Kingston Technology Corporation, the world’s largest independent memory module manufacturer has been coming out with innovative and well planned launches of new products related to memory chips, DRAM, Flash and even the K-Pex Personal Media Player. Continuing to grow worldwide, Kingston has most definitely not left out India from this mass phenomenon. With the recent launch of Knowyourmemory.com and the HyperX game challenge, Kingston continues to find new ways to connect with the consumers.
TechShout conducted an interview with Mr. Rajesh Panicker, Country Manager, Kingston-India. He informed us of the current, as well as future plans that Kingston has in store for the Indian consumers.
T.S: What has been the response so far, with regards to the Chip memory market in Indian?
R.P: With regards to the memory market, the Kingston brand is well known from a worldwide perspective, as well as in India. People in India know that Kingston is number one. We, at Kingston are trying to improve the availability of products. So in regards to that, we at Kingston are actually revamping our distribution, so that we can cater not only to the width of the country, but also to the depth of the country as well.
T.S.: ‘Know Your Memory.com’, was a Website that Kingston recently launched. How successful has the online memory campaign been?
R.P: The primary reason for launching Knowyourmemory.com was to educate people on how to best choose memory to suit specific requirements. Here, people can learn what type of memory is the best memory that will suit their requirements, how exactly to test their memory and trends. At the end of the day, people will thus be able to choose memory based on their criticality, and usage of applications. It basically is as important as selecting your CPU. We, at Kingston initially created the hype, by adding the HyperX campaign so that we get more people coming in.
T.S.: Does Kingston have plans of launching a similar Web site in other parts of the World?
R.P: The launch of Knowyourmemory.com is actually one of the unique things we did in India. Looking at the popularity of the website and feedback, we at Kingston might just consider launching a similar Web site elsewhere.
T.S.: Will Kingston introduce ‘Win a Rig’ contest in India too?
R.P: It will all depend on what we really want to sell and which brand we want to promote basically. So HyperX being a new product line, and since gaming is picking up all over the place. We would also want to gain more entry. So if and when things happen…
T.S.: Does Kingston have plans on sponsoring any Indian gaming clans, or tournaments like WCG?
R.P: Yes. Kingston is looking at some of the major gaming clans. Kingston would have to look at a gaming tournament that is India-specific.
T.S.: Any plans on introducing gaming consoles?
R.P: From a gaming perspective, the gaming market is remotely driven by the U.S. The India gaming scene is yet nascent, so it’s just catching up, so we will wait and watch and then follow. But, yes we are very much open to investing with people who would like us to participate and collaborate with them. We have spoken to some gaming companies about it.
T.S.: Which have been Kingston’s most successful products till date?
R.P: Typically, we at Kingston launch our products worldwide. In India, the products that have enjoyed great popularity have been ValueRAM, Kingston USB drives, and Kingston’s flash cards like MicroSD, SD and MMC cards. WE are also trying to create a niche segment in the gaming scene with the launch of HyperX memory modules and are also looking at some OEMs down the line.
T.S.: Are there any plans to launch a Kingston 16GB SD or MMC card in India?
R.P: As of now, we have not yet launched any 16GB SD/MMC card. But when we do launch it, it will most certainly be launched in India, as like I said before, Kingston products are launched worldwide.
T.S.: How many Personal Media Players were sold in India? How has the response been so far?
R.P: The Kingston Personal Media Player called K-Pex 100 was released sometime in October this year. We managed to sell a couple of hundred K-Pex 100 PMPs within India itself. The Kingston KPex personal media player received mixed reactions. People find it good value for money, but then again there are some issues like conversion of files just like any other MP3 or MP4 player. But without a doubt K-Pex is still getting popular, and in fact most of the distributors who have received our K-Pex players have had no problem selling them off. The numbers are not big or huge, but it’s still catching up.
T.S.: Does Kingston plan on entering the digital camera and PDA market?
R.P: Kingston sticks to mostly flash and all flash-related applications, so we are more into the peripheries and accessories part of it.
T.S.: Does Kingston have plans of introducing Hard Disk Drives?R.P: With the Disk-on Memories coming out these days, maybe.
T.S.: Has Kingston opened up any manufacturing units and research centers in India? Any future plans?
R.P: We opened our first sales and marketing in India. We bought eight guys. In the coming years we will definitely expand our setup, and look into research. As the business grows, it’s as simple as that.
T.S.: As you know, Microsoft has already released its new operating system Windows Vista, which is supposed to be very ‘memory hungry’. Has Kingston made any plans to introduce a chip that has been specially optimized for Windows Vista?
R.P: Kingston is getting certified Vista flash drives, which is made especially for Vista boton. And memories will obviously be certified. Kingston works really closely with the hardware community as well as the software companies, so that whenever they launch anything, we are also ready to support whatever is needed as a periphery.
T.S.: Nanotechnology is being applied in many electronics as of today. Does Kingston plan on applying nanotechnology in the manufacture of its memory chips?
R.P: As of now Nanotechnology is yet in the labs, but we definitely see a general shift from the RAM to the Flash. Most of the stuff will go on to the flash side of things, and slowly but steadily the DDRs will also catch up. It’s because they are faster, better and are getting cheaper. That’s the general trend.
T.S.: Tell us about Kingston’s future plans?
R.P: One of our diversified products was the K-Pex MP4 player. We at Kingston are usually concerned with flash and flash-related applications. But yes, in the future we do have plans for the second quarter of 2007; you will definitely get to see more products from Kingston on the flash-side of things.