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Motherboard Market:

Buoyant & Moving ahead

With the PC penetration growing and the economy picking up, it is only to be expected that the motherboard market in India is buoyant and moving ahead with reasonable growth prospects.

The world is moving at a very fast rate and there are very large numbers of technologies coming up with each passing day. The scenario in India is however different. The rate of growth of technology is not as fast as that of the US or Japan or many other countries. As a result of this, the Indian consumer market has to rely on imports for the lasts in technology. The irony in this is that the people or rather the consumers have to wait in order to get their hands on quality technology or gadgets or the latest electronic goods. Since the motherboard industry is mature, the cost/performance ratio of the product and speed of technology adoption are going to be the final keys to success. As the desktop total available market growth rate is shrinking, only those motherboard manufacturers 24

who occupy leading brand positions will survive. Innovation and product quality are both key to brand image. However, both need long-term resource investment. The continuing drop of profit margins isn’t necessarily bad. This is a positive move, because manufacturers now have the know-how to keep the same functionality by removing unnecessary components. This will start with motherboard manufacturers and end with the consumers. Lower production cost means lower MSRP. Everyone is a winner. Over the past decade, the motherboard industry has gone through a few rough patches. The economic recessions over the past few years really show in the number of players left in the game. And if the current economic climate has anything to say about it, it is possible that

this is not the end of the list. It is important to point out that some of these brands are not the result of dead companies. Some have just simply exited from the channel motherboard business. The players that remain are still facing the simple challenge of relevancy. Part of the reason for the previously-large number of motherboard makers was decent profit margins. As margins dropped, fewer players could financially afford to stay in the industry. Now that the industry is basically mature, how do these makers continue to separate themselves from the pack? Over the next few years, there will see continuing pressures on price as manufacturers weather the changing economic climate. However, this has not abated the consumer thirst for well-designed products. It seems to

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us that manufacturers will need to focus on delivering better feature sets with an eye on time-to-market. For example, one or two brands are in a vulnerable state because their products were released more than a month behind the rest of the pack. A high-price feature-laden motherboard can justify an early entry as much as a low-price barebones design can justify a late entry. However, motherboard manufactures will find this is going to be a careful balancing act. In fact, winning is about doing both. The market share numbers for everyone are in flux, but keep in mind that this is not really due to a major decline in unit sales. Over the past few years, everyone was hit fairly proportionately by the economic downturns. If you look at the numbers, the total available motherboard market is experiencing slow growth, but is not shrinking. This is an important distinction to make. The shifting numbers are not a result of giving up market share; it is more a result of a company taking a share of the growing market disproportionate to its current market share. So this makes for a major shift in the market share landscape, even though the total market and individual companies both may see some degree of growth.

lot of opportunities for motherboard vendors to sell a complete range of boards,” said, Raghuraman Pattabiraman, Director - Transaction Business, AMD India. “Desktop board is slowing in mature markets but is still growing in emerging markets like India. Part of it is due to notebooks, netbooks Mr. R. Ravichandran, and tablet transitions. Director-Sales, Intel South Asia India still sees PC as a shared utility in homes “It is true that some markets are very price sensitive, but there and hence DT and MBs are also buyers who are very focused on brand, quality and post are having traction. sales warranty/support. Intel Desktop brand is considered as We are also seeing tier 1 and there are less than a handful of motherboard suppliers increasing acceptance in that space. We are very focused on meeting and exceeding of AIO form factors specifications, time to market to enable customers with latest which will continue technology. From a product stand point, we engineer it with to need smaller form great design, follow it up with high quality components, and factor MBs,” said, complement them with more than 5000 hours of test and R. Ravichandran, Market Trend validation.” D i r e c t o r S a l e s , Now, the motherboard industry looks vastly Intel South Asia. different than it did in 2005; there are several “In India, players on the scene, all of which have wised the market size is up to a more dynamic market. “India is a very James Lee, Sales Director ASROCK. approximately three million for motherboards important market due to the scale and size of Amod Phadke, Director - Sales & Marketing, excluding OEM and branded PCs. As predicted demand like most emerging markets. The growth VIA Technologies, Inc. said, “The motherboard for every year, growth in C, D and E-class in PC sales echoes in the motherboard industry. market is highly competitive globally as well cities have been strong and the potential of With PC usage going beyond standard office as, of course, in India. The main areas of smaller cities is being felt. Demand for midand productivity and internet surfing to movies, growth are in emerging markets such as high-end motherboards has been consistently music and games, the market has opened up to China, Latin America, India, the Middle East, improving in the last six months in C, D and mid and hi-end PCs which require lot of features and Africa. These are the key regions we E-class cities. There is a great demand for robust, like USB 3.0, HDMI, Graphics etc. This provides are focusing on, and we have an excellent feature-rich and quality partnership with Simmtronics under which we products and buyers are working to further strengthen our presence are also becoming in the India, Middle East, and African markets.” more knowledgeable “Motherboards market is increasing steadily. about why they The market is for New Pc’s and replacement are buying those market. The market is growing at 15% per annum. products, which is a Simmtronics is manufacturing the entire range of good sign for market motherboards in India at their facility in Roorkee. evolution,” said, Eric The motherboards range start from Lower end to Kuo, MD, MSI India high end for Intel. AMD, VIA. Simmtronics is the “Desktop market exclusive manufacturer for VIA motherboards is shrinking globally for 11 countries. Simmtronics is exporting its due to popularization product range all over the globe,” said, Inderjit of net books and Sabharwal MD of Simmtronics Semiconductor. tablets. And in “ We are seeing growth in motherboard growing economies market globally, it’s growing because the motherboard market Mr. Raghuraman Pattabiraman, desktop is still preferred in home and education is growing at single Director - Transaction Business, AMD India segment, infact, the popularity of tablet PC is digit only. But affecting the notebooks and netbooks in the “AMD is working actively to make CPUs that are high on India still maintains market due to it mobility, so it is encouraging performance and low on energy consumption. APU technology stable growth for consumers to option for a tablet pc instead of a from AMD is more energy efficient than previous generations. motherboards market notebook and in pair to have a desktop at home Not only are our new products energy efficient but, according due to demand for entertainment and education, as per Taiwan to the SMART 2020 study, is applying digital technology to from education, industry estimation; global desktop shipments are increase energy efficiency. This is estimated to have the potential governmental and likely to gain 7~8% in the year which is higher of reducing 15% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions medical sector. than 3~4% predicted earlier. India economy is by 2020. ” Total market of on a swing, it is a huge and growing domestic motherboard in India market, no doubt the motherboard market in is over 3 million India will grow at a reasonable pace and will per year excluding move ahead,” said, SIMON WU – BIOSTAR OEM,” opined, National Computrade News

