Hikvision strives to better serve customers and cooperate more closely with local distributors and partners. After years of overseas market cultivation, its milestones include establishing joint ventures and branches worldwide. A&S China Best Buys finds out about the company's big moves and strategies.
In 2008, Hikvision set up its first overseas branch in the United States, an important international milestone. A year later, the Chinese digital video supplier has expanded its global strategy for better and more timely service. With a joint venture in India, a branch in the Netherlands and a joint venture in Russia, the company rapidly expands its worldwide presence.
"For markets like India and Russia, they are very promising but also challenging for most suppliers," said Tony Yang, Marketing Director, International Business Center at Hikvision. "We see strong demand and market growth is rocketing. However, they are also price- sensitive and require a local business approach if you want to penetrate these markets."
There are many issues a manufacturer has to understand before selling products in different countries. Taxation is a challenging issue for the Indian and Russian markets. "Different administrative areas may have different tax policies for electronic security products," said Yang. "Therefore, the best way to penetrate these booming markets is through a long-term partner who knows local needs."
From a service standpoint, joint ventures and branches can shorten maintenance periods. With continuous training and technical support from Hikvision headquarters, customers can have their technical problems solved and products repaired through local offices. More importantly, international offices reduce pressure for distributors stocking their warehouses, as the economic downturn has distributors scrambling to reduce risk.
Yang said these market characteristics are similar to the Chinese market. Hikvision's resources and product integration experience can be shared with partners. "From alocal touch standpoint, the joint effort will help satisfy customer needs and further penetrate security surveillance markets," he said.
In India, the joint venture will represent Hikvision in the local market. It targets better pre- and post-sales support, as well as closer collaboration with local distributors and partners. The move demonstrates Hikvision's determination to cultivate the Indian security market. Customers benefit by buying products locally and accessing prompt technical support.
"We have been associated with Hikvision since last more than five years," said Ashish Dhakan, President of Prama Hikvision. "Hikvision is the world's leading manufacturer of electronic security products with excellent quality, moreover, they are a company with great vision, honesty and professional approach. We are sharing the same vision, and found that joint venture is going to be a great synergy which compliments each other for India market."
ZAO Hikvision, Hikvision's Russian joint venture, is managed by a security expert with more than seven years of surveillance experience. Anton Kurako, GM at ZAO Hikvision, brings a wealth of security experience to the joint venture. Combining Hikvision's technical know-how and Kurako's rich experience, the joint venture will deliver advanced products and solutions to a wider customer base. The Russian partnership also positions Hikvision as a serious player in the growing Russian security market.
"As a professional supplier for video surveillance, Hikvision makes every effort to provide state-of-the-art products and solutions for worldwide customers," Kurako said. "I am sure this joint venture will help local partners and customers to be more familiar with Hikvision's products, and obtain professional consultation and technical support in Russia."
Hikvision will sell its complete product lines and provide pre- and post-sales technical services in the Russian market. These efforts will enhance product delivery, service efficiency and timely troubleshooting. ZAO Hikvision will extend Hikvision's service throughout the Russian region, offering comprehensive local services in Russian, including product catalogs, sales and technical support.
Hikvision's western European branch in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has the range and reach to provide more reliable, cost-effective and proactive solutions for its regional customers. Dedicated teams will conduct product training and provide technical support to customers. The Europe maintenance center will also be located at the branch office to provide timely maintenance services. In addition, the warehouse enables Hikvision to deliver products in the shortest time across the region.
In 2010, Hikvision plans to continue expansion. Its growth will follow company principles of setting up branches or joint ventures for service, technical support and business development. This approach delivers a message to customers: "Buy from Hikvision," instead of "Buy from China." Customers can enjoy the fast and convenient service on their home turf.