Avosec bullish about Opportunities in India
Brief us about Avosec-Avast presence in India?
Avast! as a brand is known to Indian customers for a long time. Most of them have tried Avast! Home edition which is offered free. Since Avosec increased its online presence, it has been doing online business around the world and has also sold licences to customers in India. After conducting research in the Indian market, we have realized that pre-and post-sales support plays an extremely important role. Customers prefer to purchase products through a distributor or a reseller who can provide support, as and when needed, rather than purchasing online. As a result of our market research and increased web traffic visits from India, we have launched our Indian operations with our office in Pune. This will be our head office for India.
How big is your Indian team?
The Pune office has a full-fledged team consisting of Sales Executives, Technical Support Engineers, Marketing Team, Web Developers and Accountants. The core technical team will be responsible for carrying out pre-sales and post-sales technical assistance to our channel partners and customers. They will also be playing a major role in educating resellers and engineers to enable them to provide optimum support to their customers.
Very soon, our Delhi office will also become operational. This office will be responsible for supporting resellers from North India. In the next six months, we plan to establish branch offices in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Within the first year of our operation itself, we plan to provide physical support in the Tier-I and Tier-II cities of India. Each branch office will have at least two sales and two support staff.
What is the USP of Avast antivirus and how does it stand vis-a-vis competition?
We do not have any competitor. Technically, Avast! is a far superior product to compete with other available products. We may consider existing products as competitors only for the reason that they have been in this market for a long time and is faring well.
Avast! is preferred by 100 million users worldwide that provides excellent detection rate without reducing system performance. Also, it has cumulative incremental small updates, HTTP scanning even from desktop product, Boot scan and the best is Avast distributed network manager is simply a deferent league to the existing network products. Avast! ADNM can manage vast scattered networks with great reporting and reliability. All these features with excellent pre- and post-technical support make it a most sought-after AV.
What is your marketing strategy for Avast products?
Avast! is already a well-known brand in India. It will not be a surprise for us to know that 8 out of 10 computer literate persons in India are aware about Avast! With approximately 2 million registered Indian users at present, Avast! is gaining popularity.
Overall, Avast! is a popular brand in India. We only need to educate (SMBs and corporate customers) about business editions of Avast! I guess this job can be done better through our partners. We would be focussing on B2B advertisements initially. This would be in the form of road shows, seminars, free product demos and training, participating in conferences where we get opportunity to interact with the Channel community.
We intend to conduct seminars, especially for the corporate customers, government organizations and help them understand how easy and effective it is to have Avast! protection.
How do you address the support issues in India?
Avast! customers can get replies to their queries through Avast! support forums, Knowledge base, troubleshooter for Avast! This almost covers all the topics a user may encounter during his subscription period. Most of the Indians simply do not prefer to go through forums for solutions available. Rather, they want somebody to guide them step by step. For such users, we are planning to offer a toll-free number. This facility will be only available for paid products of Avast!
Avosec will offer support to its resellers online, using email, instant chat, remote access and, if needed, onsite support. Our engineers stationed at our various branch offices would support local resellers and customers in their respective regional languages.
What is your channel partners' strength?
In addition to partners of Avosec promoting Avast! Antivirus, there have been few resellers who were doing business with Avast! Now, Avosec plans to promote Avast! products in India exclusively through its qualified partners educated in selling Avast! products.
Although we support sub-distribution strategy in principle, we prefer to operate direct billing with all partners. This is simply because we feel our partners will initially need more interaction with our sales and support team. We believe in close working relationship with our partners in order that we can assist them with all the pre- and post-sales activities. We would educate our partners with a high standard of knowledge of Avast! and provide them with assistance in quoting the right product and price to end-users, to close deals faster.
Partners having direct association with us will make the communication chain smaller and increase speedy delivery of product and responses - both upward and downward. Once we are confident that a partner has the requisite knowledge of the Avast! product offerings, and is capable of providing second level of support, we will permit him to appoint further resellers. In addition, we may allow them to work with our Gold or Platinum partners.
Initially, we are concentrating on Tier-I cities and intend to appoint 500 partners in the first half of 2010 and more than 500 in the second half.
How are your programmes designed for the partners?
We believe in having long-term business relationships with our partners and customers. This is possible if we create a win-win situation for all. We are offering excellent products to our customers along with prompt and reliable support. We intend to offer pre- and post-technical support through our partners. We will be imparting our partners complete training so that they can provide pre-and post- technical support to their customers. This also gives our partners an opportunity to earn by offering value-added support.
Apart from this, we are offering margins more than current market standards. We reward sales executives of our partner for the valuable sale volume they achieve for Avast! by offering them direct incentives.
Please let us know about your latest 2010 AV editions?
Avast! offers excellent protection for SoHo, affordable solution to SMB and protection to large corporate environments. We provide protection for all versions of Windows. We also provide protection for Linux, Unix and Mac, with plugins for different servers. The new version 5.0 Avast! pro antivirus and avast! Internet security comes with excellent features that would give an edge over competitor products.