Designation:Country Manager and Director, SAARC and India, SanDisk Corporation
Popularly known in India as ‘Tech’s Feminine Face’, ManishaSood has a lot riding on her shoulders. She is responsible for establishing sales and marketing infrastructure for the compnay within India. She also oversees the sales of memory cards, USB, MP3, gaming and mobile products through leveraged distribution channels and a sales coverage model covering the major cities and markets across India. Sood also has the responsibility of establishing SanDisk as the consumer brand for mobile and digital devices memory cards in India.
1. At an era when technology is polishing up at the wink of an eye, what strategies do you pick to keep in pace with it?
Being ahead of the curve has always been a key component of SanDisk's strategy. Our focus is not only bringing in best of class products but supporting overall industry growth by reaching out to consumers consistently.Our products span across various segments across digital devices like mobile phones, cameras, computers and laptops.
SanDisk invented flash mass storage cards and our innovations in flash memory have helped shape the consumer electronics landscape. SanDisk developed or co-developed many of the popular industry-standard card formats, pioneered the USB drive and developed advanced flash technologies.We will continue to offer products that are ideal for a variety of uses including a range of cards for digital cameras and camcorders, USB flash drives and cards for mobile phones. For 2012, our endeavor is to extend our portfolio and diversify our product offerings in India.
2. Where do you think the next phase of growth in the Indian tech market will be emerging from?
India is a growing market and the needs of the consumers here in terms of storage requirements are continuously on the rise. Consumers are taking more pictures, listening to more music, recording and watching more videos and saving more personal memories. With the growing amount of digital data and increased need for mobility in our daily lives, the demand for portable storage devices is on the rise. The higher the capacity and performance, the more value is added to the devices.
Flash memory market is on a roll, there is huge requirement in the domestic consumption. We see mobile, tablets and SSDs as the next big opportunity. A lot of today's gadgets are hi-tech and memory-intensive, which fuels growth.Mobile computing should continue to play a critical role in the consumer electronics landscape. Smartphones, tablets and ultra-thin notebooks allow consumers to create share and enjoy digital content anytime, anywhere, and flash memory is a key enabler of these thin yet powerful devices. With a robust growth in these devices, the demand for our products is also expected to witness growth. Almost all market reports in recent times suggest an upswing in the use of storage peripheral devices like flash drives, flash memory cards and sticks, external hard disks, MP3/MP4 players and digital cameras.SanDisk is well positioned to capitalize on the storage needs of these large, fast paced markets.
We have observed that USBs are moving away from computing. The new age consumers are using memory devices beyond PCs and taking it to their living room for viewing on Plasma TVs. The automobile boom has also taken memory devices into cars for a great music experience. Another emerging application is adoption of USBs by school children for projects, assignments etc. which is leading to expansion and penetration to newer markets.
3. How do you keep your business focused?
Our products span across various digital devices like mobile phones, cameras, computers and laptops. Our strategy is to provide consumers with the highest quality products with the best value. We continue to offer products that are ideal for a variety of uses including a range of cards for digital cameras and camcorders, USB flash drives and cards for mobile phones.
As a global leader in flash memory, we believe that consumers should be educated about how best to use flash memory products to enhance user experience of their host devices. Through its orchestrated marketing programmes, SanDisk continuously attempts to bring the brand closer to its consumers and channel partners.
This year we unveiled a broad line up of new retail products and introduced a new preservation solutions category. SanDisk’s product portfolio addresses all market segments—from mobile phones and cameras to notebooks and tablets—and use cases ranging from entry level to professional.
Preserve the Memories
SanDisk® Memory Vault: SanDisk introduced a new product that is tested to preserve images in their original quality for up to 100 years. The SanDisk Memory Vault provides consumers with a convenient, reliable way to pass down their images for generations to come—a photo album for the digital age. The SanDisk Memory Vault comes in 8 gigabyte (GB) and 16GB capacities carrying MSRPs of Rs. 3,499/- (8GB) to Rs5,499/- (16GB).
Capture the Moments
64GB SanDisk Extreme® Pro™ SDXC™ UHS-I Card: SanDisk doubled the performance and capacity of its professional-grade imaging lineup to create a new SD card based on the latest SD 3.0 specification’s Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus architecture. The card offers the fastest write performance of any SD card in the world to date and is ideal for imaging enthusiasts using UHS-enabled cameras. The card features up to 95MB/sec read speeds capable of supporting transfer of photos to a computer in half the time. SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC™ and SDXC™ UHS-I cards come in 8GB to 64GB capacities with MSRPs at Rs. 2,199/- (8GB) to Rs16,299/- (64GB).
64GB SanDisk® Mobile Ultra™ microSDXC™ Card:SanDisk’s new 64GB microSDXCcard can double the capacity of even the most advanced smartphones and tablets. The UHS-based, high-capacity card features up to 30MB/sec4 transfer speeds and offers the Class 6 performance needed to capture Full HD videos. The card is compatible with any tablet or smartphone equipped with a microSDXC card slot.
SanDisk Mobile Ultra cards come in capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB to meet a variety of needs, with MSRPs at Rs. 899/- (4GB) to Rs14,799/- (64GB).
Cruzer® Fit™ and Cruzer® Switch™ USB Flash Drives:SanDisk’s new Cruzer Fit USB flash drive is about the size of a dime, fitting easily into USB-compatible tablets and notebooks for convenient storage expansion. The drive comes in 4GB to 16GB capacities with MSRPs at Rs. 249/- (4GB) to Rs749/- (16GB).
