Sunday, 21 February 2010

Filipino PC maker exports to China

By MELVIN G. CALIMAG
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/244479/filipino-pc-maker-exports-china

An improbable journey by a Filipino-owned PC manufacturer has led it to something that has never been done before: Export laptops to China, dubbed the world’s factory.

RedFox, which most Filipinos assume as a foreign PC brand, actually operates a manufacturing hub in Rosario, Cavite, where laptops are assembled for sale in the domestic market and other countries such Taiwan, Singapore, and China.

The company, founded by businessman Andy Te, started out making computer motherboards and video cards ten years ago. Recently, however, it ventured out to produce PCs and laptops of its own.

Te is also the man behind IT distributor AsianTech, the local partner of chipmaker AMD. With a complete ecosystem – microprocessor, motherboard, and video card – at his disposal, the soft-spoken executive proceeded to create a local PC brand.

Michael Mondragon, vice president for sales and marketing at RedFox, said in an interview that the company has recently opened a concept store in Guangzhou, China where it displays and sells selected models of its laptop line.

“We import most of our components and then we assemble them here. We then ship them to China and other countries,” said Mondragon, adding that partners in other parts of China have also expressed their interest to distribute RedFox in the world’s largest market for technology products.

With business flourishing, Mondragon said the company is set to double the capacity of its Cavite plant. The facility, which currently employs about 300 workers, can churn out 500 computer units a day.

“The foreign and local demand might surge so we want to be ready for that,” said Mondragon, adding that RedFox is most likely the first Filipino-owned computer firm to export to China.

“Filipinos have world-class talents. They just need an opportunity to make use of those skills,” said the official, who revealed that the company is eyeing Australia as the next target for its overseas expansion.

Choosing the Philippines as its manufacturing base has given RedFox “flexibility” in running its local operations since it does not have to go out of the country, according to Mondragon.

Like most companies engaged in the highly competitive tech sector, RedFox employs a research and development (R&D) team composed of local and foreign experts who shuttle between the Philippines and other countries where the company has presence.

On the home front, RedFox started its aggressive marketing efforts by opening in October last year its first concept store at the Cyberzone area of SM City North Edsa.

At the onset of 2010, it launched its newest lineup of products at the Crown Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas, Pasig City. The brand now has a total of three laptop series (Wizbook, Razor, and Optima), and four lines of desktops (Deskpod, Ultima, Vengeance Evo, and RDX V7/V8).

In addition, RedFox’s gaming desktop, the Vengeance Evo, comes pre-packaged with accessories such as the controller and the Wizbar, the brand’s venture into PC Wii gaming.

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