Manipur : The Government Boost
Talking about the market development and the business pitch in the Seven Sisters, Manipur steps in as the third most prominent state as far as the organization and performance of channels is concerned. The state has a total base of 37 dealers and suppliers including cross-industry firms encompassing automation, consumer electronics and IT peripherals. The most prominent tier in the channels hierarchy are the dealers who majorly operate in the end-user segment and at times venture into small government projects.
Like Meghalaya, the state lacks the presence of distributors both at the national as well as the local level, with the IT traders preferring to source it from the neighboring Assam. However, the state seems contended with the operational system, since it is the bottom line which is the most lucrative now and not the top line.
However, similar to the woes of the other Sisters, Manipur, too, complains of lack of infrastructure, particularly road connectivity, which is the preferred option for logistics. Other trade issues are also rampant.
"I source my supplies only from the regional distributors at Chennai and Guwahati. However, the billing has to be based on product range. There are no distributors here and we have to rely mostly on supplies from Guwahati," said Tarun Thokchom of Info Trade Services.
The state capital Imphal had registered a 13% market growth in the last financial year compared to its overall market performance of Rs 18 crore in FY12. However, nearby locations like Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong actually did not show any growth. The overall balance of IT channels indeed shifted towards the state capital, but on the average state performance, the channels in Manipur had a meager 8% top line growth.
Moving over to the health of the channels, the state used to have an association, All Manipur IT Organization (AMITO), which is now defunct. "I attended one or two meetings long back when it was formed, after which we felt that it was practically not viable to have an association at the local level. We do not have many issues with the vendors and if any case arises, we sort it out amicably," said Sadanand Rajkumar, director, Symphony Computers.