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Cover Story have more % on at 3 million motherboards annually,” said mid & high-end Vinay Shetty Country Head, ASUS (India). motherboard. “Global DT market is facing a growth Looking at India, of 9% in 2011. Interesting scenario is, no: the attach ratio of players are coming down bucketing Tier per person PC is #1 brands with major market share. And, still below 10% so in 2012, it is expected to be 5% growth, there is still a huge India market will see the volume will be market available in 6.5 Million in 2011, with a growth of future hence the 9%,” concluded Siril Muthirakkal, Sales motherboard market Manager, Foxconn Middle East-India-Africa. would be good in Technology trend India and I would say Now the industry has always been on a parallel, the demand smaller, faster, cheaper trend, and that's never will also increase going to change. For the immediate future, it for mid, highisn’t so much “faster” as it is “fast enough. end and industrial “We would like to answer this question in motherboards for two fold. For region specific like south Asia, we different industries,” have implemented EOS protection diodes on said, Deepak Gupta, Mr. Amod Phadke, ports that might experience high voltage back Country Manager, Director - Sales & Marketing,VIA Technologies, Inc. drive. We have implemented OSP to ensure Zotac India. lessening corrosion due to high humidity. we “We already have a very strong presence in China and Latin “For the have implemented fault tolerant BIOS to deal America and, as mentioned above, are working very closely with current scenario with corruption due to regular power loss. Simmtronics to expand our share in India, SAARC, the Middle of Motherboard We are also launching India hardening skus East, and Africa. India is still a relatively small market compared market in India, the with power supervisor to prevent PC damage to China, so we believe there continues to be huge room for total motherboard due to power loss and power spikes. For growth, particularly for low cost energy PCs. We also believe market available size the user experience and performance front, that there is great potential in other parts of the region. ” is 4.42 million which we have launched skus with fast boot, RST includes local brand caching, Wi-Fi mSATA SSD connectivity to and DIY clone name a few. We will also launch skus with market (resource Thunderbolt and graphical BIOS interface and from Gartner,2011). ECS has confidence to GROUP IMEA MB SALES DIRECTOR. we will implement all features that offer by Intel reach 0.55million in 2011, which means 12% “Globally the motherboard market is CSET capability,” said, Ravichandran of Intel. market share of MB penetration in India. ECS shrinking as developed economies already “We are always among first 3 in is currently ranked 3 in shipment quantity of have large penetration of PC, but for India implementing new chipsets. Also, in the MB motherboard in India. However, ECS continues where still the average PC penetration <25 based solutions, we have aggressively come to develop OEM, per 1000, we have immense potential. Recent ODM and channel projection by MAIT survey show total desktop brand business for 2011-12 to be >7.7M with local OEM & in India. ECS is assemblers contributing <50%>, this is huge heading goal of opportunity for new vendors like us,” said, ranked top 2 in Rajan Sharma, AVP – Sales, DIGILITE. 2012,” said, Ken According to Sushmita Das, Country Cheng, Director. Manager, Kobian India, the motherboard Pan India Sales market has matured over the years and the Dept. Sales & positive signal in the market is the filtration Marketing Division, of the various unstructured players who were Channel Business making the business volatile and unpredictive. Unit, Elitegroup Currently the market has stabilized with a few C o m p u t e r brands wherein the consumers are also confident Systems Co., Ltd. of the brand and their consistency in the market. Mr. Vinay Shetty, Country Manager, ASUS India “Motherboards “This is not only in India but globally, “ASUS has been at the forefront of this trend with our Republic are a growing Mercury being a global Motherboard of Gamers or ROG brand established in 2006. Today ROG is market in India as brand sees a lot of stability in the channel synonymous with overclocking and gaming in the hardware it is one of the few market in UAE, Africa in addition to world. We’ve been having gaming events, overclocking events countries where the the SAARC region,” she added further. and recently concluded a very successful power user meet which desktop segment “ The Motherboard market growth is flat was a first of its kind event in India. In this meet we invited and is still growing. or very small growth, of course the reason educated top power users from India about overclocking and The growth for is that consumer shifting from conventional our various product developments and sought their feedback overall TAM for PC to Notebook but still the growth in some on our products and offerings. Enthusiast segment is where motherboards regions like brazil, Russia, India, China and maximum innovation happens in terms of product development is at about 11% few more countries are quite good as the PC and as such this segment is of prime importance to us. We’re also annually and ASUS penetration rate is quite good due to stable working on our own ROG certified gaming cafes that feature is the leader in this growing economy. Also Motherboard market our hardware and provide gamers in the country with a very segment with 37% differentiate with the product segmentation, unique gaming experience.” market share. Unit like in India, still entry level market is more than wise, the TAM is 80% while similar other country like Russia 26

