Element 14 is a retail electronics component reseller company owned by leading technology distributor Premier Farnell. Laurence Bain, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Farnell was in Bangalore and could able to answer few questions on component market as well as some other trends in component selling to electronics engineering companies in India.
How do you see year 2014 in the overall semiconductor market?
Laurence Bain: For us the market is improving compared to last year and in this year we see steady progress, for us the greatest opportunity is in Asia-Pacific with a growth rate of 17.5% year over year.
What about Europe?
Laurence Bain: We see steady progress in Europe. we see some good growth in Germany and we see some strong growth in Eastern Europe. It is about 5% growth.
What about India?
Laurence Bain: We're going very well, we saw a growth rate in excess of 20%. We have been seeing growth rates for the last 4-5 years. We have been seeing good rates for our proposition in India and we are building up our team in India. We now have 200 people based in India. We are investing in go-to-market and multi-channel capability, and we are investing in our on-line web proposition, at the same time we are investing in some shared service capabilities in India, where the Indian team can support the rest of the group.
What are the infrastructure challenges you face in India for logistics support?
Laurence Bain: We're looking to make a global proposition available to all customers including Indian customers. For fast delivery we support Indian customers through Singapore. we also gave Indian customers access to Europe with 4-5 days cycle and to North America .
The challenges we have in India is clearly around importation, the length of time products take to get through, and hence distribution of that product across the market. We are trying to optimise that.
In that sense do you have planned to have a warehouse here and stock some components in India?
Laurence Bain: Actually we are piloting that so at this point of time we do have a small warehouse in India and stock products from the likes of TE, Fluke and stock some Raspberry Pi products that we distribute here.
Is there any India vendors who are into component manufacturing how do you see them by quality as well as reliability?
Laurence Bain: We got 3500 vendors, many number of the suppliers have manufacturing facility in India.
Add from Ravi Pagar (Regional Director, S. Asia, Element 14): Yes, off course, there are Indian companies, the government is also protecting such investments, we continue to look for this.
Laurence Bain: We are a high service, high quality, as Ravi said - we look to those suppliers and if the products measure up, we absolutely have interest in it.
Is there a supply chain to supply chain link between your customer and your systems?
Laurence Bain: Absolutely, if customer has got SAP or any such system they can connect to our system to select parts and order them on their system and we will fulfill them.
What about SMEs?
Laurence Bain: We tend to do that by a solution called ibuy.
What about supporting obsolete and hard to find parts?
Laurence Bain: As the products gets obsolete we will advise our customers and provide the customer with alternatives and if customers are looking for hard to find parts, our sales Centre will do the research and support. It is a free service.
When a new product is released in the market, can your customer buy a product from any location in the world?
Laurence Bain: As soon as a new product (commercial use) acquired in our stock, that product is available to any customer anywhere in the world.