Prashant Govindan, Senior Director – Professional Solutions, HARMAN India and Sri Lanka, passionately talks about how an immersive sound solution can enhance the movie viewing experience in theatres and homes.A true people’s person, he believes in the art of conversation. In a candid chat with team Exhibit at PALM Expo, he encourages people from this generation to keep a physical connect with each other. According to him, social media should be used sparingly in order to maintain personal connect. Always available on his phone to resolve customer queries, Prashant is one of the most accessible people and he lives by the mantra- Customer is the King.
EX : What is the motto behind giving the artists the freedom to work on newly launched products at the Palm Expo 2016?
Our aim is to provide the musicians with a platform to express themselves on the big stage. Therefore, we are motivating them by giving them the freedom to work on our newly launched products. Moreover, we are giving new artists the ammunition to showcase their skills, as well. Globally, we work with a lot of artists like DJ Tiesto and A.R. Rahman and we would like to associate with all those who love music.
EX : What is your say on the Palm Expo, since you have been an integral part representing HARMAN?
This year’s PALM is unique to HARMAN as we have launched many of our products with smart technological solutions. The Expo has always been special to me as my journey, or in other words my first day at job started way back in 2012 at the Expo. It’s an interesting factoid, as I celebrate my anniversary every year with HARMAN. It’s a different feeling altogether, which I can’t express through words.
EX : In the competing market you need to stand out, with reference to that what is your strategy and aim towards future launches?
Primarily, we are a technology driven company and our products are a reflection of what we are investing in, stretching out a road map for the next 20 years. In fact, we have above 5900 patents and the launch you are witnessing right now, is a result of several decades of hard work transforming into products. Hence, that is our true differentiator in the most cluttered market, to figure out which product to choose and the technology used behind them.
EX : What are your expectations from India in 2016?
India is one of the fastest growing markets. It is all set to explode. Direct retail is not going to happen until the government policy changes. Nevertheless, the whole setup, i.e., the entire music retail going to retailers and distributors is set to bloom. We are expecting more new artists to grow and develop in India. Over the years, the number of performers has been on a rise and we want that to increase further in the near future. Our motto, through the expo, is to give the musicians the desired exposure to express themselves. I’ve always had high expectations from India and it has never let me down and I don’t feel it ever would, in the coming years.
EX : Since you stated India is one of fastest growing markets. Based on that point, are we going to see any more branches in the near future?
With more than 7,500 employees, India is now home to HARMAN’s largest concentration of software engineers and designers, focused on developing innovative systems and solutions that leverage cloud, data and analytics to advance the connected car, connected enterprise and connected lifestyle.
HARMAN India has a rapidly growing employee base, a strong distributor and sales network, an equally strong service network and a robust roster of tier one clients. In 2014, the Company was awarded TATA Motors Supplier of the Year award and achieved more than 100 invention disclosures. The brand has large development centers across seven cities in India and a manufacturing facility and a state of the art Acoustics lab in Pune.
EX : Are you planning to associate with any brands in the near future?
We work with Tata Motors and VW in India. If you ever take a look at the recent launches of Tata like Zest, Bolt and Tiago they all have HARMAN infotainment system pre-installed.
EX : The Indian crowd is crazy about music. How do you plan to cater to the needs of different age groups?
The Indian demographic is highly loaded in favour with the youth. 50% of India’s population comes in the category of below the age group of 30, implying that, it is a very young country. Youngsters have a varied taste in music. So, we associate with bands, which are known to be popular and resonate with the youth.
EX : Who are you major competitors and how do you plan to excel them?
We don’t have any direct competitors. That being said, we do have 50 dissimilar brands competing indirectly with us in different ways. No other company has a complete portfolio from products to services like HARMAN does and that’s our clear advantage.
EX : The phone you are currently using?
I use an iPhone 5S. I tried using the iPhone 6, but I love the form factor of the 5S and hence reverted to it.
EX : The app you use the most, excluding social media
The app I used the most is Evernote. I can’t live without it.
EX : The book you are currently reading.
I’m an avid reader. I’m currently reading Social Media is bull shit. It’s unbelievable someone could write a book on it, since there is so much of hype for social media. Trust me, it’s very insightful as it has a very fresh take on social media.
EX : Your next tech buy (VR glasses or a smart watch).
The new Huawei watch or the Apple watch as and when it launches in India. I’ll probably wait for the next technology cycle.
EX : The car that drives you.
My 10 year old Maruti Baleno, which has been modified completely, except for the engine.
EX : Quote to live by.
If you can dream it, you can do it.