Top 50 Innovations Of 2018

Articles May - June 2019

THE FAMOUS STORY

Armed with a degree in Marketing and Finance and International Business from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and Aston University respectively, and after learning the dynamics of the Indian business world at Fanatic Sports and GVK..... read more

FIXINTOGETMIXIN with Brad Divens

Renowned FOH engineer Brad Divens who is currently mixing for Enrique Iglesias and has mixed for Linkin Park, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, HIM, Bob Seger and countless others in the past, was in Mumbai for doing what he loves to do most...... read more

BToS Productions - The Rising Star

Nazeef Mohommed, the frontman of an immensely young, passionate and growing enterprise – BToS Productions talks to Ankita Bhadrawale about their overall plans for the future and his recipe to designing, curating and executing the event..... read more

The Next Dimension Of Stage Production

Popularly referred to as India’s equivalent of the Academy Awards; the 64th edition of the Filmfare Awards, presented by The Times Group, continued its legacy of honouring artistic and technical excellence in the Hindi film industry of India......... read more

Complete Audio Solutions from Honeywell

Honeywell is the new entrant on the block in the professional sound segment with ‘Honeywell ProSound’. The series is a perfect adjacency to Honeywell’s current PAVA business offering solutions to new verticals like hospitality, entertainment...... read more

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BELIEVING IN THE MARKET - Bose Distribution Strategy


Fresh innovation from Bose Professional with launch of EdgeMax™ In-Ceiling Premium Loudspeakers with PhaseGuide® technology, impelled closer look at Bose strategy. Anil Chopra, Editor, PALM Technology interviewed Morten Jorgensen – Director, Global Sales & Operations, Christian Liebenberg - Pro Regional Sales Manager – SEAK, ANZ & SAARC and Vibhor Khanna, Country Manager-SAARC to learn Bose indeed innovating its sales and product portfolio to gain traction from India’s robust market.

Bose has developed Distribution network partners focused on AV verticals and an expanded product portfolio focused on system integration. Altering strategy in supporting System Integrators rather than compete for projects, essentially to broaden sales in AV and Engineered Sound segment.

What is your perception of the Indian Market?

MJ: I was in India in 94 and didn’t quite know what to expect, but it’s been really wonderful to be here. We have a global strategy we are trying to implement across all regions, so that we have a consistent way of building distribution and growing vertical markets. India is a key country for us. We have seen a lot of growth over the past several years and we want to continue that growth for many years to come.

Are you satisfied with growth in India?

MJ: I am never satisfied. Having said that, we are growing faster in India than many other regions and we will continue with this significant growth. So I cannot say I’m unhappy with this growth.

Does India have more potential in your view?

MJ: I think there are so many opportunities in India that I think we can grow more. In India the caliber of people is much higher as compared to other regions. They are very strong technically, and they’ve been good with building relationships, they’re very motivated and excited. I think that’s what’s driving the growth that we see. We have several established verticals and we have several new verticals that we want to play is, such as the rental market and conferencing. In India compared to other regions, there is a huge growth potential for conferencing. We want to invest more into India and exactly decide where to put the money. For that we need to go after people, marketing, relationships and I am very excited about it.

Bose is here in India from many years and you must have a growth chart vis-à-vis investment which is imperative to sustain growth to build the market. So has the arc performed as per plan or has it under performed?

MJ: I think the big difference between today and about 15 years ago is the number of products that we have. 15 years ago we had a limited portfolio of products; it was just loudspeakers. But if we look at our portfolio today we do loudspeakers, we do amplifiers, we do signal processing and we do that in many different verticals – we do that in business music systems, we do that in the install market and in the portable market. Our products today are vastly different as compared to ten years ago, that has helped accelerating our growth in India.

CL: Each few years we relook our strategies because what worked in the last 5 years may not necessarily work for us today. What we are really doing now is that we have got a number of distribution partners who can allow us to penetrate the market. We do know it’s going to have its limitations so right now we are just evaluating from where the next big kick-start is going to come.

Any specific strategy for India?

MJ: I would also say that our approach to market strategy has changed radically from the past 5 years. If I go back five years in India, we were kind of like the system integrators. We were doing turnkey projects like Delhi airport etc. Then we realized that the global strategy for us is not to go direct but sell through a network. our new strategy in India is to go to key integrators in the marketplace. We sell to them, we support them and they do the systems integration. This way we cater to the strengths we have and that is our products, and our people supporting our integrators.

Bose is renowned for speaker technology. Why did Bose expand its product portfolio to this extent?

MJ: The way I look at it is, that we want to make it easier for system integrators. The way we can make it easier for them is to make sure that our products are being designed to go together. For instance, if you have a speaker and if you also manufacture the amplifier, you can put in equalization and limiting into your amplifier etc. and that makes it much, much easier for our integrators to do their job. And it makes the system perform better. These have been key reasons why we have expanded our product portfolio.

CL: The other critical point is that we don’t limit the system integration companies to only utilizing pro solutions from Bose. We can actually sell amplifiers to system integrators who want to use it with some other manufacturer’s loudspeaker.

