‘element14’, one of the largest distributor of electronic components, tools and accessories had recently organized their annual technical event, “element14 Engineering Trends and Innovation Event Series 2017”.
In today’s fast paced environment where engineers are hard pressed for time for design and production, this event aims to enable engineers to understand how the latest product innovations can shorten their design cycle. Together with their top suppliers, element14 kick started this year’s series of joint technical seminars at Bangalore on May 5, 2017. They have collaborated with suppliers such as Microchip, TE Connectivity, Bulgin, Honeywell and others to bring the roadshows to major cities that have been experiencing significant growth in the electronics design industry. On the occasion of the event in Delhi on June 2, 2017, Mr Navin Honnavar, Sr.Manager – Marketing (South Asia) at element14 who is responsible for handling Marketing, eCommerce & Supplier relationships for South Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Phillipines and Indonesia, shared his insights with Dibyoshnata Talukdar, Sub Editor, ELE Times on the event and element14’s inclusive market strategy in India. Excerpts from the interview.
ELE Times: Tell us about the element14 ‘Engineering Trends and Innovation Event Series 2017’.
Navin Honnavar: The focus of this annual event is basically to bring our suppliers and customers face to face with one another. Every year we sign up new franchisees and we introduce a lot of new products. On a weekly basis we add to our portfolio about 900 new products. For our customers to receive first-hand information, we publish a lot of content on the website, and send them e-mailers. But to make it a two-way communication, once or twice every year, we create an interface for our suppliers to directly interact with our customers. This is the 9th year that we have been doing and we do this between 12-15 cities in India.
ELE Times: As India is gearing up to become a digital nation, what are the prospects that the component industry holds in India?
Navin Honnavar: India today is emerging as a global designing hub. Unfortunately manufacturing is still in a nascent stage. The requirement of components in India is in small to mid-volume level, mostly required to support the R&D teams, the maintenance and repair requirements as well as to speed up their designing projects. Though the opportunity in India is quite huge. As India is talking about Digital India, Smart Cities, Smart Homes, and enhancing the infrastructure in the country, the focus is on to enhance the acceptability and growth of IoT.
ELE Times: How much time would India need to become a complete market for smart devices and IoT in comparison to other geographies?
Navin Honnavar: Regarding smart devices and IoT, I think we are already there as a market. Today in India, connectivity is no more a luxury but a necessity. It is no more about the time that will take us to become a developed nation, but getting the same facilities at a cheaper cost. This is a challenge that keeps coming back to our designers, on how can we make products more affordable and easy to access. In next 10-15 years, you will see India getting close to any of the developed economy but at a very competitive price point.
ELE Times: What would you like to share about element14’s market strategy and how are you going ahead with it?
Navin Honnavar: We started off as a community in 2009, called as element14.com and this is globally the only community which is meant for electronic engineers. Today, this community has almost around five hundred thousand users and almost 25% of them are Indians. This community allows you to do a lot of peer to peer networking and helps us validate a lot of things. It is also a platform where we have all our suppliers. None of our competitors have a community so that is a no. 1 differentiator.
Secondly, as a company we have always looked at our customer’s satisfaction. We always ensure that our products are 100% genuine, and are sourced from directly the suppliers and has traceability.
Our products get delivered to the door steps and we have one of the largest line cards, with almost 650 thousand products and another 500 thousand products which are available on demand. Thirdly, we are a customer centric company, so we allow the customer to transact the way he wants. We have 9 offices in India, where there are people who can come and support you. So in terms of marketing we are focused on making sure that we get the latest products first, speed of getting the product in market is something that we keep consistently improving.
ELE Times: How element14 globally sees India as a market?
Navin Honnavar I always feel proud sharing that element14 India is viewed as a crown jewel by the element14 team globally. Today we are building a few Centers of Excellence. We also have the Technology Centre where we have around 80 engineers, based out of India, who works across different time zones to support customers globally, and help them handle the first, second, and the third level queries on an ongoing basis. We view India as a bigger opportunity.