InterviewsNetworkingOutlook

Outlook 2022: “Leaders Do Not Wait for the ‘New Normal'”

Lucas Jiang, the General Manager of TP-Link FZE, says that growing demand has created a new wave of opportunities for all the networking vendors

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
From the year 2019, there has been a lot of upticks in the cloud. There has been a lot of digitalization and that has transformed the pace of growth in the IT Industry. Vendors have a significant pipeline now and it looks lucrative. The overall IT services sector at this point is going through a golden period that we have not seen in the past.

Growing demand has created a new wave of opportunities for all the networking vendors and we have leveraged it. There will be more growth is towards digitalization, smart home, mesh connectivity for smooth remote working or digital learning and that is where we have a phenomenal uptick.

What sort of opportunities did 2021 bring along?
TP-Link was recognised in 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure. We have received massive acceptance for our Business networking and due to the high demand of the same, we are in the process of taking our SMB business to the Enterprise level.

Secondly, TP-link has consistently ranked as the no. 1 global provider of WLAN devices for 10 years now, according to the IDC quarterly wireless LAN tracker, Q4 2020. One Mesh system and Deco’s product line are being awarded by many platforms. We have seen rapid growth in the market share of Mesh devices. On the other hand, Tapo devices for smart homes are also a favourite choice for our consumers.

Did you face any challenges in 2021?
Companies have also learned that leaders do not wait for the “new normal,” they build it themselves. Big changes today require bold leadership—and prioritizing tech. In addition, it’s not just about fixing the business, but upending convention and creating a new vision for the future. We have managed to handle the challenges thrown at us during the past year and have emerged as experts at change.

What were your key achievements in 2021?
This shift from workplaces to home offices, schools, and colleges to virtual classrooms, and theatres, and gaming arcades to home entertainment solutions have caused a consequential and considerable rise in the demand for enhanced networking solutions, speeds, and bandwidths. Our solutions have always been designed to do just that, and the pandemic has resulted in the demand for our offerings rising consistently in the past year.

That is our biggest achievement for the year that proves to be challenging and disruptive for quite some enterprises. Owing to this, our digital engagements with our partners and customers have been on the rise, and we have regularly conducted digital meetings with our partners throughout the lockdowns.

What promises does 2022 bring along?
In the year to come, we will be investing heavily in evolving our resources and enhancing our channel network. We have planned out a number of initiatives for the new year that will focus on expanding our customer base and catering to the rising demands for our innovative solutions. TP-Link is already expanding its partnerships to prepare and enable new partners for its complete product line in 2022. The company is expanding today to exceed the demands of tomorrow.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
What turned out to be a grave challenge for most businesses – making the sudden switch to a hybrid working policy – actually turned out to be an incredible business growth opportunity for TP-Link. The rapidly increasing demand for seamless and reliable Wi-Fi and connectivity at home, home offices, e-learning, and entertainment has resulted in our forward-looking hi-tech products being in high demand as these are the kind of requirements that they have been designed to cater to. This has opened up a lot of new markets and opportunities for us and we are looking to capitalize on them in the new year.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2022?
2022 will see an enhanced demand and interest towards the adoption and integration of solutions using emerging technologies like cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, software engineering, and cybersecurity. The need for improved cybersecurity, in particular, is gaining accelerated momentum due to the rapidly multiplying cyber threats of the ever-digital world.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
Region-wise, our focus will remain on the GCC countries, such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, in 2022 in order to strengthen our brand presence further in the markets we are popular in. With a range of future-proof networking solutions already in the pipeline, we would also be focusing on growing the presence of our surveillance and security solutions.

What milestones have you set for 2022?
For the regional economy to thrive, we strongly believe that SMBs across industries in the Middle East need to be supported through effective technology solutions and continuous business innovation. In 2022, TP-Link will lay more focus on encouraging its channel partners to take advantage of the dynamic opportunities that are presenting themselves and work on meeting the business needs that SMBs seek in the wireless networking and IP surveillance space.

Our aim for 2022 is to help them to widen their reach through our solutions that enhance connectivity and optimize user networks to boost productivity. We will be focused on driving the growth of our SOHO, SMB, and VIGI offerings and on ensuring that our partners thrive in the market.

What would you like to do differently in 2022, when compared with 2021?
We at TP-Link strongly believe that a business should invest in the right tools and technology to strongly support its hybrid teams efficiently in this new normal. At TP-Link, we have been clearly defining our work policies and which ones are applicable to whom. We will work to continue to support our employees in the year to come.

Similarly, where our customers are concerned, we will work to ensure that our after-sales support remains as prompt as it has been in 2021 in the year to come. We have been remotely assisting our customers since before the pandemic and will continue to do what we can to make their lives seamless with our solutions and services.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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