Pelco remains optimistic of Asia Pacific growth: Q&A (Part 1)

Pelco remains optimistic of Asia Pacific growth: Q&A (Part 1)
Despite major expectations, the Asia Pacific security market has not seen a strong growth in the recent years. To several manufacturers this has created a dilemma on choosing the right way forward. a&s recently caught up with Terry Yallouris, VP Sales in APAC at Pelco by Schneider Electric, to know more about the company’s views on the region and what it has in store for the future.
 
a&s: According to reports, APAC, especially certain parts, hasn’t been growing well recently compared to before. How do you see the APAC market in the past five years?
 
Yallouris: I think it's interesting because you suggest there's certain parts of Asia that are still very active. I sort of had the benefit of nearly 20 years working in APAC in different companies and seen some markets have grown. We are certainly feeling the pinch of some. Obviously the Chinese manufacturing influence has grown very quickly. But we've also been through that with the Koreans, Taiwanese manufacturers. So there's a lot of different phases in which we go through.
 
Having said that, APAC is not growing as fast - a lot of mature markets, so we've mixed with mature markets (Singapore, Australia), and then we got a lot of volatile markets (Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia), which are very fragmented and can be on or off, there's nothing in between. And then we have countries which are emerging very quickly, like India. So we got different cultures across all those different regions that are making it quite interesting to balance.
 
For our company, overall APAC is doing quite well. Growth is there. I think in some respect, we've been affected by some volatility but in other respect, we've shown some good stability in our mature markets which are consistently strong for us. So what's that down to I'm not really quite sure specifically. Pelco's brand has been in APAC for a very long time. We sort of went from being #1 in the industry to being 5,6,7 in the market, through technology changes, and again I think from legacy perspective we are still quite comfortable that we do fundamentals very well. We have long term customer base which has really kept us going.
 
a&s: So can we say that Pelco is pretty focused in the mature markets in APAC, like Australia, Singapore and slowly growing to more emerging countries?
 
Yallouris: Yes, that's correct. Our core business is still in the mature markets, but we transformed in the last couple of years and realized there's a lot of emerging markets that we haven't focused on as much as we have on the mature markets. So we had some good penetration in those markets, and we are investing more and more in that. I think for us it's about focusing on our key verticals, and do the best in those.
 
As we say in Australia, we got to "pick our battles", you know? We can't try and be everything to everybody, but we understand we have our strengths and weaknesses, and we focus where we can be strong, and get the best value for money. We have resources across APAC, but we are starting to see some of those emerging markets as quite interesting - but they are volatile as you said. Sometimes it's not even safe to travel to some of these countries when they're in those situations, let alone have people on the ground doing business. But one thing we have is our parent company Schneider Electric, which has a very deep penetration in a lot of those markets. So we are quite aligned in that respect. 
 
a&s: Pelco is very strong in certain vertical markets right, like infrastructure, industrial environments, special installation kinds of projects, etc. So in APAC, the company is still focusing in these verticals? 
 
Yallouris: Yeah, I think as a company we had to readdress our product line as well to fit verticals, because just like I said before, you can't be all things to everybody, you have to focus on the key verticals like in:
- gaming, we're still very strong in the gaming market
- oil and gas
- critical infrastructure
- city surveillance
- general infrastructure
- mission critical environments, where security is a more of an operational necessity.
 
So these are the ones we are focusing on. And I think if you ask a lot of our competitors, they're doing the same thing, but I think we have a good track record in those four verticals, and we are still quite a unique company, we still offer a factory back end to end solution, which is something a lot of our competitors don't do. And we support them very well, we have pre- and post- support, service centers all locally in the region as well. So it's sort of a good story, but focusing on that has also allowed us to tweak our products a bit to fine tune for those markets. 
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