While at Computex 2010 in Taipei, I got a chance to interview Mr. David Chien, Vice President, ECS. Elitegroup Computer Systems Co., Ltd. or ECS is one of the top tier 1 motherboard manufacturers of the world today and their business encompasses OEM as well as ECS branded products. I had a few questions on my mind about this company which is one of the oldest computer companies of Taiwan, being there for more than two decades.
David Chien, Vice President, ECS, with the Computex 2010 Best Choice Award
Techtree: How big a market is India for ECS?
David: We are number 3 motherboard supplier including OEM in the India market today. We moved up due to the aggressive marketing especially in this year.
Techtree: Motherboard is the primary product from your stable, any plans to introduce other products in to the Indian market?
David: We will soon be introducing ECS VGA (graphics) cards in India under ECS brand. We will also introduce other products such as notebooks, tablet PC, e-book readers and All-in-One computers which you may have seen here on display in our booth.
Techtree: There is cutthroat competition in this market, how do look at this competition. Where is ECS positioned in this market? How do you plan to tackle the competition?
David: Competition is always there, be it in India or in international market. Globally, we are currently number 3 motherboard provider overall, following Foxconn and Pegatron. 60 % of our products go to OEM, while 40 % are for channel. In the channel market, our position is number 3 globally. We are number 1 in Latin America, number 2 in South-East Asia, number 2 in Middle East, number 4 in Russia and number 4 in India as far as ECS branded motherboards is concerned.
ECS motherboard received the Best Choice award at this Computex for the A890GXM-AU Black series motherboard. We are also focusing on "Deep Green Technology" as well as on adding better overclocking features in the motherboards and at the same time maintaining a lower price than our competitors. Our competitors are advertising that their motherboards have "333", which means SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 and eSATA 3.0, but our motherboards have "3333", which means all of what they have and also 3 times more gold. Our motherboards have three times gold coating to minimize chances of oxidation and the gold contacts have a 15 micron gold layer to ensure a longer lifespan. Most motherboards have single USB 3.0 and single SATA 3.0 controllers, but some of our motherboards have two controllers for each of them, thus providing twice as many numbers of USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 ports.
Techtree: What is your opinion about the company's brand recognition in India?
David: We have focused more on OEM business, and that is the reason why our brand recognition in India is not as strong as we would have liked it to be. Our competitors already have a good foothold in the Indian market, so we will have to work harder for brand recognition. We therefore plan to do aggressive marketing with our local partners with roadshows, events, media reviews, schemes, etc. We have also chosen Rashi Peripherals as our channel partner in India and are very positive that the brand recognition will grow this year due to that.
Techtree: What would be your targets for this financial year in India?
David: Currently we are at the number 4 market position, so by the end of this year, we expect to get at least to the number 3 position in India. Quantity-wise, we are looking to get to position number 2.
Techtree: How many units do you intend to sell this year?
David: By the end of this year, our target is 9 million motherboards for channel only globally, which is an increase of 15%. In India we target an increase in sales of 8%.
Techtree: How many channel partners are associated with ECS India?
David: We have one channel partner in India, which is Rashi Peripherals.
Techtree: Any plans to increase the channel partner base?
David: No, we do not plan to have any other partner this year at least as we will be working together with Rashi to promote our brand.
Techtree: What would be your go to market strategy?
David: As said before, we will concentrate on roadshows, events, media reviews, schemes, etc to increase brand awareness. We will put more resources for end user satisfaction by providing better service and support.
Techtree: Apart from the existing reseller programs, are there any plans for new programs?
David: Yes, we do have some reseller programs planned this year where the reseller can earn points and get real gold. I think this will work well. In other countries, we focus mostly on the end user, but in India, we focus on the reseller as well so that the reseller is able to better educate the end user.
Techtree: ECS has been advertising about green technology products this year. Please tell us more about them.
Almost everyone is talking about the environment these days and ECS is no different. We also care about the environment and we are one of the first motherboard companies in Taiwan to get the government approval for the ISO certificate regarding environment friendly products. Our newer motherboards support "Deep Green Technology
", which allows the motherboard to consume almost no power in the soft off (S5) mode. This is even less then the European standard EUP for the year 2013. This will reduce the CO2 emissions due to the reduction of energy consumption and we have worked out that this actually is like planting 2,902,500 trees every year.
Techtree: How many new product launches are expected this year?
David: As you may have seen, we have introduced new chipsets such as the Intel 6 series based motherboards, which you will not see in any other booth and AMD 8 series based motherboards. Also we have the overclocking motherboard P55H-AK, supporting the new Intel unlocked CPUs. We also have newer chipset motherboards for enterprise segment. In the OEM market, we have several notebooks and tablet PC. AIO computers (All-in-One) with touch panel screen and 3D screen without glasses are something new we are going to introduce this year and they are different from the rest because they will allow you to upgrade almost everything. The e-book reader is also something new we will sell this year. Our WiMAX products such as the WiMAX to Wi-Fi converter/Access Point and the WiMAX dongle are also going to be available this year.