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Q&A with MSI bosses Derek Chen and Jeff Kuo

CRN: Tell us a bit about what MSI does and your journey so far

Derek Chen, notebook division worldwide sales and marketing director, MSI: MSI is dedicated to empowering global gamers, creators and business elites with best-in-class solutions engineered to satisfy their every need. Having started the business in gaming since 2007, MSI has steadily become one of the best laptop brands with a reputation for its premium, high-class products.

Gaming laptops are considered to be the most representative for MSI. Except providing high performance gaming laptops, MSI devotes itself thoroughly to the gaming community, including sponsored more than 20 professional e-sports teams and more than 500 e-sports events worldwide. Also, The MSI Gaming Arena (MGA) is a world-class e-sports event to which provides a platform for professional and amateur gamers to compete against each other.

However, MSI did not stop here, MSI has a sharp insight for the market and created the Content Creation series in 2018 for performance-conscious content creator community. Furthermore, MSI thus developed a new Business & Productivity Series that focuses on the needs of business elite.

MSI has global presence in more than 200 countries with strong exposures among the media worldwide, more than 700 review exposures in 2021 and won more than 160 awards from worldwide media across all series. In 2022, MSI is the consecutive winner of PC mag reader’s choice, “it’s the first time that MSI—or any Windows laptop brand—hasn’t had to share the award with Apple, which won every year for well over a decade.” Reported by PC Mag.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for MSI over the next 12 to 18 months?

Direction from high-end to mainstream, MSI cover everything including Gaming, Creator and B&P series and MSI complete the whole line-up to fulfill all needs in recent years and expand the visibility progressively. With post-pandemic’s upgrade opportunity and always-on high-end laptop demand, MSI can still have stable growth in the UK for the next 12 to 18 months.

Recently, HX refresh with the most high-end hardcore laptops with uncompromised performance including the desktop replacement of GT series to build the leading position in gaming laptop market.

More completed mainstream gaming laptop line-up and the expansion of the mainstream coverage to drive better market share and establish the brand awareness in wider audience.

MSI’s Content Creation laptops have been described as MacBook alternatives by creators and media by their build quality and performance. UK is one of the largest creator markets in Europe and there is always the market for windows base laptops in content creation.

The explosion of Business & Productivity, MSI introduces this new series in 2019 with rapid growth in recent years. With expertise of premium laptop manufacturing, MSI insist the premium quality in all laptop from mainstream to high-end.

During the pandemic time, a lot of consumers purchased laptops or Chromebooks with limited performance and capacity and they soon find out the laptops’ performance isn’t good enough for the needs, so MSI’s mainstream laptops could be good offers to upgrade for them no matter for gaming or productivity.

How do you see the overall gaming industry evolving over the next 3-5 years?

When the idea of ​​Metaverse was proposed, everyone seemed quite excited about it but seldom are aware that how effort-taking it would be for developing the Metaverse. Metaverse is a virtual world that allows people to have totally different life experiences. To build up this world, the developers need to perform tons of 2D/3D modeling, rendering, UI/UX design and massive software programming. All of these will require enormous PC performance, like huge size of memory (RAM) or a powerful processor that could rapidly compile millions of software code.

Also, to opt-in the Metaverse, people will need a powerful PC that is able to drive the HMD (Head-Mounted Display) smoothly, like the PC with decent NVIDIA RTX graphics or it might bring the dizziness due to the insufficient frame rendered by poor performance. Some of the PC brand, like MSI, had started to label the qualified PC with “Meta Ready”, which makes it easier for those who is looking for the hardware that is Metaverse capable.

The trend of the game will become more “real life experience” after the launch of the idea of ​​Metaverse. For these kinds of games, and the trend of AAA games, only with great performance can these games be driven with higher resolution & more frames, bringing truly immersive gaming experiences. With the improvement of technology, the laptops would be more powerful, thinner and better portability, which would be the best choice of these kind of games. Therefore, in the following 5 years, gaming laptops will still be one of the majorities in the gaming industry.

How does the channel fit in with your growth strategy?

Jeff Kuo, Notebook Division UK General Manager, MSI: From the point of view of MSI, of course, the objective is to maintain what we have done and growth in the gaming laptop area and expend business and productivity laptops; MSI is following the strategy that we have made, “MSI Strategy”: Marchet, yesharing strategy and Yoincremental

  1. Market: Market is about clearly dedicating resources to our customers: Retailer and Channel (Etailer). Structurally, we have dedicated Account Managers who focus on the differing needs of retailer and channel, providing the partners with a more efficient and effective relationship. There is no one-size-fits-all model across our partners.
  2. sharing strategy: Sharing strategy is to make sure working with MSI is an increasing business and with a tailored plan, the on-board partner will see business increases and also profits from selecting MSI products. We grow together as partners.
  3. Incremental: incremental, we focus on how to grow the brand position; with the premium range that we have, the channel can take our models to increase the mind share in their channel and grow with MSI.

Above all, all the channels can easily get on board with us, we are looking for the partners who have the intention to work with MSI, we manage the risk together, we increase the MSI strategy together via the growth strategy; and make the successful business.

What’s your advice to partners that want to grow their business with you?

To be straight forward, the partners can rely on us, we ask that we mutually try our best to find alignment in our strategies, and work transparently to grow together. However, of course, we are willing to discuss the plan if the partners believe it is not suitable for them.

As stated above, MSI follows the “MSI strategy” to grow in the market, we help to customize it to every different customer. Currently, MSI has the second highest market share on gaming laptop market in the UK, the sell-out is growing stable year by year, this means our products and strategy is fitting the market and the trend. We have confidence to keep growing and reach the highest market share in gamine laptop market eventually.

MSI customizes the “MSI strategy” for each partner, we try to keep growing in the market with our partners, and also re-margined the business.

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