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Cover Story next innovative step. system-wide energy consumption and enhanced A visionary business PC performance. Second-generation Dual division that invests Intelligent Processors 2 technology adds the considerable sums of innovative DIGI+ VRM design to set a new money is the driving standard in digital power management. DIGI+ force behind MSI’s VRM replaces analog voltage regulator module unstoppable R&D. (VRM) controllers with a digital programmable Our average R&D microprocessor that fully integrates Intel’s costs, which are to VRD 12 CPU power delivery system to the tune of 2.23%, eliminate digital-analog conversion. Since it surpass those of our works at such a fundamental level, DIGI+ competitors and our VRM improves PC performance from the Industrial Design ground up, improving overclocking capabilities Center focuses on while increasing power efficiency, system developing products stability and reliability,” said, Shetty of ASUS. scheduled to hit the “Technology changes almost daily. Mr. James Lee, Sales Director, AsRock market over the next ECS knows innovative technologies create “As the world top 3 motherboard manufacturer, ASRock aims three to five years. value in products. For example, ECS "Black to offer high-performance and best quality products to PC Essentially, we have Series" is high-end motherboards which both enthusiasts. For Intel segment, ASRock brings the remarkable concept products implemented in Intel and AMD platform. PCI-E 3.0 characteristics in its current Z68 and P67 motherboard characterized ECS is capable to differentiate itself from series. We’re prioritizing the much-anticipated X79 platform by outstanding other brand by different exclusive features. implementation and keen on being the first to produce the achievements in Like, 333-Ensure the Faster, Stable and most sophisticated X79 motherboard. ASRock has always been R&D.MSI believes Long-lasting Performance; ECS QoolTech a leader in every evolutionary cycle. The latest AMD 9 Series in bringing out the IV - ECS Exclusive Thermochromic Motherboard is the most powerful AM3+ appliance on the latest and most Technology; ECS GUI UEFI BIOS; 3X market that can support AMD’s revolutionary Fusion technology updated technology Current Supply for ECS EZ Charger; Software and Nvidia SLI technology.” to our partners. utilities : eBLU/eDLU/eSF; Motherboard “Innovation with Intelligent BIOS X (M.I.B X - Ultimate style” has been BIOS O.C interface),etc.” said, Ken of ECS. our motto and we “In motherboards most of the features are have strengthened driven by chipset vendors. We are focusing out with BB solutions which can nullify it further to give the best in performance, on the lower price segment where customer is the testing criteria of SMBs. This is full sound & vision,” added, Kuo. looking for best product at right price. We have system excluding CPU, HDD & memory. “ASUS strength lies in superior product most of the key chipset based boards in AMD, Moreover, we have DT solutions based on design, technological innovation and product VIA and Intel. We are exclusive Manufacturers atom and cedar view, which is getting huge quality. The build quality of our products & suppliers of VIA Motherboards for 11 demand from market,” said Siril of Foxconn. has always been “We have a very strong focus on R&D of the highest and continuously come out with innovative level and we technologies to give the best value for money incorporate for our customers. Very recently, we launched various unique the Ultra Durable 4 Classic motherboard features in our technology that safe-guard PCs from common products to everyday threats, including humidity and give them an moisture, electro-static discharge, sudden edge over our power loss and high operating temperatures. competition. The motherboards in the series appropriately A S U S suit the Indian consumer requirements,” motherboards said, Sunil Grewal, Sales Head - India, have various GIGABYTE Technology India Pvt. Ltd. u n i q u e “Innovation with style” has been our motto innovations like and we have strengthened it further to give the Dual Intelligent best in performance, sound & vision. MSI has Processors 2 come up with new features in our motherboard with DIGI+ Mr. Simon Wu, categories such as OC Genie, Military Class, V R M Biostar Group Imea MB Sales Director Big-Bang series for hard-core gamers. MSI consisting of “Motherboard is no more JUST A COMPONENT in a PC, adopts server grade components which provide the Energy we are planning new technology base on three “E”s which are an extra long life span, more stability and higher Processing Extreme Performance, Entertainment Life Style and Elegant quality of its products. In our new launched Unit (EPU) Product Style, i.e. Easy Overclocking softwares, Bio-Remote Z68 chipset, MSI provide world’s first PCI and TurboV which allows user to control their home PC through Biostar express Gen3 technology, with ultra-high Processing remote controller or through their smart phone…etc., base on 32GB/s transfer bandwidth. PCI Express Unit (TPU), three “E”s concept, we are developing various new technology Gen 3 provides 2 times faster transfer rate this unique which we hope to surprise Biostar supporters in the near than the previous generation. This delivers technology time.” amazing capabilities for true next generation delivers a potent extreme gaming,” said, Eric Kuo of MSI India. combination “At MSI, we are forever striving towards the of streamlined 28

