The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most unexpected events in recent times. The disruption it’s caused to business continuity has led companies to rethink their strategies. Businesses across the spectrum have been affected in some way or the other and the crisis has given rise to the ‘Work from Home’ or ‘Remote Worker’ model. Technology companies have been at the forefront of enabling businesses to continue operating and employees to stay connected.
We interviewed Lucas Jiang, GM of TP-Link MEA FZE who tells us that the company has experienced an exponential increase in demand for seamless WiFi and connectivity from home environments. He also shares the company’s outlook for the rest of the year and beyond.
DubaiDiaries. What has been the impact to the overall business in the last few months?
Lucas Jiang. The most significant impact that we’ve faced during this period has also been one of our most significant business growth opportunities – the exponential increase in demand for seamless WiFi and connectivity from home environments. Our forward-looking hi-tech products paved the way with their offerings as this is the very problem they have been designed to cater. Other than this, logistics were considerably disrupted during the lockdown. However, thanks to the promptness of our after-sales support, we were able to remotely assist customers as we were doing earlier as well. Technological advancements and the intelligent architecture of our offerings have actually made things smoother as many issues don’t even require site visits any more, especially since we already had applications in place to help customers with routine issues and troubleshooting.
DD. What was the overall strategy to boost sales during the lockdown?
LJ. The ongoing and unpredictable COVID-19 circumstances have pushed everyone around the globe to work from home for an indefinite period. This shift from office places to home offices has resulted in a significant rise in the demand for better networking solutions, speeds, and bandwidths. So, the demand for our products was on the rise during this period; it’s the supply we have been focussed on. The sudden surge in retail and online businesses, especially for those that operate within the purview of essential services has pushed us to increase our digital engagements. Owing to this, our strategy has been to amplify our digital engagements with our partners and customers in order to boost and service our sales.
DD. How challenging is it to get back to pre-COVID-19 momentum?
LJ. Our main challenge during this pandemic period has been managing the work from home logistics, given how sudden and new this has been for everyone. A pre-COVID-19 momentum isn’t on top our minds considering that the pandemic is far from over gauging from its current status. We are currently focussed on being on top of things and coming up with productive solutions to help us sail through this situation. Since the demand for our solutions has risen considerably during this period, we have looked at this as a growing opportunity throughout, not a problem that has held us back in any way.
DD. Have you seen any change in consumer spending habits? How has this affected your business?
LJ. The shift in consumer spending is quite visible in terms of their increasing requirement and willingness to upgrade the home office, get a better WiFi network, and invest towards better networking devices. Now that people are coming to terms with the fact that they may have to work from home for the foreseeable future, they are spending towards having a better home office and ensuring seamless connectivity for uninterrupted working, learning, and entertainment at home. This demand has led to the surge in the popularity of our AX-technology based routers that cater to these needs pretty perfectly. This includes the high-speed WiFi routers, Archer AX11000 and the blazing Archer AX6000 for gaming enthusiasts, traders, and other high intensity users currently operating from home. The Archer AX6000 Wi-Fi router offers dual-band Wi-Fi speed boosted by 1024QAM which delivers astonishingly fast speeds of up to 5952 Mbps while the AX11000, probably the fastest gaming router in the market, delivers Wi-Fi speeds at a whopping 10 Gbps. The routers in this series have been designed to cater to the growing needs of the growing work-from-home people. Be it working from home, or distance learning during this pandemic, or serious gaming, these powerful routers are helping people power through from their homes.
DD. What is your outlook/forecast for the rest of the year?
LJ. We realize that the situation is highly dynamic, so making a long-term plan may not end up going as planned when things around the globe are changing every week, pretty much. As new information comes to light every day, we continue to work on our updates. As we learn more, we strive to remain committed to providing our customers and partners with the superior service and support that they have come to expect of our company. Our outlook remains focussed on working closely with our global suppliers and partners to ensure availability and normal operations of our technology and services.