When many people think of countries like China/Taiwan, the first thing that comes to their mind is “Made in China” and the big factories that produce inexpensive products for the world. At first observation, one questions what would connect D-Link, software and Gyumri, Armenia? But times have changed and these companies are now becoming global corporations. Like Western and Japanese companies did before, the China/Taiwan companies are looking to expand around the world and also improve their level of sophistication and profits.
D-Link Corporation [Chinese name: 友訊科技] is one example of such a company. D-Link’s products are geared towards the networking and communications market. Its business products include switches, surveillance network cameras, firewalls, iSCSI SANs and business wireless, while consumer products cover consumer wireless devices, broadband devices, and the Digital Home devices. With over US$ 1 billion is sales in 2012, it had already become the market leader by 2008 in Wi-Fi product shipments worldwide, with 33% of the total market. How did D-LInk grow from nothing in 1986 to where it is today? The answer is simple: by selecting the best talent in the world and focusing on research, engineering and innovation. While the answer is simple, executing it is not. That is why so many companies fail. D-Link is one of the few examples of companies who are able to consistently execute their strategy well and deliver results. This is the most difficult achievement for a corporation.
#1 - D-Link creates World Class Products
#2 - Innovate
Millions of people everyday sit and drink their coffee at their favorite cafe and check their Facebook. What they may not realize is that the free WiFi they are using is probably being powered by D-Link. Many companies would be happy with the same type of success as D-Link experienced in the computer networking market. But D-Link went one step further by getting into home and consumer markets. For example, many of the baby monitors people use are developed by D-Link and According to Samara Lynn of PCMag when it comes to catching a thief, D-Link is the way to go. She wrote, “For video surveillance we, needed a webcam. The cam we used is D-Link’s Cloud Camera 1100 Day/Night Network Cloud Camera (DCS-932L). This is a camera that can be connected wired or wirelessly to a network allowing for remote viewing of the video feed. Features include motion detection (for snapping pictures when the fridge door opens), night mode with a built-in infrared LED, and remote access.” Today, D-Link’s innovations are sold to a large breadth of customers: from small, medium and large companies to consumers to governments and education entities.
#3 - Best Global Talent
Look at the prizes on the left. Only top teams can deliver such results. Although D-Link is headquartered in Taipei,
Taiwan, Republic of China it has more than 90 global offices. D-Link maintains strategic operations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Israel, etc. Its distribution capabilities are tremendous as their products can be found in every all emerging markets. D-Link is committed to recruiting people that enjoy challenges and cutting-edge technology and who are willing to contribute with ideas. Additionally, CEO Roger Kao has a high approval rate on glasdoor.com. On the same site, a former employee said: ”Excellent learning opportunity” and a current one said the following: “Talented colleagues with challenging work”.
Gyumri, Armenia as a global software center?
After deciding to consolidate their research centers, D-Link selected Armenia as one of three global research centers, in addition to Taiwan and Russia. The city of Gyumri and Yerevan were chosen to consolidate projects from around the world, including India. The Armenian employees mainly do software development for routers and other network machines.
The D-link Gyumri branch was founded in 2011 and the majority of the employees are engineer-programmers. On Jan 31, 2013 the Government of Armenia granted D-Link’s Armenian Office US$19.5 million worth of real estate in Gyumri for a 25-year US$6 million investment program to open a research and testing center. The $6 million investment assumes the construction of the new building, the technical equipments and the salary of the future employees for coming 10 years. As mentioned the head of D-Link Armenia branch, “The construction was never stopped, we ruined the old building which was on the area and we are building the new one.”
D-Link Armenia currently has 64 programmers, with an average monthly salary of $900. As stated by D-Link Armenia’s head Armenia Shahnazaryan, the number of programmers is expected to reach 200 (of which 100 in Gyumri) by the end of 2014. A D-Link research center will also be established in Yerevan, too. The company has a product named “Soft,” and a part of it will also be manufactured in Armenia.
D-link, along with the Gyumri Technopark is expected to have a positive impact on the economic development of Armenia and especially Gyumri. First it will create jobs in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, but it will also bring much needed global corporate experience to Armenian professionals. The plan is to persuade other IT companies to follow D-link’s path.
The city is now recovering from it’s uncolored image, which it gained after a natural disaster in the 1980s. Step by step, it is becoming a new tech city in is it’s own right because of the different initiatives that have been implemented. They are creating the right mix of atmosphere and infrastructure. Now that the Chinese have recognized Armenia’s potential, the question is who is next?