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Cover Story competitors and come out with latest of products 2nd generation core with best available features in market. We design –I platform with our products as per demand and need of market. latest products. Also Very soon we will be coming up with X79 in AMD segment chipset of motherboards,” said, Lee of ASROCK. we are offering “AMD has launched the third PC era in channel excellent India – the APU Era. AMD Fusion Accelerated products with mind Processing Units (APU) for motherboards. The blowing graphics APU provides big experiences, sleek designs, advantages in A6 all-day battery life and notebooks that stay cool series & even in entry with a revolutionary single chip. This also includes level 760G series,” outstanding graphics performance, exceptional claimed, Shar ma compute capability at unexpectedly low price of Digilite India. points. An explosion in multimedia requires W u o f new applications and new ways to manage and Biostar explained, manipulate the data and AMD is catering to “Motherboard is these demands by consumers with ease. To no more JUST A Mr. Rajan Sharma, AVP – Sales, DIGILITE run the complete range of APUs, AMD has COMPONENT in a “ As our product is made in India & made for India, we do not launched the FM1 infrastructure based chipsets, PC, we are planning see much competition happening, we are offering channel & the A-55 and A-75, which offer features such new technology customers product suited to our conditions & ensuring value/ as DDR3-1866, USB 3.0, SATA-6 etc. These base on three “E”s performance proposition to ensure lower TCO in long term.” boards are available from all the top motherboard which are Extreme vendors like Asus, Gigabyte, Digisol, MSI, ECS Performance, etc,” concluded, Raghuraman of AMD India. Entertainment Life Style and Elegant Vendor’s Strategy in the race Product Style, i.e. “Since, India is an important market for Easy Overclocking MSI; we are continuously working towards countries. We offer Global warranty of 3 softwares, Bio-Remote which allows user to making our marketing strategy more aggressive years on all our Motherboards like Return to control their home PC through Biostar remote and effective. The only way, one can maintain bench warranty on all our Motherboards,” controller or through their smart phone…etc., our top position with changing technology is said, Sabharwal of Simmtronics India. base on three “E”s concept, we are developing by pre-empting future needs and innovating “ There are a lot of new technology are in line various new technology which we hope to accordingly, with MSI’s strength in Research to introduce in all new series motherboards for surprise Biostar supporters in the near time.” and development,” said, Kuo of MSI India. example mSATA, EUFI bios, Display-port etc. “We are soon going to be rolling out both “It is true that some markets are very and as I said previous question – differentiation dual core and quad core motherboards into price sensitive, but there are also buyers who is the only to tackle the competition, we the market. In addition to providing excellent are very focused on brand, quality and post have a big line up in Mini-ITX form factor multitasking and multimedia performance, they are sales warranty/support. Intel Desktop brand motherboard with dual Wi-Fi and future board very low power. will come with Bluetooth as well and no other Indeed our new brand offering such products to the market, VIA QuadCore “ZOTAC Mini-ITX motherboards are very processor is the much capable to compete with other brand’s lowest power four ATX or high-end boards”. Also mini-ITX core processor in boards are well appreciated by different industries the market. We as a industrial board, for example – Digital will also shortly Signage, hospitality etc,” said, Gupta of Zotac. be introducing Sushmita Das of Kobian India opined, support for DDR3 “New boards launched are designed for the memory as well as 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors, Intel more advanced Core i5 processors, and other Intel processors 3D and HD in the LGA1155 package. These are powered video rendering with DVI-D and VGA connectors and supports technologies,” dual independent display for processors with Phadke of VIA Intel HD Graphics. Powered by the 2nd Technologies. generation Intel Core processor family, the new “ASRock series of motherboards delivers a superb visual is the first Ms. Sushmita Das, performance for sharper images, richer color, motherboard Country Manager, Kobian India and lifelike audio and video. The next launch is company in “Cut throat competition is a perception !! In a technology for the LGA1366 package boards for the Corei7 the world to market the product sells on its features, specifications and after processors which are powered with 6x Tri channel launch Gen3 sales support. As mentioned earlier there has been various DDR3 memory at a QPI bus speed of 6.4GT/s. motherboards brands who have brought down the ASP of the motherboards . The ATI CrossfireX technology brings incredible in Z68 Chipset Unfortunately some named brands get into the price competition gaming experience for gamers. Boards are now supporting PCI and cut costs in their quality and thus create the so-called ‘cut equipped with better efficient features like SATAII 3.0 Slots and throat competition’ where distributors , dealers and resellers are ports equipped with Intel Matrix Technology XMP 1.3. ASrock fighting for mere Rs 20-30/per board.” and Raid 0,0+1 &5 and further compatibility strong RD team with e-SATA offers higher storage capabilities.” always keeps “We are already in the forefront to scale up new them ahead of its 30

