Computex, Taipei – A changing of the guard two years ago and a dedication to quality is starting to bear fruit for motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte as it continues to gain significant market share from its more traditional competitors.
Former Capetonian Tim Handley, manager of Gigabyte's Asia sales division, says that the appointment of CEO Johnson Lin and CTO Richard Chen – both with engineering backgrounds – heralded the renaissance of the company.
"We are one of the few IT companies in the world with engineers at the top of the company," Handley says. "Although there were some wild moments like when they announced there would be no more marketing budgets – we were only going to spend money when we had a product to promote. Needless to say, our marketing budget has doubled since that statement."
Handley says that the restructuring of the organisation into defined business units and each division's dedication to quality product is the key to the company's current success.
"There is no better branding than a good quality product," he says. "There is a basic trend in the market for everyone to go cheaper and cheaper – we went the other way, producing top products.
"The rationalisation behind this is that if we spend more money to make better quality products, we'll save money in the longer term. We're one of the few manufacturers in this market to offer a three-year warranty, for example.
"And, by spending more money on quality, we've grown our market share," he says. "And look at the top manufacturers we're taking market share from – Intel and Asus in the high-end; and MSI in the lower end.
"This has been another by-product of the move to focus on quality," Handley says.
And quality need not mean a reduction in volumes either.
Handley says that two years ago, Gigabyte sold about 10-million units. Last year this increased to 18-million units, and this year its target is to move 20-million motherboards.
"I think we'll achieve that target," he adds.
And, as competitors fall by the wayside in one of the most competitive sectors of IT, Handley is confident that Gigabyte will further consolidate its position as one of its leaders.
"There is a lot of consolidation in the market with more and more guys bowing out," he says. "That's the way it is.
"But as the motherboard market gets tougher and tougher, you'll see a lot more focus from us on our competitors – and even better quality," Handley says.