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AICTA wants to be a distribution powerhouse

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DQW Bureau
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IT channels in India are perplexed with the recent development of All India Computer Traders Association (AICTA), which is set to be offi-cially announced next month by Nagpur-based Chander L Hirani, Proprietor of Vidharbha Business Services.

The concept of AICTA is that it would bypass the distributors and obtain IT goods directly from the vendors, manage logi-stics and also offer after sales service. Hirani is looking at rop-ing in 5,000 to 10,000 channel partners across the country.

Claimed Hirani, “Talks with major vendors are already going on which will be announ-ced shortly. The products will be purchased directly from vendors, which will be available to end-users through AICTA members only. We will manage the logistics and services. There are also plans to launch our own brand called `Ekta’ in the future. This would include all kinds of peripherals and also assembled PCs. Peripherals will also be imported from China and Taiwan.”

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The AICTA will consist of members dealing in computers, peripherals and related produ-cts all across the country. “Here traders will get products at lower prices and also provided national warranty which is not given by distributors. Such a distribution network has alre-ady been carried out in coun-tries like Taiwan. In fact, mem-bers will purchase shares in the company thereby creating funds and also becoming a shareholder. Presently, there is also a registration process hap-pening to make it a public limited company,” he added.

However good Hirani’s idea sounds, he doesn’t seem to be having any supporters. GG Khushalani, Proprietor of Nag-pur-based Pardesi Computers and who is also supposed to be Hirani’s partner in the creation of AICTA, is completely nega-tive about the whole concept. “The idea sounds good but it will not work on a national level. I have had a discussion once with Hirani on AICTA but nothing has happened beyond talking.”

On questioning Hirani, he however gave a different pic-ture, “Khushalani is afraid to talk right now because he does not want to spoil his relation-ship with vendors. In fact, six month’s back we came upon the idea and a group of us bou-ght goods in bulk and condu-cted business. I have not con-tacted any of the big dealers as I want the smaller dealers to make profit and do well.”

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Even Ashok Bagaria, Proprie-tor of Nagpur-based Cable House, shared Khushalani’s opinion, “India is a wide coun-try and therefore, it will be-come difficult to conduct such a distribution. I think it’s a waste of time putting efforts in

AICTA.”

Sources from VCMDWA and also NACIT who wished not to be quoted felt the same. He added. “Such efforts should start on a local level then move on to the national level. Firstly, procuring goods from vendors will require huge funds and secondly for channel partner to invest in such a organization it will require a good back up of reliable names like MAIT, TAIT or NACIT. When the purpose of these associations and AICTA are the same all of them should be involved.”

In fact, Hirani also claimed in other media reports that he has had talks with several ven-dors including Seagate. When contacted, Sharad Srivastava, Country Manager, Seagate, clarified, “There will be no cha-nge in the distribution network of Seagate which has supported us all along. Nobody has even contacted us on any such issue. Even in developed nations dealers don’t deal directly with vendors, therefore it will not work in India. Distributors play an important and value-added role in IT distribution by pro-viding the correct logistics and finance. Associations must work towards solving channel issues and taking up issues like credit insurance rather than get into IT distribution business.”

Nancy Sudheer

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