“We are changing the notion of gaming laptops to be bulky and heavy”
Gaming on PC was never that exciting the way it is now, thanks to the companies coming up with their own series of laptops especially catering to the needs of gaming enthusiasts. Republic of Gamers (ROG) by Asus, a Taiwanese tech major, is one such brand that satiates the desire of a hardcore gamer with its unique offerings. ROG, in fact, is a name to reckon with among Indian consumers as well. To discuss more about the brand, its market position and more, Ramesh Kumar Raja had an interaction with Arnold Su, ROG & PC Head, Asus India. Arnold also talked about the company’s India-centric approach to be a dominant player in the gaming category. Excerpts:
India is a highly cluttered market with each player trying to get the maximum share of the pie. How do you stand out in such a scenario?
It is indeed exciting to be operating in the Indian market presently. As a market, India offers a unique combination of challenges and opportunities. We have been able to tackle competition and yet maintain our position amongst the industry leaders by focusing on two key aspects: innovation and outreach.
At Asus, we are eternally committed to innovating. Some of our recent innovations include the groundbreaking ScreenPad offering the next-level intelligence in ZenBook Pro Series, the Desktop-inspired Keyboard with OverStroke technology, and the RangeBoost technology ensuring no blind sports in Wi-Fi connectivity for a seamless gaming and computing experience.
In terms of the outreach, we are present across India with 100 exclusive partner stores and 6,000 distributors. By the next year, we intend to add 100 more exclusive stores and increase the number of distributors to 10,000. By the end of 2019, we would also be adding 7 more ROG stores, taking the total tally to 10. Additionally, withstanding the rise of digitization in India, we have also partnered with several leading e-commerce portals and thus, maintain optimum contact with our users through the digital mediums.
With these two crucial factors playing together, we are able to break through the clutter in the industry and maintain strong relations with our end users.
Republic of Gamers (ROG) is something that makes Asus a name to reckon with, especially for the gaming enthusiasts. What are the other key offerings to the Indian consumers?
ROG, as a concept, is certainly popular amongst the young audience and passionate gamers that we strongly cater to.
In addition to our ROG offerings for the passionate gamers, we also appeal to the professionals with our ZenBook series. The ZenBook Pro offers effortless and power-packed computing for the ambitious professionals, who require their gadgets to be just as edgy and high-performing.
Lastly, the young professionals and college goers have taken a liking to our VivoBook series. The range of laptops in this series are light-weight and aesthetically pleasant, thus resonating with the young and modish audience that is always on the go and prefer to carry their notebooks along.
Smartphones with bigger screen and high-end processors are emerging as a big competitor/ challenger to the gaming laptops. What’s your approach to it?
As far as gaming is concerned, smartphones and laptops cannot compete with each other. The user experience is entirely different. At Asus, we design and create products just for advanced user experience. A laptop still has a bigger screen with a proper keyboard which provides a completely different gaming experience. Now our gaming laptops are also designed with narrow bezel and are stylish. We are changing the notion of gaming laptops to be bulky and heavy. Having said that we do not compromise on performance. We always work for better integration of software and hardware between devices like; there is inbuilt Xbox controller connection chip in our high end ROG model, and the software for mirroring mobile display on laptop display for Asus Phone.
|“We always work for better integration of software and hardware between devices like; there is inbuilt Xbox controller connection chip in our high end ROG model, and the software for mirroring mobile display on laptop display for Asus Phone”|
What is your market share in India in the laptop segment and where do you plan to take it?
We are currently at 7% market share and aim to garner 10% market share by end of the year.
Online or offline – which platform is more effective from the revenue point of view for Asus, especially in the ROG segment?
Online segment is growing really fast because of the wide variety of choices available to the consumer. Also the process of selection and payment is seamless and relatively easier. However offline still happens to be the first choice for gaming laptops.
Most of the Indian consumers are quite price-centric. What is your parameter for affordability in India?
We have consistently made an effort to price our products at the best affordable range keeping in mind our Indian consumers. We have extended warranty offer, EMI offer ensuring affordability and ease of use for customers.
Our gaming products are priced from 60k INR and are at the most affordable pricing in the market currently in comparison to our competitors.