Gigabyte Taiwan- and India,
Please note that this open letter is not only addressed to Gigabyte India, but to the APAC/Taiwan management as feedbacks given to Indian management from time-to-time didn’t yield any fruit for the end users, and now a strong impression is made that the Indian management doesn’t take things seriously or with the same level of enthusiasm as the end user have expressed during the meets.
Please also do note that I say this with no disrespect to the individuals working in Gigabyte India, but I feel that the reputation and product presence that was built by the management’s predecessors has not only taken a sharp nosedive, but eventually, going to be doomed beyond repair if things go the way they are.
That’s the difference between Hardware BBQ and other entities whom you host contests and/or advertise with, but don’t give you any advice as reviewers (the real ones anyways) can be a bridge between end users and companies from time-to-time. We’re not ‘ass kissers’ and we’re not those who will take advantage of you either. After all, my website earned an honourable reputation of being brand bashers and mischief mongers by company managers, PR agents and even agencies who have the audacity to say ‘Please put cons in the middle of the pages of the reviews as no1 from the company reads that’ (rest assured, Gigabyte India never have said this to me, but your previous assigned PR agent from EXL PR did leave a wrong impression about something else irrelevant to the reviews at a time before Hardware BBQ was born and I used to contribute content in multiple forums, before the contract with you was not renewed- thankfully).
I do what I believe is right according to the situation and with the knowledge I possess at hand, irrespective of the issues we may or may not have with the management/companies/PR agencies. What you do with it and how you improve is up to you and you alone. It should also be noted that Gigabyte India is not the only company that I advice from time to time. Difference is, others have implemented it as much as possible at the right time on their own and have benefitted from it. If you require my presence to set things right, I am afraid I cannot do that. At the end of the day, Hardware BBQ is a review site specializing in news, reviews and recommendations- a neutral source.
So why am I putting this open letter addressing only to Gigabyte? Because I also hope that others will learn from this, including a couple of respected individuals from another company not related with motherboards. Why an open letter? Because the recommendations given before by many was not honoured and no changes were made. If at all, things went worse. I also fear that APAC team may deem the practice of having end user meets as a ‘waste of time’, and since I am not familiar with whom to contact in Gigabyte Taiwan, I had no choice, but to put it up here.
Why I am doing this? Because India is a large market. The user base is segregated and divided into different types of users with different requirements, but its very much active and present. Why many didn’t speak about this during the meet? Well, for one reason it seemed obvious that Gigabyte India wasn’t really into and wanted to ‘get on with it’. It was also somewhat obvious that Gigabyte India did it because others did it. This was not said, but actions and haste by the Indian management implied this message, which even discouraged me and others to give more feedbacks during the session.
The obvious is now pointed out below, so the ball is in your court! This is the last time I am talking about this matter, or asking questions to Gigabyte unless the needful is done as effectively as possible.
It was already being told to Gigabyte India in a previous meet when Mr. Tim Handley came that the product presence has gone down. Nothing except E350N-USB3 and B75 chipsets boards from Gigabyte was available in the Indian market back then, even the online retailers. After Intel X58/AMD 880G, 890G, 890FX days, Gigabyte almost disappeared from the Indian retail market- irrespective of what the management and/or distributors may claim. Time has past since the previous end user meets, but unfortunately its the same situation. I think maybe E350N-USB3 is still available in some places. This was again highlighted during a channel partner meet that was held sometime back in Mumbai, where Harshal Tank also demo LN2 overclocking. Note that some dealers have agreed to what I’ve said, including the price of approximately Rs. 5,000/- (USD 80) back then.
Advice was also given back then that companies (including Gigabyte India) should bring mini-itx motherboards, as cases and even power supplies made specifically for small form factors will be on the rise. Irrespective of what Gigabyte India has said before, your mini-itx H75 chipset motherboard were never available in online retail sites where significant amount of people purchase from.Please note that most of these online sites have a well established retail stores in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.
It should be noted that a distributor of a PC chassis who had a mini-ITX formfactor case wanted to tie up with Gigabyte India to have some bundle their mini-itx formfactor motherboard to encourage or kickstart the market presence. Back then, he told me that he has sent 6 emails to Gigabyte India, but he didn’t get any reply. The fact that during Gigabyte India’s presentation, the mini-itx formfactor motherboard was mistaken for ’embedded solutions’ shows that the respected management needs to familiar themselves with the product and basic tech know-how. On the bright side, the presentation was a little bit better than before, but it could have been done nicely if the respected individuals spent more time in knowing the product.
Your FM2 socket motherboards are also not available easily even till date. Forget A88, I am talking about A55 and other chipsets. On a personal note, an impression was made that the company was happy with B and H 75 series boards. I think 870G was available for a brief moment, but that’s it. No newer revs 990FX motherboards either, atleast to my knowledge.
Gigabyte India also shot themselves on the foot when it comes to service and RMA, especially in cities like Kolkata. There are threads opened up in few Indian tech forums, out of which 1-3 of them I had to ping Gigabyte India because your assigned service centers were being way too rude and uncivilized with an end user, especially after the intervention of the Indian management. I assume and hope that Gigabyte India has control in their ‘exclusive’ service centers, if at all they’re still active.
