Exclusive: Stuart Craig talks about how Crestron is handling success

Stuart Craig-2
Stuart Craig, CEO Asia Pacific at Crestron

Crestron has recently announced a number of appointments across Asia Pacific for a variety of job functions and roles. We sat down with Stuart Craig, CEO Asia Pacific at Crestron, to talk about how these appointments will impact the manufacturer in the region.

The appointments were always on the cards as part of a larger strategy and Craig details: “The first phase of our strategy was when we started with changing our distribution model and going direct, establishing offices across Asia Pacific and hiring 300 people. The second phase of our strategy, which is the appointments at present, has been informed by how successful the first phase has been.”

Craig quantifies the success Crestron has experienced: “In pure sales volume, it exceeded our expectations enormously and that is in every market. China has grown, India has over doubled in the last two years, Southeast Asia has very close to doubled, Northeast Asia has been well and truly been developed and Australia has doubled in the last three years. The response has been extremely positive, and we have every reason to be confident moving forward.”

The growth necessitated a response from Crestron as Craig details: “The fact that our first phase has been really successful, and the new found success that we are experiencing with the NVX and with Crestron Flex and our relationship with Microsoft, means that we are growing really fast and have new business on our hands. So, these appointments are about making sure we have the experience in the region to support this.”

Out of the appointments, Jacques Bertrand taking up the newly created role of vice president of sales Asia is most interesting. Bertrand will be based in Crestron’s Singapore office, which was a key component of the first phase of Crestron’s expansion in APAC.

Craig discusses how Bertrand’s appointment changes Crestron’s hierarchy in the region: “Previously, everybody in Asia Pacific reported directly back to me. Now, China, Northeast Asia, India and Singapore will be reporting to Jacques and he is reporting to me. This allows me to more development work on Asia and ANZ and to look at other aspects of our business such as marketing, logistics, customer service and finance. It gives us a lot more depth.”

He continues: “There was no way we could actually continue to, have all the resources to accomplish our goals and execute all our planning without extra hands and that is a nice problem to have.”

Additionally, Frank Xiao has been appointed as the executive director NE Asia and China and Thomas Marcher has been appointed as the executive director for Southeast Asia.

Regarding these appointments, Craig says: “Ultimately, we have to continue to improve and increase our channel business. When we talk about our new products like Crestron Flex, we have to spend time to develop our enterprise and education business and bring it back to our channels and that needs new skillsets and our latest appointments will definitely help with that.”

To conclude, Craig talks about Crestron’s message to market: “In today’s world, the AV decisions are ultimately made by the IT director and the IT director is interested in standardisation, one platform and cloud instruments. For us, the overarching message is that with Crestron you can take all these devices, whether it is a Flex or an AirMedia or a standard AV device anywhere in the facility, and you can deploy them via the cloud, update firmware via the cloud and manage the whole thing. This is what we are delivering and this is our message.”