Established in the year 2001 in Singapore, Gemini Hitech is one of those few players, which had visualized the future market trends and had designed and developed products around the future needs of the customers, which were based on the USB connectivity. Today, the time is ripe for Gemini to open up its product basket. Rakesh Malhotra, Managing Director, Gemini Hitech, who along with his team had a talk with VARIndia recently and was of the opinion that the market for USB-based peripherals has grown exponentially and has become a standard as the technology is becoming user-friendly. Gemini is capable of addressing each segment – be it telecom, digital electronics, convergence devices, mobile devices, etc. India being an important market, Gemini has a certain plan for it. The company is in the process of putting all the mechanisms in the right place. Towards this, the company has recently appointed S. V. Reddy as the General Manager (Sales & Marketing) to look after the entire business. As of now, the company is doing a fairly large number in India, but our endeavour will be to make it a big one. It is very easy to aspire for a big number, but to achieve it is a Herculean task as the Indian market is typical in terms of pricing and mindset. S. V. Reddy as a son of the soil has the business acumen to make it happen for Gemini. Excerpts from the interaction with VARIndia…
What is your area of operation?
We are mainly into outside PC products or, what one can call, accessories. Some time back, accessories were considered to be small things as people related these to media or something having to do with mouse pads. But, lately, with USB connectivity coming into the picture, the market has expanded and we expect a number of gadgets to come out with this plug-and-play capability. You will see more and more gaming consoles, entertainment devices, digital devices, telecom and portable storage are coming with USB interface.
What about global presence and manufacturing…?
Headquartered in Singapore, Gemini has offices in China, India and New Zealand. We have distributors in Dubai, Moscow, Nigeria, Mauritius and UK. Therefore, our products are being sold in the Middle East, UAE and Africa. Our products are also sold in Malaysia and Indonesia.
We have contract manufacturing in China for some products and some other products we get these outsourced from the third party. We are planning to have an R&D centre in China as well. We have an in-house team for R&D also, but that is more related to product packaging.
Which market segments are you focusing on?
We are looking beyond the IT corridors. We find the consumer electronics market is more interesting as things are converging in one gadget. In the coming days, the consumers will be so well aware of the IT products that they will not find it necessary to consult an IT expert. They will, therefore, go to a neighbourhood CE shops and buy whatever they require in terms of IT and digital requirements.
Will you also focus on the channel market?
Channel has a very important role to play. No business can happen without the channel. They will be the important conduit pipe between the vendor and the end-users. But, for us, channel is the stock and delivery partner? The rest part, in terms of product awareness and pull, we will do.
How big is Gemini in India?
We are very small in India with nine people only. We are based out of 401, Erose Apartments, 56, Nehru Place, New Delhi – 110 019. However, to give you a clear picture, our business model is based on our import partners. We have import partners all over India. These partners include ACI Infocom, Sujata Electronics, Emerald Infocom Ocean Computers, Stellar Peripherals, Jaishree and one in Bangalore. Besides, we work with a number of OEMs. Though we have been approached by a number of channel partners, we are yet to decide upon that. We have to find out who can actually do justice to our product lines. One good thing we have is that our products are always in scarcity in the Indian market. This is a major issue and we are trying to address this soon.
What kind of volume you look at in the Indian market?
It will be very premature now to give any figure, but it will be suffice to say that we are looking at a sale figure of Rs.2 crore from the northern region. This is a good turnover, looking at the product value coming down every day.
Which geography are you very strong in India?
We are looking at the whole of India but in a phased manner. However, north is our strong base. So, we will first develop the northern belt, including east. Simultaneously, we are working on the west from Mumbai. Besides, we are also working in the southern region through our partners.
Please provide some perspective on your products?
We have 150 products. We are very strong in external enclosure products. All our TV Tuner cards sell in the Indian market like hot cakes. We are very strong in card readers.
In the entire range, lifestyle products contribute 20 per cent and other products contribute the rest.
How fast do you want to grow in India?
We have a definite plan in India. Having said that, we will go slowly, but we want to be all over the country. Our objective is to become a large global player with a strong network. We expect to grow at 40 per cent year on year.