As India moves ahead with its commitment towards cable TV digitization, there is a huge potential for Set Top Box segment and MYBOX Technologies is one such Indian organization which is ideally poised to realize the full potential of this segment. Amit Kharabanda, Executive Director, MYBOX Technologies puts his views on the way Set Top Box industry is moving ahead and how India can realize the full potential of this segment.
Q) What are the key focus areas for the company as of now? What are some of the top most priorities for the organization?
Launched in the year 2008, MYBOX is a government of India recognized R&D house and is also approved by DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research). We have brought together people with passion and vision to ensure that in coming years MYBOX will represent the billions of Indians across the world in becoming a strong R&D company with a strong digital set top box brand competing with global brands on global turf. MYBOX has commercially supplied digital satellite and cable set top boxes to customers across in the country.
MYBOX has a strong foundation to offer to customers thanks to the strong partners who came together to lay the foundation of the organization.
Our team has been developing high end and other value added digital set top boxes and will have a wide platform of products over coming months. The priority is to launch these products and enhance our strength as a strong technical and quality brand out of India in years to come.
Q) Please share details about your go to market strategy in India?
MyBox has already ported CONAX & NDS CAS in its boxes and in the process of integrating couple of more top tier CAS.
We have recently launched our HD boxes on the latest ST chipsets as well for cable market and for broadcasters as well. We are hoping that with our aggressive plans to market HD competitively across operators will finally help us spread our wings stronger and faster across India.
MyBox also believes in indigenization of components and have been successful in reducing dependence on imports substantially and working further on it with component vendors and slowly we are also creating after sale service arrangements across India.
Q) How do you look at the SAARC region? Please elaborate if you have any presence in the SAARC region?
It’s a market we have not explored yet as we are trying to get our act together first in the exciting Indian market and growing. We want to establish ourselves as a strong brand with great reference from operators in India to enable give us the confidence and boost to take it forward when we enter export market starting from SAARC and further.
I truly believe that Indian can become a Hub for Export to SAARC countries with the Govt. support in years to come.
Q) What kind of challenges do you face in India, especially because you are manufacturing your products in India?
It’s the greatest market in the world and it’s our passion to serve our country brought us all together to start this venture. We are here for the long haul and therefore our focus is to follow the market needs and cater to it to our best of ability. As digitization moves we feel we are ready to cater to the needs of the same and support multiple operators and different CAS.
The challenges are there as today more than a million STB are imported into India every month and we can reduce this substantially with clarity from government and banking support.
There are challenges in manufacturing in India related to some taxation issues resulting out of business models in the country, which we have been taking up through Industry association with the government and also finding lot of positive response from the government and hoping for a solution soon.
We feel Indian companies have the capability and scalability required to cater to demand internally but the requirement is to go full hog with a dedication and commitment to manufacture the set top boxes in India and we shall definitely see it happen and grow. Both the challenges of Taxation and Financials are crucial.
Q) How has the set top box business changed over the past couple of years? And where it is moving now?
The Set top box market has seen a tremendous change in terms of both technology and commercially. Since 2004-05 to now the definition of a zapper basic box has changed of SD. Technology changes have been quick and fast. Simultaneously the commercials have also moved very fast and prices are today among the lowest in the world. All this has happened, as market has become dynamic and the onslaught of digitization happening in India with law being cleared by Indian parliament in 2011.
We expect next few years for market to digitalise and thereafter a big market for replacement of sub standard products and also new technologies and we plan to be ready for that as well. We expect that India will join the bandwagon of digitization and technology being seen by the world and convergence happening will have its effect in India as well with more HD boxes, OTT boxes, Hybrid boxes, PVR boxes etc all coming in big way and customer being the major winner eventually. India has the capabilities to develop and manufacture latest technology boxes.
Q) What are some of the global trends in STB that can be better implemented in India?
Today India is in a stage of moving from analog to digital which means that installation of STB in a consumer home is the major focus today by every operator by means of cable or satellite etc. Till that is happening the focus is on cost competitive quality pay TV STB.
As some cities and customers get digitized and are comfortable with STB, they are demanding the next level of boxes with HD, PVR etc. and other global available technologies and we feel we will see a slow transition of market towards those but all the eco system has to be aware that the commercial and market dynamics in India are quite different and we should be ready to look at the big picture to enter this market and customize as per the same.
Q) What kind of growth are you looking at from India? What are the pillars for this growth for the organization?
We are a proud Indian company whose first commitment is to the country and we are looking for major growth from our own country. We do not want to attack international markets till we have proved our credentials in Indian market and become the right ambassador for the country across the world. We are expecting a big growth path for MyBox in years to come out of India itself in next few years.
We are targeting all the operators in the country from DTH, cable, broadcasters etc who feel the passion to have an Indian product and also are comfortable with our ability to deliver and be a partner for life of our products in their networks.
The main pillars for this growth is our strong R&D team, our great manufacturing partner with vertical integrated sheet metal and plastic molding plants and our humble and ready to take any challenge lean organization and am confident it will be the right ingredients for success in the country.
Indian manufacturers can help to reduce CAD with full support from government and financial institutions. India can become the largest exporter of STB with the above support besides import substitutions.