This year’s so-called ‘power user meet’ (nicknamed as ‘power conclave’) is something that left a bitter taste and also a bad impression over the Indian management, perhaps permanently. Many may not say it upfront, but few have said and/or felt that they were nothing more than props for a photo session. Gigabyte India can’t afford a graphic card, a CPU cooler and doesn’t have the right cables and adapters. They call people and ask if they have a graphic card, that too a “2013 edition”.
A total of 3-5 hours was flushed down the drain. It should also be noted that during the time when Harshal Tank was overclocking at the end, the packing started. Not that I am complaining (or maybe I am).
Suffice to say, everything was rushed because those 3-5 hours were wasted. Why didn’t the management come well before 10 o’ clock in the morning and arrange things? If they couldn’t come that early, why call people at 10 in the morning and make them wait for approximately 2- 2 1/2 hours in preparation?
Something you should know and appreciate, People came for Harshal Tank, the one who participated in various LN2 overclocking tournaments, and also was the one who pulled off an online Indian qualification of GOOC India via a tech forum nicely! We had good fun with him and each other as a general meet. I assume Gigabyte Taiwan is aware and also appreciate that Faheem Maldar was the one who did a presentation of the removable OPAMPS? It was made clear that the differences between the OPAMPS could be made clear with a headphone, but for some reason the respected management preferred speakers, perhaps maybe because it was ‘quicker’ as time was running out?? That’s for you guys to find out.
I am not sure if other individuals had to loan similar hardware in such meets held in other city/cities. I assume and hope they can be honest about it when you ask them if required. FYI, Gigabyte India also didn’t have the same cable (HDMI to VGA) for their projector during the channel partner meet, which was held in an area of about 5-6 minutes of walking distance away from Lamington road. Not that I am cribbing, but the demo system that was in Kolkata’s user meet and then which made its presence in the channel partner meet not only had the fans on both sides of the CM 240M’s radiator facing the fans, therefore pushing air from both sides towards the radiator (YEAH!!) and also thermal paste application good enough to be put up in 2-3 more processors. I’ve re-installed the fans for a push-pull configuration.
Please note that before Gigabyte India, Coolermaster India had an end user meet. This was their first ‘official’ meet and interaction with the end users. And considering the fact that CM India didn’t do this before (atleast to my knowledge), it was brilliant. People got to see the new things in action, give feedbacks, address issues, know about new and future launches- also meet with few folks from Taiwan personally, especially those with the expertise in power supplies. They’ve even bought pretty expensive equipments to give some clue of power supply testing, followed by the psu testing explanation/presentation. It should be noted, that this is done in a country where customs are known to create some hassle at some point, but still it was done right the way it was hoped to be. In fact, CM India also had a brief presentation about their products during the same Channel partner meet that I’ve referred to earlier, of which their respected manager explained to the channel partners/dealers in a way they can understand the benefits of selling smaller formfactor cases, which eventually compliments mini-ITX motherboards made by companies such as ASROCK, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.
Its not about the budget mind you and respectfully do not use that as an excuse to pass the buck. The very first Gigabyte mini meet held in your office made a lot more sense. But then, things with Gigabyte back then was at the time Indian management did things the right way.
The following what I say below, is not just for Gigabyte, but for all PC component companies (yeah, yeah- I know you people are reading this) in general:
Unfortunately in a country like India, employees with dedication, actual knowledge, integrity and loyalty have no value even in a private company- atleast in my observation. In my opinion, they are under-appreciated, under-utilized and under-paid and don’t have much control to do something that is beneficial for the company itself, whereas those who I strongly believe that are the ones who would end up destroying the brand presence built by their predecessors are strangely the ones who are appreciated and bragged about. Some of them are also Tier 1 brands. Not that I am selling anyone short or making them feel bad, but the point is: Please learn to identify such people who are a genuine asset for your company, and set their career path as your company is the one who is going to benefit from it. If not, the only entity that will be affected in the long term, is your company’s reputation and presence.
How you straighten out things is in your hands. I’ve pointed out the obvious. I can go on and point more mistakes and bloopers. But I am afraid that if I continue, this may be wrongly portrayed as a bashing session conveniently by some individuals and my effort in drafting this message will be wasted. Since you’re reading this, its also best if I get your attention in this piece of news as well.
Long story made short, you had a massive presence back then, but you literally handed over your market share to others practically on a silver plate. Now, the reputation is also going down in terms of after sales. Even the company that didn’t have a strong presence (and I think they didn’t have an Indian management back then as well) few years ago now have better availability of their motherboards in India- for both AMD and Intel platforms- compared to Gigabyte India as of now.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter, and I hope my time used to draft this open letter and making it as objective and concise as possible would not only be beneficial for you, but hopefully respected managers and personnel not relevant with Gigabyte will also learn something from this, and also acknowledge and credit that Hardware BBQ have said this. After all, the recommendations that I give are not for Gigabyte alone. Whoever does it first and does it properly, wins!
No offense to Gigabyte India.