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The more data you generate, you need to store it somewhere; that’s a big growth driver for us: BS Teh, Sr VP Global Sales, Seagate

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Published: April 13, 2017 3:09:20 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is relatively new but companies of all sizes are excited about the potential business outcomes. Being able to connect more devices to the internet will allow businesses access to greater intelligence and bolster the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.

The Apac region is largely aligned with what’s happening in the world.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is relatively new but companies of all sizes are excited about the potential business outcomes. Being able to connect more devices to the internet will allow businesses access to greater intelligence and bolster the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. Asia is positioned to lead spending in this sector from $698.6 billion in 2015 to almost $1.3 trillion in 2019. At the backbone of this entire phenomenon is a less flashy, less loud, and less talked-about cousin—storage, says BS Teh, senior vice-president, global sales, Seagate. “The more data you generate, you need to store it somewhere and that’s a big growth driver for us,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

How is the storage market evolving in the Asia Pacific (Apac) region? Is India in sync with the market trends?

The Apac region is largely aligned with what’s happening in the world. I think in some markets it’s moving a lot quicker and in some markets it is a bit behind. For the surveillance industry, the Apac region is in the forefront wherein China accounts for over 45% of the worldwide revenue for surveillance, it is also leading in building safe and secure cities.

India has been lagging in terms of technology deployment. However, the new government seems to be more progressive in moving the country towards a digital economy. This will be an important catalyst and growth driver for the industry.

What is your view on the country’s Digital India and other e-governance initiatives?

I think those are the key areas of growth. Surveillance is one of the key growth drivers for Seagate, though it has a smaller base in the Indian region. Last year we saw a major rise in India wherein the surveillance market is growing at a faster pace, though with a smaller base. There is also massive increase in the consumer demand for storage solutions in India. Earlier there wasn’t any organised retail; now the retail industry is moving towards e-tailing which has led to rise in the technologies required.

Do you see the government vertical emerging as a big business opportunity for you?

The government has always been a very large vertical for us, although we don’t sell to the government directly and work through our channel partners. Education was an important driver for us in the past few years as there was a lot of emphasis on putting PCs in schools on a large scale. We see the government vertical as a key driver for growth of storage solutions as it tries to digitalise every single division and department which is a mammoth task. We see a lot of excitement from system integrators.

Tell us about some key technology trends in the storage space.

We are witnessing the emergence of new market segments such as IoT, Big Data, safety and security and surveillance markets. We are also witnessing new applications like drones, augmented and virtual reality—all these are big drivers of storage. Our products can be split into two groups: enterprise based applications and client based applications.

How has Seagate’s share in the storage market in India grown?

Traditionally, we have been leading in market share. We continue to lead in market share, both in traditional hard drive and in the consumer space. We are working towards consolidating and strengthening our business even more. We are happy with our position so far.

Are the storage demands of Indian customers different from that of other markets?

Yes, but unfortunately price is a very key factor. Price is generally a key factor everywhere, much more so in India than anywhere else. I think because of that—it could be due to purchasing power or due to personal buying habits—India tends to lag in technology adoption. For example, the rest of the world may be on to an average capacity of 1TB for their PCs or notebooks whereas in India, it’s still at a lower capacity. In some other markets even if you offer lower capacity at a cheaper price, they don’t want it because they want to move to the latest and greatest.

How will IoT have an impact on businesses in the near future, especially with respect to their storage needs?

IoT brings two things to the businesses. One, tremendous amount of efficiency which individuals were unable to achieve previously. Second, it brings a completely new dimension in terms of how to run a business. With IoT everything is done on its own, because you get more information, get different kinds of information that allow you to make really different decisions and to enhance the productivity and business.

As far as storage is concerned, as you generate more data you need to store it somewhere. Whether on premise or off premise, it doesn’t matter to us; but it is still storage that is being generated and that needs to be stored somewhere, and that’s a big growth driver for us.

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