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Cover Story System Integrator to users AMD offers a wide range of chipsets (SI) and college across the spectrum. This is unmatched my events. This is an competition. To run the complete range of ongoing process for AMD Semprons, Athnons & Phenoms, AMD GIGABYTE which offers AM3 infrastructure based chipsets which has a commitment are: 760G chipset at entry level followed by to co n d uct o ver 880G for mainstream and 890GX for top 25 SI meets and performance. For customers wanting future over 10 college proof and ultimate performance they can get the events per quarter,” AM3+ based 9XX series chipset motherboards. added, Grewal. These offer PCI express, overclocking, Dierct “We look at X11 and more. These are 970 at entry level, competition in a 990X at mainstream and 990FX at hi-end. very healthy way, and Best part is they are even compatible with the Mr. Deepak Gupta, carry a very positive bulldozer CPUs which AMD is launching in Q4 Country Manager-India - Zotac frame of mind and of this year,” said, Raghuraman of AMD India. “The Motherboard market growth is flat or very small growth, respond to it by “Competition drives innovation and is of course the reason is that consumer shifting from conventional giving many value great for the consumer. For many years we PC to Notebook but still the growth in some regions like brazil, added features to our have held a leadership position in the fast Russia, India, China and few more countries are quite good as valued customers. growing energy-efficient small form factor the PC penetration rate is quite good due to stable growing We have many motherboard segment targeted at Green PC economy. Also Motherboard market differentiate with the exclusive features like systems and will continue to build on this by product segmentation, like in India, still entry level market is XFast USB, XFast delivering the lowest power motherboards to more than 80% while similar other country like Russia have LAN, OC DNA the market,” said, Phadke of VIA Technologies. more % on mid & high-end motherboard. Looking at India, the and Instant boot “Our 95% of our motherboard business is attach ratio per person PC is still below 10% so there is still a adding to all ASRock channel business, so we understand the kind of huge market available in future hence the motherboard market motherboards which needs is required by the channels, as demanded would be good in India and I would say parallel, the demand are very useful in daily by our channel partners six years ago, we start will also increase for mid, high-end and industrial motherboards use for storing or our development on the high-end motherboards, for different industries.” transferring data to high-end motherboards doesn't mean expensive, and from Pen drive we are making the high-end motherboards with by increasing transfer the best performance / cost ratio, and only in a speed by 400% and short spin of 6 years, Biostar motherboard brand is considered as tier 1 and there are less than enhancing internet speed for better surfing, over is renowned as the "OVERCLOCKING KING". a handful of motherboard suppliers in that clocking features by interface available to all users We always appreciate the competitions in the space. We are very focused on meeting and and fastest boot with in 4 secs of time. Service market, because through our competitions, it will exceeding specifications, time to market to enable is the backbone of brand image and we always allow Biostar to improve and to grow. Regarding customers with latest technology. From a product work hard and try stand point, we engineer it with great design, to give best of after follow it up with high quality components, and sales service, we complement them with more than 5000 hours of continuously work test and validation,” said, Ravichandran of Intel. on giving fastest “GIGABYTE is uniquely positioned, with its and best of services wide range of premium-featured motherboards, to all end users and to meet the growing customer demand for answers to each the right Price / Performance ratio. This is and every query complemented by a three-pronged strategy for and their feedback the Indian market. Firstly, product Innovation has so that they not been always a major focus area for GIGABYTE, only get the best and since 2006 the company has been setting quality, features, and patenting multiple quality standards every price for the year, such as 24 Phase Power VRM, 2oz Copper product but also the PCB, Dynamic Phase Power Switching Energy best of services,” Saving Technology, All Solid Capacitor, and said, Manoj TouchBIOS, to name a few,” said, Sunil Grewal Ken Cheng, Director. Pan India Sales Dept. Kriplani, Sales of GIGABYTE Technology India Pvt. Ltd. Sales & Marketing Division, Channel Business Head at AsRock. “After-Sales Service is another focus area. Unit, Elitegroup Computer Systems Co., Ltd. “Cut-throat We have in 2011 opened GIGABYTE Exclusive competition is Service Centers in six major cities, which also act “ECS provides better service, innovation and customization more at entry as hub for the Pan-India market. We also have products, higher product quality and more marketing exposure level. AMD offers appointed over 40 Premier Partners as Special to India market. For example, due to dry environment in India complete range Service Partners (SSPs) that basically are collection and also most of country, ECS motherboards are built-in the of CPUs & APU points. We are increasing the number of SSPs ESD protection design with ESD components. Therefore, ECS which give vivid across the country. We have over 80 collection motherboards are safer than ever from now on. On the other digital and visual points in over 80 cities, and intend to spread our hand, ECS continues marketing exposure and invests more experience to users. service support / collection point network to resources to expand brand image in India. Product stability is To bring varying over 100 cities.We also are focused on creating the key to stand in the market for a long term.” levels of experience an ‘IT knowledge Community’ through regular 32

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Cover Story our position, Biostar stand as the TOP3 MB Global brand, this is an award from the Taiwan Foreign Trading Affairs,” said, Simon Wu of Biostar. “As our product is made in India & made for India, we do not see much competition happening we are offering channel & customers product suited to our conditions & ensuring value/ performance proposition to ensure lower TCO in long term. We choke out different strategies for our product. Like, price position close to market leaders but with additional features to ensure PRICE /PERFORMANCE value add which helps reduce TCO in long term. Strong channel base of National Distributors/Regional Distributors across India with INGRAM MICRO as distribution partner, 34 re-distribution partners. Legacy of sales, marketing & service experience of Joint Ventures. Continued & sustained channel promotion to ensure assured ROI to channel in terms of profitability, ROCE for distributors. SI/ OEM benefit with long term savings on ‘working capital’ employed. Our own service network with confirmed 3BD/7BD TAT, committed ‘BURNT WARRANTY’, ‘3 –YEARS CARRY IN’, 66 own locations,” said, Sharma of Digilite. “Cut throat competition is a perception!! In a technology market the product sells on its features, specifications and after sales support. As mentioned earlier there has been various brands who have brought down the ASP of the motherboards. Unfortunately some named brands get into the price competition and cut costs in their quality and thus create the so-called ‘cut

throat competition’ where distributors , dealers and resellers are fighting for mere Rs 20-30/ per board. Mercury has maintained its stand by keeping a consistency in the product quality and service support. We are one of the oldest Motherboards brands in the country. There has been a consistency in the supply, support and promotional activities of Mercury motherboards. This Mr. Indrajit Sabharwal, has become our MD Simmtronics Semiconductors LTD competitive edge in “The global technology market is witnessing a growing race the market wherein among manufacturers to introduce the lowest carbon emission partners are aware of and most environmentally friendly products in order to enable the sincerity of the their customers to become a part of a healthy and green society organization and the tomorrow. Simmtronics is taking aggressive steps to accelerate commitment of the this trend .This year we have launched VIA product with GO brand to the market. GREEN campaign and covered 20 cities show.” Mercury enjoys a handsome set of loyal MercPartners who have supported and “In a current situation every industry have been a catalyst in the growth and position of cutthroat competition and being we are the late Mercury in the country,” said, Das of Kobian India.

