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Mark Peters : October 5th 2006 - 21:34 CET

SanDisk launches major retail expansion in India

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SanDiskSanDisk launches major retail expansion in India : SanDisk announced distribution relationships with Ingram Micro, the world’s largest wholesaler of technology goods, and Rashi Peripherals, one of India’s largest IT distributors, to sell SanDisk products throughout the country. Plans are to start with 2,000 stores in the coming weeks and increase to 14,000-plus by the end of 2007, according to statements made during a press conference at the Taj Mansingh Hotel in Delhi. Although the mix will vary among retailers, SanDisk intends to launch a wide range of products - including MP3 players, mobile phone cards, USB flash drives and digital imaging flash cards - throughout the country, concentrating initially on India’s 12 largest cities.
SanDisk launches major retail expansion in IndiaIngram Micro and Rashi Peripherals
“We see great potential for growth in consumer electronics products, especially mobile phones, digital cameras and computer accessories,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief operating officer of SanDisk. “India’s emergence as a technology leader and its rising per-capita income are creating opportunities for us in these categories. And with our new distributors, Ingram Micro and Rashi Peripherals, we are creating a relationship with strong, well-established companies that we believe will showcase the SanDisk brand throughout India.”

Blue label flash memory cards
This means that consumers will have access to SanDisk’s value-priced blue label memory cards as well as to its higher-performing Ultra II cards for photography and mobile phones and its high-capacity, high-speed Extreme III cards for professionals.

Flash memory design center
SanDisk has been building its presence in India with the opening of a flash memory design center in Bangalore earlier this year and, more recently, with the appointment of Manisha Sood, former general manager of digital capture and home printing for Kodak in India, as SanDisk country manager, sales and marketing.

SanDisk retail expansion in India
“Our success developing memory card solutions with the leading global handset manufacturers, combined with India’s large and growing base of mobile phone users who rely on their phones as their primary communication and multi-media device, makes our entry into India very well timed,” said Greg Rhine, SanDisk’s senior vice president of worldwide sales. “And while the retail channels are still largely defined by smaller shops, we are seeing the emergence of shopping malls and franchised storefronts that make it possible for us to reach even more customers as India’s consumer market continues to expand.”

Demand for Flash memory
Rhine said SanDisk envisions strong growth in sales of digital cameras, mobile phones with memory card slots, USB flash drives and MP3 digital audio players. “Attractive prices in all flash-based products, combined with lower import duties, will attract more consumers,” he added. “And so going digital is becoming affordable for the Indian market.”

SanDisk distributors
Both distributors have experience representing major international brands. Ingram Micro has 42 distribution centers in 28 Indian states, with more than 70 vendors serving 12,000 retail customers. Ingram Micro will distribute the full line of SanDisk flash memory cards, focusing on the digital photography and mobile phone markets. Rashi Peripherals Pvt. Ltd. has 41 branch offices that cover 130 cities, with products going to over 1,500 retailers and resellers. Rashi plans to concentrate on the consumer electronics and computer IT channels, distributing SanDisk Sansa MP3 digital media players and Cruzer USB flash drives.

About SanDisk
SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the world’s largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Milpitas, California, and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the USA.

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