DigiKey Propels Unique Initiatives in China

American electronics components distributor DigiKey Electronics has been expanding its business performance. Particularly, the company has been developing and enhancing the distribution of electronic components and automation products. Timed with electronica China, AEI interviewed Tony Ng, Vice President, Business Development, Digi-Key Electronics, who oversees the Asia-Pacific region. 

AEI: What is your take of the landscape of the global and Asian markets?  

Tony Ng: In 2021 and 2022, DigiKey achieved 80 percent growth.  In 2022, sales in the global market reached US$5.1 billion, and sales in the Asia-Pacific region reached US$1 billion.  Our customer base has expanded at a double-digit pace. 

AEI: Will you share your take of the market outlook and measures to strengthen sales?

Tony Ng: I expect the market in 2023 will level off or grow slightly. Although various countries’ policies to contain inflation will affect the market, I am paying particular attention to Q2 of 2024 and beyond.

At present, we have more than 15 million components, and we are promoting localization as well. In addition, we are promoting local service models, and expanding to India and elsewhere. We are also increasing the number of suppliers in Asia. 

Tony Ng, Vice President, Business Development (APAC), Digi-Key Electronics

Flexibly Meets Changes

AEI: During the COVID-19 pandemic, components shortages continued. Nonetheless, supplies of microcontrollers and discrete components remain severe.  

Tony Ng: Users, including those in Japan, faced difficulties in securing supply chain. Under these circumstances, there was strong demand in the market, and our company received much attention. Meanwhile, companies’ procurement and inventory policies have changed. 

Since mid-2022, the market began to soften, and supplies of components for power supplies and passive components have improved. However, supplies of field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) remain tight. 

As a global company, our company connects various countries smoothly and flexibly to meet changes in shipment destinations.  We also accumulate knowledge on systems, such as tariffs, and are expanding franchises in Asia, including China.  It is also important to strengthen markets in China, Japan, and India. 

Digi-Key’s studio transmission attracted visitors’ attention.

Investments for Growth

AEI: Could you tell us about investments for growth?

Tony Ng: A most recent example is the large-scale PDCe (distribution center) we have completed. It meets rapidly increasing demand and expands capacities.  We also strengthen web functions and improvie contents. We also carry out business-to-business (B2B) customer promotion and webinars. Thus, we endeavor to strengthen the customer experience. 

AEI: How do you see future trends?

Tony Ng: Demand for components and services necessary for mobility, internet of Things (IoT), predictive maintenance, and automation of production in the industry. In addition, we also see fifth-generation communication (5G) and healthcare will continue to grow. We will present components and services, including substitute solutions. 

This time, we took part in electronica China with the aim of branding and improving recognition. It was the large exhibition we took part in for the first time after the COVID-19 pandemic, and we presented a new logo.  Most importantly, we would like to meet local needs more closely and further enhance our company’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.