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Cover Story “Competition growth is not as high as mobile solutions. So, is always good for conservativeness pays here. We have seen many the market if it is players vanished in the recent past due to shorthealthy as it brings term strategies. In short, motherboard solutions out the best from all needs simple business logic and care where vendors and provides you can get bigger share of the cake, securing the best products the financials at the same time. Foxconn has for the consumers healthy financial back up and proper system & to choose from. will remain the TOP3 in the MB industry down The motherboard the line for 5 years,” said, Siril of Foxconn. segment is fiercely “Simmtronics are the only manufacturer of competitive and Motherboards in India and we Provide Global there is constant Warranty to our customers, RMA support for innovation and three years. Simmtronics manufacturers the totals product development range of Intel, AMD & VIA motherboards. We required to stay at have recently launched Intel based H-61, & VIA the top of the game. VX900I. We manufacture these motherboards at We are currently Simmtronics Roorkee Plant in India which is a state positioned as the of the art manufacturing facility. The motherboard Mr. Eric Kuo, Managing Director, MSI India market leader in uses all high quality components and is tested in“At MSI, we are forever striving towards the next innovative India as well as depth at Simmtronics quality standards. This step. A visionary business division that invests considerable sums globally and have a plant is one of the largest motherboard plants of money is the driving force behind MSI’s unstoppable R&D. 37% market share in India,” said, Sabharwal of Simmtronics India. Our average R&D costs, which are to the tune of 2.23%, surpass in India. We always “Simmtronics Motherboards are manufactured those of our competitors and our Industrial Design Center focus on providing at Simmtronics Roorkee Plant in India which is focuses on developing products scheduled to hit the market our customers with a state of the art manufacturing facility. The over the next three to five years. Essentially, we have concept the best price to motherboard uses all high quality components products characterized by outstanding achievements in R&D.” performance ratio. and is tested in-depth at Simmtronics quality Constant innovation, standards. High speed SMT lines are used reducing time to for production and has a capacity for 100K market and unmatched service support are motherboards per month,” concluded, Sabharwal. entrant we will have dipper competition but we some of the focus points for us in establishing are taking competition as opportunity to perform, Upward Trend our motherboard business. We have also been we are quite positive to see good result as we have India is a highly diverse nation and India fortunate to have continuous support from our very strong company back-up, we are capable to is thriving to be one of technology enabled loyal channel partners who have been doing deliver the right product (India oriented) with country, where new technology, inception and business with us for a long time and representing right price and quick time (due to huge factory, mass adaption is always in close proximity. MSI us at the last mile. They are a part of our ASUS good R & D Team and a good distribution provides with new technology to its customers extended family and network – Neoteric). Our plan to reach in Top their support 3 Motherboard place with in 2014. As far as and feedback has competition is concern – Only differentiation of been crucial to the product is the way to tackle the competition, our success,” said some of our products are absolutely different and Shetty of ASUS. no other Motherboard brand have such kind of “India is such product, for example – ZOTAC Z68ITX-Wi-Fi a market where Supreme – this is with Intel Z68 chipset along with people look for NVIDIA GT430 1G DDR3 graphics on board. value for money So our strategy is quite clear to differentiate the rather than the product with quick after sales support and a good cheaper product. channel network,” said, Gupta of Zotac India. One can reach “ECS is ranked in top three brands for in commendable India market currently. Most people think ECS position by only provides the best price-performance ratio focussing in motherboards. However, ECS is now dedicated Quality, Service in product research and development to enhance and implementing brand image towards higher brand position. partner-friendly Mr. Sunil Grewal, ECS is heading goal of ranked top 2 in 2012. strategies. Sales Head - India, ECS provides better service, innovation and Currently, Foxconn GIGABYTE Technology India Pvt. Ltd. customization products, higher product quality is positioned at “We have been organizing various meets to reach out to and more marketing exposure to India market. TOP 4 among Tier SIs in these regions and to educate them how GIGABYTE For example, due to dry environment in India #1 brands. The motherboards can be used to grow their business. We and also most of country, ECS motherboards major schema is have also been strengthening our post-sales service for our are built-in the ESD protection design with ESD to focus on healthy growing channel base. In the process, we have been increasing components. Therefore, ECS motherboards ROI than to be the number of Value Partners in the Tier 2 and 3 regions, are safer than ever from now on. On the other top on the ranking. and today, have over 2,500 Value Partners across India.” hand, ECS continues marketing exposure and And, you need to invests more resources to expand brand image be careful when in India. Product stability is the key to stand in spending as DT the market for a long term,” said, Ken of ECS. 34

