Flash memory maker SanDisk Corporation in Kolkata on Thursday launched a new lineup of storage products to bolster its presence in the fast growing Indian consumer electronics market.
With the new range of USB flash drives and high-speed memory cards, that were also unveiled in New Delhi on Wednesday, the company wants to cash in on the October-December quarter that traditionally registers the highest sales for the segment in India.
"With the festive season upon us, we expect a surge in sales as people tend to purchase more such devices with which our products work. These new products are not being thrust upon the market, there is actually a significant demand for them," Manisha Sood, chief of SanDisk in India, said.
The U.S.-based company on Thursday launched two new USB drives -- the dime-sized Cruzer Fit and the slider-capped Cruzer Switch -- along with a range of high speed SD and MicroSD memory cards Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-1 and Mobile Ultra microSDXC.
SanDisk also launched a new product called the Memory Vault which the company bills as a convenient and reliable way to preserve photos and other data, which has been tested to last for up to 100 years.
While the Cruzer Fit and Cruzer Switch have been priced between Rs 249 and Rs 2,699 for up to 64GB capacity, the memory cards have been tagged from Rs 899 to Rs 16,299. The 8-16GB Memory Vaults will sell between Rs 3,499 and Rs 5,499.
"India is one of the fastest growing markets for us with its deep penetration of consumer technology and the launch of these brand new products within a week of their international launch shows our commitment to the country," Sood said.
According to technology market research firm CMR, in India, SanDisk sold the largest number of flash cards and drives, ahead of competitors like Transcend, Kingston and Moser-Baer, with market shares of 22.2 and 32.8 percent respectively in each category in the first quarter of 2011.
"The growth of the India flash cards market closely follows the growth of mobile handset and digital camera shipments. The increasing penetration of mobile phones and digital cameras will ensure a strong year-on-year growth for the flash cards market," CMR analyst Nikhil Khurana said.
Simultaneously, high capacity flash drives have gained popularity as the ´new age´ storage medium replacing traditional magnetic and optical storage disks, he said.
"Flash drives have gone beyond being just data storage and transfer devices to become lifestyle products. Portability, ease of use, mobility and aesthetics are the major driving factors behind this trend," added Khurana.
To cache in on the boom, besides launching new products, SanDisk is also strengthening its distributor networks and retail presence. This month it signed on mobile carrier Airtel's sister firm Beetel Teletech to become an authorised distributor.
Besides retail, the three main areas for SanDisk in India are investments in R&D, larger investments in branding and marketing and the opportunity to assess the future (back-end) manufacturing potential in India, the company said in a media handout.
(Reporting by Divyanshu Dutta Roy, Photo by Tathagatha Das)