In order to make a computer system operate smoothly without any interruptions, the crucial task is to manage the memory of the system properly.
A solid-state drive/disk (SSD) can meet this requirement. It uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. Its major components are the controller and the memory to store the data. The growth of this industry is primarily due to the increasing demand and usage of notebooks, the escalating storage requirements of the Big Data industry, along with the supremacy of SSD over Flash memory. But this industry is also facing many challenges such as worldwide competition from solid-state arrays and data security concerns. This is where the US based global technology firm Kingston Technology steps in, with its new solutions and products. Electronics Bazaar’s Nijhum Rudra speaks to Vishal Parekh, marketing director, Kingston Technology, about the current storage and memory landscape, its new role in data storage security, and a lot more.
EB: What is the business model of Kingston Technology, and what is your vision for the Indian electronics market?
Kingston has been able to create a niche segment in the data storage space with its definite and competitive business strategies. In the coming years, we will be partly focused on developing our network and rapidly increasing our channel strength to establish a strong foothold in various regional markets. Moreover, we plan to make our business more effective and focus on cloud storage solutions, as we foresee a high potential in this domain due to the emergence of smart cities.
EB: What do you think about the current electronics market in India? Where do you see it in the next five years, in relation to China, Vietnam and other Asian countries?
We see a high potential in the Indian market with the emergence of smart cities. The first changes in recent years have happened due to the Digital India initiatives, with most of the organisations installing their systems, although data privacy remains one of the key factors to be worried about.
EB: How would you address some of the shortcomings in the Indian consumer electronics market? Do you wish to make certain recommendations that could be included in the recently approved NPE 2019?
The key themes in the NPE 2019 are the development of a component manufacturing ecosystem, fiscal incentives for the ESDM sector, and promoting research and development (R&D), apart from stimuli for specific sub-sectors such as fabless chip design, medical devices and automotive.
Just like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), India too will soon have its own data security laws. Speed is one of the factors that needs to be addressed. However, every storage module needs to be of the same quality.
EB: Kingston offers tailor-made solutions for both the storage and the memory market, in response to the rising need for storage across the spectrum. Kindly highlight some of these solutions.
Today, Kingston Technology holds a 68 per cent share in the RAM and storage markets. The company disrupted the memory space and today, seven out of ten computing devices will have Kingston solutions integrated in them. Kingston not only empowers laptops and desktops, but also offers innovative solutions for the majority of devices that can process data such as mobile phones, servers, CCTVs, smart and connected devices, etc. Another type of memory that the company offers is for consumer usage, and this can be integrated in desktops, laptops and notebooks.
Kingston’s global revenue is US$ 8.3 billion and it has achieved 35 per cent growth in Asia. In India, Kingston has achieved a growth rate of 25 to 30 per cent over the period 2007 to 2012. Since then, the company has maintained a growth rate of 20 per cent and, in 2019, growth is forecast to go back up to 25 to 30 per cent.
The increasing volume of data has been a major reason behind the wider adoption of Flash storage. Being the leader in the storage industry, Kingston identified the evolving storage needs and entered into the Flash storage segment with its SD cards and Flash USB drives. Kingston has successfully developed exceptional products like SD cards, microSD cards and compact Flash cards such as Canvas React and Canvas Focus, which can be defined as dependable choices for consumers with evolving data needs. In the last few years, Kingston has successfully lowered the prices of the SSDs globally, and has contributed a lot towards mainstreaming the 3D NAND technology by offering it at a friendlier price.
EB: You have a 68 per cent share in the global memory market and a 23 per cent share in the global SSD market. How much more are you aiming for in the coming financial year?
As I mentioned earlier, the data explosion has been continuous for quite a few years. Interestingly, in the last few years, we have seen superior data storage capabilities that were enabled by applying newer technologies. The available market data highlights the long-standing leadership of Kingston, both in terms of market share and corporate mindshare. This is true for the global memory and channel SSD businesses.
India has a stable government in its second term, with a vision of reaping the benefits that new age technologies have to offer. Considering the positive market sentiments and potential increase in big projects, we expect a growth of 13 to 15 per cent over the next four to five years. However, with our expertise in the technology, as well as our benchmark-setting product quality control, our focus is to continue working closely with customers. We want to help more data-intensive businesses realise the importance of secured storage solutions and improve their productivity.
EB: What is Kingston’s new role in the data storage security space? Do highlight the latest trends in this space.
Data theft and leakage are not new terms but have become high-impact catastrophies for businesses and must be dealt with. We worked with a lot of multinational businesses to get their servers compliant with the recent GDPR policies. In India, we are extending the same support with our new high speed secured solutions. Apart from that, as a support to the government’s initiatives for start-ups and SMBs, we have introduced affordable secured storage solutions.
Our secured storage solutions offer military grade protection. We are in sync with the market requirements and, by default, offer solutions with 256-bit AES hardware based encryption. We have worked with multinationals to help make their corporate environments and server architecture safe from malware and viruses like WannaCry. We enable their IT experts to manage drives centrally to meet compliance requirements, remotely reset passwords, manage device inventories, enforce policies, and more. All these options can be made available with our TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions and with the newer 3D NAND technology. Our secured range includes USB based products as well as high-speed solid-state drives. We have taken adequate steps to make data security affordable for corporates and enterprises.
EB: Tell us about your roadmap for the next few years?
Kingston has one of the largest portfolios with more than 2000 products globally. We will continue promoting new age technologies and help Indian corporates to get GDPR compliant. In addition to data storage, Kingston also offers memory solutions that are 100 per cent factory tested and come with a lifetime warranty. We do plan to work with our partners to make these complete corporate and enterprise solutions more affordable, so that more businesses can benefit from them.