Green Chang-Ching Lin is the Regional Marketing Manager, MSI (Micro-Star International Co. Ltd.). Green is in charge of the marketing strategy for MSI in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. With over 15 years of experience in marketing operations, he has successfully led MSI’s market growth by deepening the gaming community connections and making MSI a considerable gaming brand with a presence in more than 10 countries.
Agency Reporter – Let’s talk a bit about the history of your company first. Our readers probably want to know what it takes to start a big company like MSI, starting from zero all the way to where you are now. How has Indian Gaming Market treated you so far financially and otherwise?
As a world leading gaming brand, MSI has come a long way from when it was established back in 1986 in Taiwan. Slowly, we expanded our business operations over 120 countries and now we are known as the most trusted name in gaming and e-Sports globally. We owe our growth and expansion to dedicated countless hours in understanding the market and remarkable R&D strength to craft top-notch products for our consumers. We stand by our principles of breakthroughs in design, the pursuit of excellence, and technological innovation. Integrating gamers’ most coveted extreme performance, realistic visuals, authentic sound, precise control and smooth streaming functions into our gaming rigs.
India is one of our key markets as the past three years have seen a huge growth in the gaming industry with major tournaments taking place here. We have been hosting over 200 offline events across India in the past two years. MSI has been providing a stage for fun tournaments as well as informational technical education in universities and aims to create an engaging and immersive experience for all its users.
AR – According to the global Digital Content Creation market research, the size of the content creator industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% between 2020 to 2025. How does MSI which is a trailblazer and top brand in digital content creation aims to leverage it in a market like India where content creation after competitive play is becoming a favourable trend for millennials?
India now has the second highest number of internet users behind China due to which internet data usage increased dramatically as access cost decreased and this has really helped the budding Content creators to exhibit their talent on social media.We believe there was a need for such laptops in the India market as most of the millennials are using these machines for editing pictures and videos; and with so much content in the market, every millennial wants to be the best and post content which is appreciated by everyone. Not just people on Instagram or Facebook but even the emerging YouTube creators need a specific kind of machine to edit their high-quality videos, and they need to do it quickly without waiting for the progress bar to reach 100%. These laptops need to have certain specific requirements for being able to edit videos without a hiccup.
Therefore, to meet these heavy-duty tasks, we launched the ‘Content Creation’ series of laptops, especially designed for content creators. The new product line-up starts from INR 59,990 and goes up to INR 2,69,990. The line-up includes 15 laptops across 3 series; namely Creator, Prestige and Modern and series and we have a positive outlook in terms of response from the Indian consumer.
AR – How much of an advantage does the Indian demographics play for the growth of gaming giants like MSI considering that the country’s largest portion of population is young, with 40% of the population under the age of 40?
As per industry estimates, the market value of India’s gaming industry was around 62 billion Indian rupees in 2019, and is likely to go up to over 250 billion rupees by 2024. The industry has been evolving at a rapid pace in the country, and this is majorly contributed by the young population of India. The market is growing exponentially and we see this as a beginning for bigger things in store. The gaming market in India is slowly and steadily on the rise. This is driven by the demand from millennia and the progression from playing on smartphones to dedicated gaming laptops. The PC gaming segment has witnessed an increase primarily driven by accessible, affordable and easily available gaming devices which are better than before.
We have witnessed a double-digit growth in India ever since we have entered. While there has been a 10% growth in the segment globally, the Indian market is growing ten times faster. By understanding what are consumers need, we are able to bridge the gap and get them the technology they are looking for to up their game. MSI recently launched the 10th generation laptops of gaming and also expanded the content creation series with the launch of the Creator 17, the world’s first laptop to come with a Mini LED display.
AR – What has been the biggest advantage and the biggest difficulty operating in a market like India? And how are you handling the hurdles altogether?
The gaming ecosystem in India is still maturing and budding gamers need support to develop their skills. They are always on the lookout for proper equipment. Having said that, it is very encouraging to see that the industry is focusing on promoting e-sports competitions. We witnessed the first PUBG Mobile India Series 2019 in Mumbai recently and more big tournaments including DreamHack & ESL One are on the cards. We have seen a similar trend with the content creators as they are thousands of people showcasing their talent and the passion to create on YouTube. Hence, India has become Youtube’s second-biggest market.
India is such a big country and has a diverse set of consumers, so to find consumers real demand is a challenge for us. We have been investing in research and engaging with consumers on a regular basis to understand them better.
AR – How has been the response from the gamers and the market so far towards the new series of next-gen gaming laptops, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super and Max-Q design which you have unveiled in India?
MSI has been the first brand to bring NVDIA’s new platform to India. However, due to the lockdown, the market was sealed for two months and product availability was a bit of an issue. But at the same time, we have been receiving a lot of inquiries on social media, asking for the availability and we are very excited to finally deliver the new products to our consumers in India.
AR – Do you see gaming smartphones as a threat to hardcore gaming laptops at all? What do you have to say about this new generation of PUBG patrons and the scope it drives for a brand like MSI?
Mobile gaming is currently estimated to be over 50% of the overall gaming segment. As per a joint report by KPMG and Google, the online gaming industry in India is expected to reach $1 billion by 2021. With the increased internet penetration in the country, the popularity of online gaming is spreading to smaller towns and cities. These cities are also contributing significantly to the growth of gaming equipment sales in the country.
We however, see this as more of an opportunity rather than threat for gaming brands like ours as we are now witnessing that many Indian players are developing good e-sports skills from an early age. While we see a lot of people playing PUBG on their smartphones, it’s more for consumers who are on-the-go and looking for entertainment but at the same time a lot of consumers depend on MSI products to have the best gaming experience as we have very advanced technology, unrivaled performance and outstanding design.
We also have the built-in MSI App player which helps the user play his favorite game seamlessly on the big screen with a comfortable keyboard, mouse, and controllers. With more opportunities being provided to these gamers, we aim at fulfilling the needs and expectations toward professional gaming by delivering products for not just people who have chosen gaming as a profession but also are budding gamers.
AR – Gaming Laptop remains a niche concept in India because of its price sensitivity. How do you wish to break this stereotyping and provide a worthy solution for Indians?
MSI is constantly looking at avenues to engage with and build the gaming community here. We have been hosting gaming events at least three times a month across the country and have already organized more than 100 campus events, not just to create a deep bond with gamers but also give them an opportunity to build a better gaming environment in future. We aim to provide more e-sports opportunities to youngsters and let them enjoy the experience.
We also have a huge product line-up starting from a very affordable price for consumers who are looking to enter into the gaming space. We will additionally look at providing bundled offers and schemes during occasions to make our products more accessible to the Indian consumer. We will also continue to focus on activations to engage with the young consumers and build the e-sports culture in the country.
AR – With popular Esports titles and advent of VR games and cloud gaming, how do you see overcoming challenges of pain points like last mile connectivity, bandwidth along and data center technologies that could drive an immersive user experience?
Online gaming has really come a long way as the entire scenario has evolved from a single-player arcade to multiplayer consoles, to now mobile gaming with augmented reality being the base of the game. Game developers are constantly taking advantage of the growing technology trends that are now improving playability. With VR and AR being introduced in these games, photorealistic graphics are something that are catching everyone’s eyes.
MSI is always finding solutions to develop the gaming environment more by bringing in the latest technology and integrating hardware and software smoothly to enhance the gaming experience for our end consumers. With technology such as the Dragon Center, the consumer can easily control RGB light to have an immersive experience while gaming along with that MSI’s integrated solutions, users can also sync preference over the cloud across devices.