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Cover Story “To deliver the GIGABYTE X58A-OC motherboard is the premium product to first overclocking specific, enthusiast designed users, ASRock has motherboard that introduces never-seenthrown everything before tweaking and insulating features,” you could want at its said, Grewal of Gigabyte Technology. full-line motherboard “Performance boards are primary driven by series. The useful VR and thermal, and since we are very focused software includes the on design margins, so from product standpoint, ASRock exclusive many customers have recognized that. We are XFast USB and also increasing our investments and offerings XFast LAN tools. in this series by launching several more skus in The significant coming months, this will increase customer's performance choice. Moreover, we are working very closely increase of ASRock with top gamers and over-clockers to improve Mr. Siril Muthirakkal, Sales Manager - India Motherboard has been what matters to them, said, Ravichandran of Intel. Region, Foxconn Middle East-India-Africa heavily spotlighted by “Since we are mainly focused on the low power “India is such a market where people look for value for money global professional IT green motherboard segment, we don’t really have rather than the cheaper product. One can reach in commendable media. For instance, a presence in the overclocking and enthusiast position by focussing in Quality, Service and implementing ASRock Z68 markets. Our Mini-ITX boards, however, are very partner-friendly strategies. Currently, Foxconn is positioned at Extreme4 mainboard popular for modders and if you look at websites TOP 4 amog Tier #1 brands. The major schema is to focus on has just received like www.mini-itx.com you will see that they have healthy ROI than to be top on the ranking. And, you need to “2011 Recommended been used for a lot of interesting projects. We be careful when spending as DT growth is not as high as mobile Buy Award” from hope that the same can happen in India too in solutions. So, conservativeness pays here. We have seen many the industry’s the future,” said, Phadke of VIA Technologies. players vanished in the recent past due to short-term strategies. leading IT media – “Biostar established in 1986, when Biostar In short, motherboard solutions needs simple business logic Tom’sHardware,” first established, our focus is the middle and and care where you can get bigger share of the cake, securing said, Lee of AsRock. entry level motherboards and we have very the financials at the same time.” GIGABYTE has good result by giving quality and reasonable been consistently priced motherboards, but Biostar is not working on bringing the cheapest, our focus is quality, service catering to the diverse segments and helping overclocking features into even its mainstream and reasonable price,” said, Wu of Biostar. in bridging the digital divide by bringing new motherboard models. “GIGABYTE A75 series “We are already doing a 140 city roadtechnology and innovation to people’s Life. motherboards are designed to get the very best show NEXTECH 2011 along with our active “MSI always strived to provide digital products performance from the latest AMD A75 platform networking team from DIGISOL to reach out based on its core values –“Innovation” The supports the latest 32 nanometer AMD A-Series to SI community which caters to overclockers, results are products with superior performance, APU or accelerated processing units. The AMD gamers & enthusiasts. Come next quarter we trusted reliability, excellent user experience and A-Series APUs are the first ever to combine will take our reach to campuses across India expressive style. MSI Motherboards have OC high performance Genie technology to overclock our products graphics processor apart from the BIOS adjustments & software. By with a choice of using MSI OC Genie motherboard, end user can a dual or quad easily overclock by just pushing a bottom or click core CPU in one their mouse. It helps overclockers to save their silicon die, offering time and by this technology also helps those who a 3D gaming people don’t know too much about technical part and multimedia to save their money. Over clock technology not experience only use in MSI mother board, but also in MSI similar to a graphic card. In all MSI graphics card, we provide discrete graphics Afterburner software, by using afterburner configuration. software it helps users to adjust the graphic Featuring several performance easily,” said, Kuo of MSI India. state-of-the-art “AMD is a longtime favorite of performance onboard solutions enthusiasts and overclockers around the world. from industry AMD last week got in to the Guinness World heavy hitters Record for the “Highest Frequency of a Computer Manoj Kriplani, India Sales Head, ASROCK including Creative Processor,” by overclocking the upcoming 8-core “We look at competition in a very healthy way, and carry a very and Bigfoot AMD FX desktop processor. The AMD FX positive frame of mind and respond to it by giving many value Networks, as well CPU, set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2011, added features to our valued customers. We have many exclusive as quite a few achieved a top speed of 8.429 GHz, surpassing features like XFast USB, XFast LAN, OC DNA and Instant boot new and exclusive the previous record of 8.308 GHz. Along with adding to all ASRock motherboards which are very useful in daily GIGABYTE world-record frequencies, the AMD FX processor use for storing or transferring data to and from Pen drive by features, the will enable an unrivaled enthusiast PC experience increasing transfer speed by 400% and enhancing internet speed GIGABYTE for the money – extreme multi-display gaming, for better surfing, over clocking features by interface available G1-Killer series mega-tasking and HD content creation. AMD to all users and fastest boot with in 4 secs of time. Service is the motherboards are is closely working with reviewers and gaming backbone of brand image and we always work hard and try to equipped to let enthusiasts that enable reviewers to experience give best of after sales service, we continuously work on giving gamers unleash overclocking through reviews and overclocking fastest and best of services to all end users.” total mass gaming contests,” said, Raghuraman of AMD India. destruction. The 36

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Cover Story to showcase our prowess & capability in making motherboards,” said, Sharma of Digilite. “Right, there is market growing up for Overclocking, Modding and ZOTAC is well aware about it and being we are one of the Best brand in Graphics card we know the importance of overclocking hence ZOTAC have design several thing for end-user to enjoy that, for example – ZOTAC have Firestorm Software to overclock the Graphics card, Performance Analyzer software to analyze the performance of the components, Lucid Virtu features with Z68 Motherboard series so that User can switch the graphics. Our Mini-ITX series motherboards are well appreciated with a lot of gamer community for modd. So ZOTAC of course working with more new product to capitalize this market properly and we are focused to deliver the right product to users,” said, Gupta of Zotac India. “ECS continues to hold gaming events in certain regions like Latin America, South East Asia (SEA) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) to reach gaming enthusiast. ECS also keeps providing the excellent performance products to power user and gamers. Therefore, ECS "Black Series" both in Intel and AMD platform motherboards meet the expectation of enthusiast market. For example, the latest ECS "Black Series" motherboards include A990FXM-A, P67H2-A, A75F-A, P55H-A, H67H2-M and upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge E platform. ECS has been working with some famous game events in the past and will continue putting effort on

such events. The goal is to promote ECS "Black Series" motherboards and ECS graphics cards in world wide. ECS "Black Series" offers users high performance and cost effectiveness. ECS is confident to be the top choice in the overclocking, modding and enthusiast markets,” said Ken of ECS. “ASUS has been Trithankar Guha, at the forefront of this Jupiter International ND for ASROCK trend with our Republic of Gamers or ROG “In this sector the competitions are getting tougher as day brand established in progresses. Particularly, Laptops are growing very sharply in 2006. Today ROG Metros; the categories C, D and E class are emerging to be most is synonymous with potential area. In this fiercely competition, we are positioning overclocking and our brand quality product at an affordable price points for all the gaming in the hardware segments of users. We have targeted all the System Integrators in world. We’ve been these cities and appointed our Channel Partners to reach out to having gaming events, them. Beside, to motivate them for delivering additional volume, overclocking events we have floated slab wise Incentives for our SIs. In metro cities and recently concluded we are extending out base of Channel Partners to large extend a very successful power and increasing their backend rebate to have them more focused user meet which was a and enhancing the total volume. As after sales service is one of first of its kind event in the most important factors in Motherboards.” India. In this meet we invited and educated top power users from India about overclocking their feedback on our products and offerings. and our various product developments and sought Enthusiast segment is where maximum innovation

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Cover Story happens in terms of product development and as such this segment is of prime importance to us. We’re also working on our own ROG certified gaming cafes that feature our hardware and provide gamers in the country with a very unique gaming experience,” said, Shetty of ASUS. “We are incorporating the newest technology and trends into our products immediately as per the market changes. In India, our penetration is set to happen with aggressive schemes, road shows interactive events etc. Moreover, we perfectly balance the commercials of this segment’s products to make it affordable to India populace,” concluded Siril of Foxconn. Green Technology

