Home » Manish Aher From Targus
Targus® created the mobile accessory category with its invention of the laptop case over 30 years ago. The company continues to advance the mobile accessories category with innovative and relevant solutions for today’s lifestyle.
Targus products enhance productivity, connectivity, and security, liberating consumers to use their mobile devices, in any and all environments, with the utmost convenience and comfort.
Founded in 1983, Targus’ headquarters are located in Anaheim, Calif., with offices worldwide and distribution agreements in more than 100 countries.
We talked to Manish Aher, Director of Product Marketing and Country Manager, India at Targus Asia-Pacific at length about this iconic brand that just keeps growing at a brisk pace!
RA: From designing to innovation in technology, Targus has a varied identity. But from the brand’s perspective, how would you define it for layman?
MA: Since creating its first laptop case more than 30 years ago, in 1983, Targus has been a leader in the mobile computing accessories category for businesses and end users alike. Our users are confident multi-taskers that use technology in all aspects of their life. They need solutions to enable their agile work style and demand quality products from a brand they can trust. Our approach is one of deep expertise & commitment for an ever-changing workforce built around 3 core brand values: carry, protect and connect.
RA:What according to you have been the fundamental changes at the brand’s core in the last 34 years, since its inception?MA: In an increasingly connected world, Targus has consistently strived to understand the complexities of a mobile workforce and the individual needs of the mobile worker who is always “on,” and wanting to be productive.
Over the years, Targus has entered new segments and invested in R&D to develop and launch the most relevant products, solving daily challenges and providing relevant solutions.
RA: Talk us through to you “Voice of the Customer” program. What exactly it symbolizes?
MA: At Targus, having a big ear for the voice of the customer is at the heart of what we do. Starting with the interaction we all have with our many customers, we take each and every opportunity to understand what users of the Targus product portfolio need. We value the insight as to what customers need in our products. Most recently, we launched the Transit 360 Spinner, an innovative roller case compliant with most airlines’ cabin size dimensions, yet providing the Targus protection for a laptop and tablet, as well as dedicated storage options and ergonomic features. Targus is the first brand to launch such a solution in India, and got featured on the leading NDTV gadget TV show.
RA: And how different is that approach from the other competitors who are working in the market?
MA:Targus’deep expertise and commitment helps it to design and develop products that anticipate market needs and seamlessly integrate into work-styles, enhancing the experiences of an ever-changing workforce to perform at their best – anytime, anywhere.
RA: What kind of research goes into design and innovation at Targus to meet the exact demand of the customers?
MA:The research we conduct is designed to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. The Targus approach is very comprehensive and covers multiple research segments. From consumer to market research, from industry analysis to trend data, Targus studies every aspect of the research. This 360° approach leads to various and multiple patents, including design patents and utility patents. Targus patents cover the following domains: impact protection systems for notebook carrying cases, airport checkpoint friendly case designs and smartphone case designs, to name a few. In the accessories field, Targus has developed some docking station technologies, programmable power adapter technologies and serialized lock combination systems.
Other design solutions and innovations include some functional and ergonomic features Targus holds.
Targus has most recently has been announced as an honouree of the CES® 2017 Innovation Awards. The Targus Mobile ViP™ Backpack incorporates smart engineering and tailored designs for an efficient travel experience. Evaluated based on innovation in engineering, design, and aesthetics, the backpack delivers an all-in-one package for travel.
RA: How has been the experience of doing business in India. How stable or volatile is consumer behavior here, compared to the other markets of the world?
MA: The India market is a key market for Targus, enjoying a fast growth over the last few years. Targus is making their products available to an increasing number of India users, across a variety of channels including retail, traditional IT market, online and corporate.
In the last few years, Targus has developed strategic partnerships and ran various initiatives to support the growing demand in India. Targus offers a wide range of products, for office, travel and home usage, and our Indian customers have been very loyal to the brand.
RA: Are all the products that the brand launches available here? And if so, how do you identify the need of the market for specific products, as the need of consumers can vary from market to market.
MA:Customers’ needs do vary across the globe and across Asia. Selected Targus products are available worldwide; others are available in selected countries only. The Targus teams work very closely together to ensure each market gets the most relevant Targus products. Gathering consumer and market intelligence, we understand countries’ specific cities and usages and only launch solutions that will help our customers. For countries counting a large number of people commuting by very busy trains for example, we have designed some security features on selected backpacks to ensure they can travel worry-free, forgetting about pick-pockets for example. Some Targus bags are equipped with a zippered security pocket on the back panel, or with lockable zipper pullers, or with an anti-RFID pocket for example. Following the latest government’s direction to go cashless, a growing part of consumers will use RFID-featured cards for their payment. Targus has a solution, ensuring personal details are protected against digital pickpocketing.
RA: What can we expect from the brand in the future. Especially in regards to Indian market?
MA: As every year, Targus has set aggressive growth targets. We are very confident in our latest roadmap and very excited to introduce a whole range of new and innovation products as early as in just a few weeks.
We are planning to launch new cases collections, covering a range of silhouettes and colors, including mostly backpacks and top loaders. We are also expanding our accessory portfolio by introducing and/or refreshing surge protectors, mice, cables, and more.
There is a lot more projects and initiatives in the pipeline designed to support Targus growth in 2017, and beyond. But it is too early to share further details!