Harman gives Singapore an A/V experience
SINGAPORE: Following the consolidation of its Asia Pacific operations under a single headquarters in Singapore, Harman Professional has established a Customer Experience Centre at the same location. The centre was unveiled by Harman’s newly-appointed APAC vice president and general manager, Ramesh Jayaraman, as ‘demonstrating our commitment to expanding growth and customer engagement in the Asia Pacific region’. It will provide a permanent exhibition for a wide range of products from Harman’s JBL, Crown, Soundcraft, Studer, AKG, Martin, AMX, BSS, dbx and Lexicon brands.
With roughly 100 employees and nearly 1,700 sq-m of space, 335 sq-m of which is dedicated to the experience centre, the Singapore HQ is the product of a ‘seven-figure investment,’ said Mr Jayaraman. Everything is wired up and ready to use; from listening to each one in the range of AKG headphones to mixing a Beatles multitrack on a Studer console or controlling Martin moving heads. Chiming with Harman’s recent emphasis on complete solutions for specific uses, products are grouped by application and demonstrated in real world-type scenarios.
‘We’re spending a lot of money on setting up a display at trade shows for product launches, presentations and demonstrations, only to tear it down again after three days,’ explained Erik Tarkiainen, Harman’s vice president global marketing. ‘We believe permanent displays are more effective, of greater benefit for the clients and, hence, a better investment. People can come in anytime, bring their clients, learn and experience technology.’
Aside from product demonstrations, a portion of the centre is dedicated to providing training, with a number of desks in front of a projector screen. Following the opening of the first centre in Singapore, Harman has planned three more to open this fiscal year; at its global HQ in California, USA, in Martin Professional’s hometown of Aarhus, and in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. Each one will reportedly be setup with regionally specific target markets in mind. In Singapore, this means a focus on A/V equipment, networking and control in corporate, hospitality and retail environments. ‘Of the emerging markets around the world, the ones in this region have the highest potential,’ confirmed the APAC general manager. ‘Corporate, hospitality and cinema are growing markets in ASEAN countries. Decision makers, consultants and advisers for these sectors in the APAC region are normally based here in Singapore, or come here. We want to showcase solutions for them. The new location will help us develop closer relationships with our enterprise and entertainment customers, as they experience first-hand how we can meet their needs through innovative, integrated and holistic solutions.’