“The global technology market is witnessing a growing race among manufacturers to introduce the lowest carbon emission and most environmentally friendly products in order to enable their customers to become a part of a healthy and green society tomorrow. Simmtronics is taking aggressive steps to accelerate this trend .This year we have launched VIA product with GO GREEN campaign and covered 20 cities show. Other then VIA most of our products are supporting Green Technology, we have recently launched. Simmtronics products are introduced after prolonged research and development and are sure to become the forefront of innovation,” said, Sabharwal of Simmtronics India. “IT hardware companies can and should play a very critical role in green computing. Having said, I would like to add that GIGABYTE Technology has been one of the earliest adopters of ‘green computing’ initiatives in the global IT industry. All its motherboards, both highend and entry-level models, come with unique technologies and features designed and proven to decrease the carbon footprint, improve energy efficiencies, lower power consumption, reduce electrical waste, and rationalize system temperature,” said, Grewal of Gigabyte India. “We have a dedicated group which monitors, plans and implements all green initiatives around the globe. RoHS lead free compliance, Eco-Smart, energy star... Intercepting Halogen free. At Intel, Green is not just a buzzword but our strong belief,” said, Ravichandran of Intel. “In this scenario of market-fall, green technology has been an important area to be developed to get rid of unwanted / unused components within the product.. Every reputed organization is getting into green investments to ensure their positive contribution to the nation. Foxconn have made this “Green” (RoHs-II) initiative 2 years back in India with some of the local SIs to help them to accomplish their vision,” said, Siril of Foxconn. Green technology is the future as any technology has to be sustainable and viable for the users as well as their environment. “We at ASUS are fully committed to creating a sustainable future. We believe in adopting an eco-friendly approach towards every aspect of our business. This is where the Green ASUS philosophy comes in — from our internal practices to our production processes, to our green products and 38

our environmentally-aware employees — we remain focused on safeguarding our planet. ASUS produced the world's first leadfree and Halogen –free motherboard as well as the first Halogen-free fullHD Monitor. ASUS was recognized for its Energy Efficient Product Design at the 2011 ENERGY STAR Award Ceremony thanks to the Super Hybrid Engine and Green LCD technologies. Today, ASUS-exclusive technologies are continually being designed and improved with the main goal of environmental conservation in mind.,” said, Shetty of ASUS. “For past 24 years, ECS has developed with green company culture. Not only providing innovative technology but also taking care of global environment, ECS promises to improve the quality of life for everyone as a part of global family. The ECS eGS (Easy Green Saver) is the best example for green technology. ECS eGS (Easy Green Saver) is a simple and easy-to-use application for efficient power saving solution ,” said Ken of ECS. “Save environment is our social responsibility and ZOTAC is committed to do so hence we always use PB free components, our all products are RoHS and ERP Ready, We are proud to have received the ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations for our Quality System, Environmental Management System and Occupational Health & Safety Management System respectively,” said, Gupta of Zotac India. “We emphasize and go-green slogan for all products and business. We have done due changes in the manufacturing process and components to make the process and final product as an energy saving product. This effort is carried on in all Mercury products,” said, Das of Kobian India. “More important than money, green technology is a must; there are many signs we see everyday, it is everyone’s responsibility to protect our planet, Biostar is one of the first motherboard manufacturer to implement green technology in motherboards, we call it G.P.U. (Green Power Utility), after our lab test, with this Biostar feature, it can save up to 88% of power and even in heavy load conditions, it can still save up to 27% of power,” said, Wu of Biostar. “It’s very important that we continue to focus on minimizing the carbon footprints of PC and other technology products to reduce their impact on the environment. Improving energy efficiency is an important first step, but we also need to ensure we use the most environmentally friendly material and processes for manufacturing and develop additional energy sources such as solar for powering PCs. This is particularly important for countries like said, Phadke of VIA Technologies. “In response to the increasingly stringent environmental regulations and the demands of our international clientele, provide environmentally friendly products and services to consumers and move towards the goals of green design,

green resources and green technology, thus we have taken Eco design into consideration during the R&D and design phases of a product. All of our products use environmentally friendly materials for packaging to make sure our products meet the RoHS, WEEE and ErP requirements. Our ultimate goal is to develop products that are environmentally friendly and offer great performance. MSI and its suppliers will work together towards the aforementioned goals, starting with the procurement of raw materials to render all MSI products conform to the four tenets of “low hazard”, ‘extended product life’, “energy saving” and “ease of recycling” and observe the three Rs -- reduce, reuse, recycle,” said, Kuo of MSI India. “Proof of the pudding is in eating. The entire new AMD APUs consumer much less power compared to the competition. This translates in to lower energy costs and better battery life etc. We completely endorse the idea of “green technology products”. For over a decade AMD has established a record of environmental responsibility and transparency. A robust management system is in place to manage risks to the environment from our operations, and we engage employees worldwide to take an active role in conservation efforts. AMD is working actively to make CPUs that are high on performance and low on energy consumption. APU technology from AMD is more energy efficient than previous generations. Not only are our new products energy efficient but, according to the SMART 2020 study, is applying digital technology to increase energy efficiency” concluded, Raghuraman Pattabiraman of AMD India. At Last

The Indian Desktop market has seen a surge of 6% in 2010-11 and the overall PC sales is expected to have a growth of 35% in this fiscal over last FY. The total volume would be around 12.3 Mn including Notebook and Desktop. Therefore, the Motherboard market would be in upward trend. But, the majority of growth, more than 50% would be from B, C and D class cities Over the past decade, the motherboard industry has gone through a few rough patches. The economic recessions over the past few years really show in the number of players left in the game. And if the current economic climate has anything to say about it, it is possible that this is not the end of the list. It is important to point out that some of these brands are not the result of dead companies. Some have just simply exited from the channel motherboard business.

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