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Interview: Sandeep Aurora, Director Marketing, Intel South Asia

“I think the Ultrabook will replace laptops by 2013 and, secondly, people will carry multiple devices, each meant for a different work”

Surbhi Chawla | Delhi | December 22, 2011

Intel has always quite literally been at the heart of most computing devices. Through its processors that go into running a variety of desktops, smartphones, netbooks, notebooks, tablets and other electronic devices, Intel has become a household name, more so it is a connected one. Intel, along with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), has now entered a new category -- Ultrabooks.

According to Intel, this product is ultra responsive and ultra sleek.  Intel has also divided consumers into four separate personalities based on which it has a perfect ‘ultra fit’ for them. These personalities are artisan, pioneer, accelerator and stylist. So, for example, stylists are people to whom striking design and stunning looks matter the most and hence the perfect fit for them will be the Asus Zenbook. There is a perfect fit for the other categories too. Intel feels that this will help customers make a better purchase decision.

As a company which has invested around $2 billion in India, Intel seems to have a strong understanding on how this market will shape up in the coming years. BestMediaInfo caught up with Sandeep Aurora, Director Marketing, Intel South Asia, to talk more about the Ultrabook and the overall communication strategy of Intel. Excerpts:

Intel has been talking about its Ultrabooks. By when will these be available in India?

They are already available in India. Asus, Acer and Lenovo have already launched and the rest of the companies will launch soon.

When one looks at the overall category of computing devices, there are plenty of choices available -- from smartphones and tablets to notebooks, netbooks and now an Ultrabook. How do you think an Indian consumer will make an informed choice about the product that best suits his needs?

I think the first thing is that it is good to have choice. A lot of people who wanted to buy something else may end up buying an Ultrabook if they like the look and feel of the device. Secondly, fundamentally the consumer mindset has changed and it’s not about one device any more. There are enough people who are carrying multiple devices and they use them at multiple points in time depending on their needs. So, I don’t think this will going to replace that or that will replace this. For example, in India tablets now are not a primary device for most people. If people are travelling, they use their tablets while at home or in office they use their desktops or laptops. It is therefore all about multiple devices for different purposes.

Being a B2B company, it becomes a little difficult to have a brand resonance with the end consumer. How difficult a challenge has this been for Intel?

It was not really that challenging. Ultimately, Intel has been a very successful in brand for a number of years. We had come out with a campaign called ‘Intel Inside’ many years ago. The proof that Intel is well recognised comes from the fact that people look for it whenever they are buying a laptop or a desktop. I think it is well settled and resonates with people. And it is not for nothing. People know that Intel products are reliable, they don’t fail, Intel is a company which invests in R&D to come out with better and newer things. I think people connect with us well.

Your communications has evolved over time. From ‘Intel Inside’ to ‘Sponsors of Tomorrow’, how do you look at this journey and what more can we look forward to?

If you look at our communication, it is more around the fact that Intel is a company that will make your tomorrow better than your today by the use of technology. And we are investing in it and working on it. This is not just a promise but a reality for us and we are working on it. I think that is what people also get.

For the Ultraboooks, you have come out with different personalities and matched an Ultrabook with each. How did you arrive at these personalities and the best fit?

We have researchers all across the world who observe how they interact with technology. It’s not about a questionnaire but more about ground reality. They study the data collected before coming with such details. And this is just to help the consumers.

Customer education in regards to technology in India is very critical and Intel does a lot of camps and retail awareness drives. Are these done along with the OEM partners?

Absolutely, we work with all the OEMs, dealers and distributors. Pretty much everybody because from our side we are customer agnostic in that sense. They are all customers and in the effort of growing the market, they are all with us.

What are the expectations from the Indian market in the next year?

I think the Indian market will show a very healthy trend in the coming year.

What trends in the technology space do you see emerging?

I think the Ultrabook will replace laptops by 2013 and, secondly, people will have multiple devices. Many people in Delhi are not very sure about people carrying more than one device but the time will soon come when they will do so.

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