John, do you foresee struggles for Hik in the future leading to other brands possibly making a rebound? For example, if their pricing increases due to investor pressure, could that help the other top brands (Axis, Avigilon, etc)?
do you foresee struggles for Hik in the future leading
This mostly depends on what happens to the Chinese economy. Hikvision executes very well so I would not bet on that significantly changing.
But it is quite possible for burst infrastructure spending bubble in China to cut their ambitions and vast resources. Whether that will happen ever or anytime soon, I do not know.
If it did, it would certainly help Axis, Avigilon, etc. On the flip side, if something like that does not happen, it seems inevitable that the pressure on the premium Western brands will only get worse as Hikvision moves up market.
What would be interesting to see is more detail comparing Hik to others - market share, profit margins, etc. over the past few years. Any rapid growth company can't be expected to sustain that growth over time so the article reflects what should be expected for any industry with lots of competition.
In terms of lots of competition and rapid growth, it is hard to compare Hikvision (and to a lesser extent Dahua) to video surveillance manufacturers in the rest of the world.
For example, back in 2007, Hikvision did ~$170 million in revenue. 8 years later (2015), they have become 24x later doing $4 billion revenue. The growth rate, the size, all of this is completely out of scale to anything outside of China.
Part of it is the sheer growth of the Chinese economy, part of it is the massive infrastructure stimulus incentives China spent after the 2008 financial crisis, part of it is being owned by the Chinese government.
Because of this it is hard to say 'what should be expected', good or bad, because it is so unlike any other video surveillance manufacturer.
But is it any different for a large corporate than a small to medium business like most of us ie if you chase the lower end of the market which is simply looking for the cheapest deal you will make less money for more hassle. Deal with people who appreciate quality over price
The same could be said for chasing whales. I think what you need is to balance your value for each client. No two will be alike. Some may have larger budgets, where higher quality gear will be called for. Others a shoestring budget, where Analog HD is the max. You can make money in both deals. Just make sure you balance value for both and you can prosper.