In Conversation with Mr. Naveen Sridhara, Sennheiser India

Amit Sharma, Senior Manager - Research, Industry Intelligence Practice, CMR

Amit Sharma, Senior Manager - Research, Industry Intelligence Practice, CMR

I recently sat down with Naveen Sridhara, Director of Sales, Business Communication at Sennheiser India. I had an engaging discussion and learnt from him on who has his views on the future of work, changing IT priorities and Sennheiser’s roadmap and growth outlook for the upcoming year.

Amit: Could you please share your views on the future of work and changing IT priorities among organisations in this new normal?

Naveen Sridhara: The pandemic led us all to adapt to new concepts of work culture. A hybrid work environment became an essential thing and transformed the way we think about work. Sennheiser played the role of an enabler as we discovered the technology facilitating hybrid working and flexibility to support different ways of working. We concentrated our efforts on offering technological solutions that automate people management, connect employees, and create efficient working environments that maximise productivity and improve engagement. The hybrid workplace generally allows employees to fit work around their lives rather than structuring work around fixed hours logged into an office. For many employees and employers, it’s an optimal balance of productive work with reduced stress and less commuting. We noticed significant workplace changes and matched our expertise to help the community for easy learning and communication with our new idea of UC products and software enhancement for better communications.

Amit: How are you enabling the organisations with your offerings?

Naveen Sridhara: Hybrid workflows and teleconferencing are here to stay. We’ve got three clear-cut business segments on which we are focusing our energies – The Government, Corporate installations, and higher education solutions. Also, if you look at it, most of the audio requirement comes down to a presentation, lecture room, meeting, or conference room. This is where people congregate together and have a discussion across the globe. Digitalisation is playing its part in terms of bringing people together.

Regarding offerings, Sennheiser entered the TeamConnect Ceiling Solutions with TCC1 and later expanded its innovation with TCC2, a 2×2 tile with automatic dynamic beamforming. The company expanded its portfolio under the same TeamConnect family while considering the medium-sized rooms. While TCC2 covers 800 sq. ft. of area, it may not be suitable for medium-sized meeting rooms. Therefore, expanding the market standards and the pro-AV industry, Sennheiser launched TCCM (TeamConnect Medium), advancing the performance and the cost of meeting room solutions. TCC Medium takes up 400 sq. mt. with 40 sq. mt. as the radius of the product. Sennheiser has been a pioneer in audio for about eight decades in terms of our innovation on stage, studio, or in any such performance venue. Sennheiser also wanted to enter the unified communication market because right now, when you enter meeting rooms, it’s just not about the audio part, people also investigate video solutions. That’s when TC Bar comes into the picture recently launched in the Indian market. TC Bar is also an extension of the TeamConnect family. The TC Bar solutions come with options for small (TeamConnect Bar S) or mid-sized (TeamConnect Bar M) meeting and collaboration spaces, the TC Bar Solutions are true problem solvers with benefits like easy setup, brand agnostic integration, easy management & control, high video quality, security, and sustainability. ​ The TC Bar S features four microphones and two speakers, while the TC Bar M has six microphones and four speakers. ​ Both easily integrate with any meeting platform and can be further enhanced with other compatible products, including those from Sennheiser. ​It’s not an independent device, it can be connected with the ceiling microphones when you have a larger room, which makes it a part of the same family. So now the family has TCC2, TCCM, and TC Bar.

Amit: What are your growth priorities for the upcoming year? What is the competitive advantage that you have to offer?

Naveen Sridhara: Prioritizing end-user satisfaction through key account management is a fundamental strategy driving our growth. Sennheiser has a dedicated team across India to establish proximity with our customers, and our distinct competitive advantage lies in our point of contact (POC) with agnostic brand partners.

Amit: What are some of the market trends that you foresee in your segment?

Naveen Sridhara: Despite many severe declines witnessed across professional audio over the past 12 months, full recovery by most key verticals is expected by 2023. The installed sectors will recover fastest, although challenges still lie ahead for venues and establishments which have been badly affected during the pandemic. I don’t see the application of meetings changing that much, but the role of local microphone setups in the system and the interaction in the system must evolve. For AV integrators & consultants, time is money. Manufacturers must provide ready-to-use solutions that make installation, usage, and deployment quicker and easier.

Amit: What is your go-to-market strategy?

Naveen Sridhara: Our goal is to be a strong industry partner for business workplace solutions with the target of optimizing working and learning environments in the education, Corporate, and Govt. sectors. We aim to offer leading products in the market with the latest touchless audio and wireless technologies as well as traditional solutions to provide our consumers with perfect audio and business communication. Through our network of global partnerships, we also offer the freedom and flexibility to design our ecosystem without restrictions. Apart from the brand being a synonym for quality, I would say Sennheiser stands for enabling enthusiasm and solving real and technical problems related to audio reinforcement.