted to creating worldwide markets, including a big percentage in India.

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