Shimla dealers break silence against government, national distributors

By Sandhya Malhotra - 27 November, 2012

Unprecedented support for the DQ Week Tech Caravan has been pouring in from all quarters. The caravan has managed to touch a cord with partners across the country. "It is very rare for Shimla channel community to come out open about these persistent problems in such an open forum. I must thank The DQ Week for conducting such a show and giving us an opportunity to discuss these problems openly and trying to resolve them," said Jayant Kumar, president of Shimla IT Dealers Association.

The DQ Week Tech Caravan was organized on November 23 at Hotel Himland West in Shimla in association with Shimla IT Dealers Association, which is the apex body of computer traders of Himachal Pradesh. The interactions with channel partners indicated that the association commands immense respect among the partner community and has significant achievements under its belt.

The DQ Week Tech Caravan saw participation of more than 40 partners from nearby places like Solan, Kasauli, Sanjaoli and Khilini and many more, wherein Norton, Western Digital, Uniline Energy Systems, Busy Infotech and Portronics were partners for the event.

The event was kicked off by a presentation from the sponsors-Busy Infotech, Western Digital and Uniline. While addressing to Shimla IT dealers, Vimlesh Ranjan, area sales manager, North region, Busy Infotech said, "Busy would like to appoint distributors for the Himachal Pradesh belt, which is presently fed by the neighboring cities of Delhi and Chandigarh. He also shared exiting channel model that Busy is following in India and plans to further enhance their focus on markets like Shimla, where partners are still not keen on selling software."

Post the sponsor's presentation, a panel discussion was held, which comprised of panelists including Balkar Singh of Computer Care, Rajat Goel of Computer Paradise, Anil Sharma of Ace Inotech, Jayant Kumar of Eline and Rupin Rekhi of Satellite Computers.

Anmol Sharma, area sales manager, Western Digital, briefly touched upon the WD and Hitachi acquisition, saying that, "Hitachi will continue to work independently for the next 2 years. He also assured partners to fix the courier problem for sending faulty products in the city soon."

The participation of IT traders attending the Tech Caravan conference was vociferous against freight charges being paid by the partners. They demanded all the partners to unite and fight out the issue with all the national distributors. Demanding a level playing field for all, Anil Sharma, general secretary, Shimla IT association suggested, "We should go on protest against the distributors, until they do not agree to offload the burden of freight charges from the partner's shoulders."

Other pressing issues plaguing the local partners included complaints on payment defaults as well as service woes and replacement warranty problems of some vendors. "Distance between vendor branch offices and godowns across the city often causes harassments for partners, who end up spending a lot more on logistics," highlighted Rekhi of Satellite Computers.

Talking about the importance of the event, Bhupender Singh Verma of Himtron who attended the event in Shimla said, "Tech Caravan, earlier known as IT Panchayat is a wonderful platform but I would like to suggest that more vendors should come to this event and share the panel with distributors and the local IT channel community."

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