4. What has been the strategy for your brand?
Our strategy has been focused on educating the consumers on the importance of high capacity, working with key retailers and introducing new technological advancements.
SanDisk distribution & retail strategy is largely geared towards creating SanDisk spaces in LFRs and create mindshare for a brand that’s iconic in terms of imaging, mobile and IT. To reinforce our presence in the India market, we have created “Memory concept stores”. These breakthrough “Memory Concept Stores” are present across prominent large format retail outlets in India and represent the entire range of SanDisk’s portfolio. It brings a fresh new look to create a uniquely satisfying customer shopping experience. The consumers will be able to experience a wide variety of new products, ranging from USB’s, imaging cards, to mobile memory cards. SanDisk products are available in approximately 250,000 retail storefronts worldwide.
We are undertaking consumer education through online media, promotion through contest, banners to create familiarity and awareness of SanDisk on “high performance and high capacity” products for all categories and generate top of mind recall among consumers.
SanDisk Memory Yatra
SanDisk Memory Yatra is a first of its kind initiative to engage with the consumers of the emerging cities in India, educating them on the “need and importance” of flash memory to explore their digital gadgets to the fullest potential and demonstrate the entire product range of SanDisk.
The platform provides the consumers an opportunity to interact with the SanDisk experts and dispel any myths regarding USBs and memory cards. This year, the second edition of Memory Yatra in India was kicked off in Jaipur during Holifollowed by SanDisk canter moving across hot spots in Chandigarh, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. The campaign will be rolled out in all the cities around festivals to build a strong connect with the local media and audience and help establish the significance of SanDisk products during special occasions. Alongside the Memory Yatra a consumer contest ‘Photograph Your City’ is also being launched which is aimed at engaging with the photography enthusiasts of the city.
SanDisk TVC Campaign
In order to build a stronger connection and get closer to its consumers, SanDisk has launched a new campaign. This campaign demonstrates SanDisk’s commitment to the Indian market and is a testimony to the strong consumer connection that SanDisk has established here in India over the years. SanDisk’s products are an extension of consumers’ personalities and an essential part of their digital lifestyle. The new television commercial delights consumers with offerings that mirror their sense of style and focuses on the essence of capturing the most cherished memories of one’s life. The commercial beautifully depicts the various roles played by a person in his lifetime. Dancing to the tune of ‘aajyeh pal hainhain memories kal’ the commercial is a rhythmic manifestation of SanDisk’s tagline, Store Your World In Ours.
Though all these initiatives our endeavor is to ensure that the consumer makes an informed decision to get the best user experience from our products.
5. Do you have any surprises in store for the world? If yes, then by when can we expect the kitty out of the bag?
For 2012, our endeavor is to extend our portfolio and diversify our product offerings in India. Our goal is to continue offering Indian consumers high-quality products that help them do more with their digital devices. Our aim would be to have more and more consumers storing their world in ours.
Currently, our three-bit-per-cell (X3) technology, advanced architectures and other flash memory innovations are enabling new types of products. In the future, our research into 3D memory and other types of memory solutions is expected to drive the future of the storage industry and deliver an exciting new range of consumer devices built on these SanDisk innovations.
6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
It was my manager at Kodak who told me something very simple. He said when you walk in to your channel partners’ office they should see a dollar sign. And how true it is. Our partners look up to us for driving their business. As a business leader you should be able to advise them about your products, consumers and business environment. Each interaction of yours should open a new perspective and bring in better business for them.
I have lived by this piece of advice and I give this to all my team members.
7. Your 1st “achievement”
I have been fortunate in two ways. I had opportunities and I had conviction. When taking pictures was all about using camera films, I had a strong belief that digital will be a game changer in photography. I moved from the comforts of films to the digital division of Kodak. When I would talk to partners about digital camera, they would look at me with dismay. But I was very convinced about the industry trends and my reply to them was: Wait for a couple of years.
I sold the first digital camera in India. The rest is history.
8. Must have Winner qualities – guide the young Exhibit readers
I would like to share three things with your readers: Passion, Team, and Priority
Passion is at the core of any success. Being passionate about anything you do, makes a winner in you.
It’s important that you really enjoy what you do. It’s equally important that you are passionate about people you work with. In my case, my consumers and my channel partners are what make my world. So my job is no longer a routine 9-to-5 but it’s about making things happen for my stakeholders.
And as a winner when you grow up in your career, it’s your leadership qualities that set you apart. To let go than to hold on to is what separates the grain from the chaff. For me, investing in my team is my prime objective. I tell my team that I want to be redundant and I can do that only by letting you grow. It’s like you have to push down responsibility so that you can grow.
As the old adage says, all work makes Jack a dull boy. You must build a discipline to draw a line between work and personal life. I am a country head, mother, wife and daughter. When you play four roles every day, you must take time out for each, otherwise the film is not complete!
9. ‘Quotes’ that you live by
I studied computer science. I have been working in consumer technology space. It’s a dynamic environment; a lot happens every day and a lot waiting to happen. I live by what legendary Steve Jobs said many times - One more thing!
10. Your magnum moment?
I would like to share two humbling and proud moments with you.
I am glad to have built two large consumer technology brands in India. Kodak as the first and biggest digital camera brand much before the competition set in. And now SanDisk as the largest selling flash memory brand in the country.