So is connected Audio the area of growth on the consumer side worldwide.

MJ: Another change we have made is that we are having a global sales and product development focus. If you look at out our markets in America, in Europe, China, Japan etc., they all are different. So, in the past in India we maybe went after a particular market. In Europe, we went after a different market, and so on. So when there are five continents and when each region is doing their own thing, it’s really hard to come up with one product which fits every market.

So from the last few years we have been developing a global strategy. So the strategy we have for the Americas (the way we set up distribution, the verticals we go after) is now similar in the Americas, Europe, China, Japan, India and South East Asia and that has been a key focus for us. So when we come out with a new product, it fits in all our global markets. We develop products for the globe.

Distribution network is the new mantra!

MJ:Plus we are focusing on technology as a key part. For example, over the past year’s innovations in the ceiling speaker market haven’t been anything to talk about. It’s all been the same - just cheaper and more cheaper. But now Bose has developed EdgeMax - a ceiling speaker that has a compression driver, a phase guide and can give very, very even coverage. A flush-mount ceiling speaker with the audio performance of a surface mount speaker, but the aesthetics of a flush mount speaker – the best of both worlds. So by having a global strategy we can put all our focus on developing products that can fit all our markets.

Is there any one particular product innovated by Bose in response to the Indian market or from India feedback?

MJ: We typically don’t develop products specifically for one market. We develop products for across the world. So we interview the America, Europe and India as well, and based on the kind of input we get, we then manufacture a product based on that.

You mentioned that conferencing was a very strong growth segment, so should we say that, that the strongest growth area for Bose is Audio Conferencing and then AV and then rental?

MJ: We already have three existing verticals which we go after. Firstly, we have Portable, then we have Engineered Sound for House of Worship, Airports, convention centers etc. and then hospitality and then we have two new verticals - Conferencing and Rental. Conferencing for us is huge because we don’t play in that market today. Maybe we sell ceiling speakers to the market but we do nothing about the electronics, the interface, the experience. So with our new products for this market there is huge growth potential for Bose in this segment.

How exciting is rental or stage sound, in the scheme of things.

VK: We have launched our rental gear called the ShowMatch last year. ShowMatch has been getting very good reviews in the market and three major rental companies already have invested into this gear and are quite aggressively using this gear for all their events, be it shows or AV events. So we are getting very good response and we see that this market is accepting this particular gear in a very positive fashion.

That’s the reason we are very much excited about the future of this product line and we feel that it will be a good growth driver for us in the coming years. So Bose has become very serious about the rental business and we have a strategy in place.

We have established ourselves in the install domain in terms of the large convention centers and auditoriums but Rental and conferencing are new and the two are huge growth areas and there is a road map towards it and we are moving quite aggressively on both these two verticals.

How satisfying are the growth and net sales vis-à-vis the market for premium brands like Bose in the auditorium and in convention centers. How good is the market in India for that sector which is already established?

VK: We have lot of infrastructure projects with the new government coming in. The good part is that if we look at the last three years, the Bose pie has increased in the government vertical a lot which means customers - the government, which is traditionally a low cost buyer who buy L1 products have now started valuing the product and the quality of the product vis-à-vis the price. So they are ready to spend the premium in terms of getting the right quality sound.

So that is where we have seen growth and we are quite happy with it. We have pulled some more levers and we really want to grow aggressively in this particular vertical i.e auditorium and convention centers.

MJ: It’s very exciting in India because we are at a crossroad where certain verticals like install and portable have really changed our distribution model and now we have two more verticals.

VK: It’s kind of a matrix structure for us that we run our distribution channels and we also run our vertical strategy. So that’s how we cover the market much more effectively and we have partners specialized in various verticals.

So, which product would you like to emphasize to exploit this interview?

VK: We would encourage you to get a demo of the New EdgeMax premium In-ceiling loudspeakers. It’s an out of the world product and nobody has it in the competitive world as of now.

I get the impression that in terms of install sound it’s a major innovation.

MJ: Think about the old age where you had the surface mount speakers and people loved the sound and then we have the ceiling speakers and even with good conical ceiling speakers it was difficult to provide a great experience because the speakers were pointing straight down but with EdgeMax it gives you that surface mount experience but in a flush ceiling mount package. We have two phase guides – either 90 degree to put in the corner or 180 degree to put on the edge of the room. And the most beautiful thing is that the sound quality is similar to a surface mount loudspeaker but you don’t see that because they get mounted all over at the edge. People who heard the difference between EdgeMax and conventional ceiling speakers, got out of their seats. We got a standing ovation. I believe that EdgeMax is the next generation ceiling speaker.

So, when you say the EdgeMax, you mean that now the speakers will only get installed at the edge not across the ceiling?

MJ: Yes. Think about a beautiful conference room where you got surface mounted speakers across the hall protruding out. You don’t see EdgeMax, yet get an experience that is unparalleled to anything else in the world.


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