Techiexpert Team had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director at Barco India
Which vertical (Healthcare, Enterprise, Entertainment) of your business is contributing more to Barco’s growth?
Barco has multiple business lines in India and different business lines have different channel strategies. Digital Cinema, ProAV/Events, Healthcare and Meeting Experience (MX) – these four BUs have got channel partner-centric business models but the channel dynamics are different and non-correlated for these four business lines.
We use diverse channel procedures for the different markets we cater to. We leverage system integrators for the enterprise market and pursue a 3-level methodology with distributors and affiliates for the Entertainment vertical. Out of all our business lines, MX business is 100%, channel-centric business model.
We are working on rapidly building our channel base and this will be spread over the coming 2 years. For our corporate business, we are intending to tap 7 major corporate IT affiliates in 7 metro cities.
How many channel partners does Barco have in India? Are there any plans for channel expansion?
We are a B2B organization and our emphasis is fundamentally on working with system integrators, specialists and VARs for the Healthcare, Enterprise and Cinema space. For our innovative collaboration offering ClickShare, we have a system of more than 180 channel partners who are targeted through CEECO Technologies, our distributor. We collaborate with our distributor’s Visual Display Solutions Pvt Ltd. and Green Sources Pvt Ltd. for our projectors aimed at the Rental and Fixed install space. In all, we have in excess of 350 channel partners in India currently.
We are at present growing our channel base and have selected Online Instruments as the channel partner for the education sector and VDSPL for the ProAV segment. With different channels set up, we guarantee that our clients are very much informed about the products and services we offer.
How is Barco contributing to the Government’s Smart City Initiative?
Information is one of the most important elements upon which the smart infrastructure will be formed. Therefore, it will be necessary to combine information from multiple sources and share it on a real-time basis with various stakeholders to ensure that smart cities function smoothly. Incorporation of seamless, real-time access to information can be managed through smart control room solutions. These control rooms will manage and streamline the huge amount of information that the smart cities will generate on a day-to-day basis and this is where Barco steps in. The interconnected infrastructure will also give critical processes, such as citizen security and healthcare, a tangible boost and make them more accessible to the end-user. We have already established our global leadership in the category and are keen on doing the same in India.
Barco’s specialized technology and innovations support the government by increasing the value of all segments of the smart city endeavor.
What are the opportunities and challenges in India’s Smart City Mission?
Some of the major challenges that face the ambitious Smart Cities Mission are infrastructural, particularly the retrofitting of legacy infrastructure with smart technology. The successful implementation of smart city solutions would also require close and effective collaboration between various stakeholders comprising the central government, state governments, local administrative agencies/departments, urban planners, policymakers, service providers, and citizens. Such a large-scale undertaking is not possible with the current setup and would require the creation of a future-proof software-led control room infrastructure which can monitor, support, and control various day-to-day functions, seamlessly and efficiently.
Despite the various hurdles that the project faces, it represents an immense opportunity of improving almost all aspects of city life. The initiative generates a great potential for Barco to commercialize its large video walls and related software.
Businesses and the overall economic landscape are also expected to benefit from better consumer insights and in-depth market trends analysis that smart cities will facilitate with their data-centric approach.
What are the business opportunities and current market trends in the Enterprise segment?
India is developing rapidly, with new organizations coming up regularly. These organizations are keen to boost their technological quotient as it makes the company a more attractive and collaborative workplace. There are over 7.5 lakh meeting rooms available in India currently and these are only set to increase, and Barco sees this as a tremendous opportunity. There is immense potential for growth in the wireless collaboration space as enterprises have started investing in meeting room devices and solutions for employees. In order to beneficially address this requirement, Barco follows an ‘in-country, for country’ strategy wherein our products are designed keeping the Indian needs in mind. We have worked towards India-specific offerings, value definitions, market approaches and price points.
Current market trends we are seeing include data protection initiatives, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence use and application of Internet of Things.
What differentiates Barco’s products and solutions from other key players in the market?
Barco believes that the customer is key and ensures that its dedicated user base has the best possible experience through every product. We want to empower our customers with impressive visualization and innovative collaboration solutions to help them make meaningful connections. Our products are entirely targeted at consumers’ needs and it enables us to serve them better.
If we look at wireless collaboration business, Barco is the market leader, holding 42% market share by value and 26% market share by volume (Ref. IMRB market research report, Jan 2018). Barco’s ClickShare has unique and innovative features to help organizations automate and provide a unique meeting room experience. We see a high demand for this product across sectors and are confident that it will revolutionize the way enterprises do meetings.
Barco Unisee, our bezel-less flagship product for the LCD video wall market, is another game-changer for the industry, launched last year. We have completely redesigned and optimized every component of the LCD video wall, enabling a seamless viewing experience for our customers. Barco has already been playing an integral role in smart cities, control rooms and our new product is a great fit for these sectors. Control rooms in smart cities run critical applications and now with Barco Unisee, their visualization experience will completely change.
What is Barco’s focus in India? Can you share examples of video wall installations?
We are looking to develop India-specific offerings which will cater to the demographic at competitive prices. For this purpose, we are leveraging local manufacturing, design, development, and commercial ability to build more local R&D and product management capabilities that help us in capturing promising opportunities in the Indian economy. We will also be strengthening our partnerships with industry players and the government whilst developing the ecosystem, in addition to fostering greater customer intimacy.
Talking about video walls, we can cite our installations at UP 100’s centralized control center of the emergency response system, located in the capital of Lucknow where we have set-up a large videowall comprising of 180 cubes in various configurations. Responsible for providing emergency response services to more than 204 million people, it routes information from calls and texts to the nearest police stations and response units so that they can deliver aid in around 15 minutes. Another organization using Barco video wall is Patanjali to keep an eye on the feed from 5,000 cameras monitoring their 100 different production sites.
What is the current Barco market share?
In Digital Cinema projector business, Barco is the market leader holding 52% market share worldwide and 48.9% market share in India. For Wireless collaboration business, Barco is the market leader holding 42% market share by value and 26% market share by Volume. For Events business, Barco is holding approx. 13-15% market in its focused segment by value.
Barco is synonymous with ‘Innovation for India’, be it in terms of products, business models, or partnerships. In the coming years, we aim to become and be perceived as the partner of choice for networked visualization display for multiple applications, from control rooms in smart cities to projectors in the digital cinema industry and collaboration tools in the enterprise sector.