I agree, probably more the known Black market versus commonly used Gray Market associated with component level purchasing.
In many countries having people do work of any kind is valued versus letting technology and machines do it all. I remember years ago being pick-pocketed across from the Roman Coliseum by a pack of young kids. What struck me was the Policeman's response I saw while holding the arm of one of the kids, which was a simple look our way...realization of what was taking place, and looking back away to what he was previously doing. I'm sure he probably was thinking "stupid American" and knows this was how these kids made their livelihood, just another service industry helping to grow the GDP.
I am confused with you choice of word "grey market" and not "black market". Most of such items traded in open market or malls are either fake or imitation if the price is lower than 20%-30% (unless ofcourse they are on sale) as people generally do not pay sales taxes. The problem in buying these electronics from unreliable store is the risk of defected item or failure during (supposedly) warranty period.
Despite the ramp on business started few years ago in the Gulf region, similar situations are lived as "normal" especially inside "souk" at the border of big cities. Gray market represents the only sustenance for ethnic group not officialy recognized by local Govs, because of they haven't any chance for a legal work. Then, maybe, this could be one of the real issue to solve. Are we convinced local Govs in the Gulf and foreign Govs are pushing all together to address it definitely?
Marc, The scene you filmed is fascinating. It can also be replicated in other parts of the globe especially in Asian capitals. Bangkok is an example. More than 15 years ago, I witnessed a similar situation in Thailand and it's just amazing how little the situation has changed. For manufacturers and designers of electronic equipment, a great deal of the profit that is their rights have been siphoned off by counterfeiters. Is it possible to stop this? Certainly, not completely but the industry -- and governments -- have to find ways to at least drastically reduce it.
I would be surprised if the same police patroling the mall don't know they're involved in protecting illegal, or at least somewhat illegal commerce. But nor do I think this is so unusual. Green Hills may be for electronics what, for example, the huge dress market in downtown Los Angeles is for clothing. The gray market hides in plain sight. The question this raises for me is how the electronics industry should approach the seemingly contradictory need to 1) protect its supply chain, but 2) develop markets as fast as it can. The former causes problems for the latter.
I didn't buy anything at green hills. That wasn't out of some sort of moral indignation. Rather, I don't live in Manila, so if I bought something that broke, I'd have been out of luck.
Marc, Just being naughty here but did you take advantage of this opportunity to pick up a few choice items yourself? I ask because the reason places like this flourish is because electronics sold there while potentially illegally manufactured, sourced or counterfeit are often much cheaper than the original and since everyone loves a good bargain few can pass up the opportunity to make a good deal.
The authorities in Manila must believe the products sold here are all legal or they won't allow them. Or is it possible that there's some collusion going on here?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.