Bengal partners welcome 'paribartan'

DQW Bureau
17 May 2011


Mamata Banerjee's Trinamul

Congress has ended the disastrous 35-year rule of the CPI-M in West

Bengal. Just like her clarion call for 'Maa-Maati-Maanush' has

found strong resonance amongst a majority of the state populace, it

has found takers even amongst channel partners in upcountry Bengal.

Stated Rangan Basak of

Muthabari-based Basak Enterprises, “Till now, the Left Front has

made little efforts in uplifting the business scenario in Malda and

has led the state into bankruptcy. I would prefer to see the

opposition (TMC and Congress alliance) come to power.”

“It is hard to state or

predict what will be the effects on business if TMC comes to power;

like every other political party, they too have their own set of

propaganda and plans for everything. Instead of predicting about the

anomalies, I would prefer to give them a chance to prove themselves,”

opined Rupam Dandapat of Sonamukhi-based RS Computer.

However, while the

six-phase elections has been one of the main reasons that experts

claim helped Trinamul, it has not translated into sound business for

partners. As the winds of 'paribartan' continues to blow

across West Bengal with its fervent people exercising their

fundamental right in favor of it, the IT business scenario seems to

have been dampened as a result of the long election process.


Across West Bengal

upcountry, dealers complained of lack of business during the

electoral phase backed by freezing state tenders. Moreover, a

majority of the dealers in upcountry regions preferred to continue

with the existing government framework. “There was very little

transaction in my showroom during the electoral phase. It seemed that

the politically conscious citizens of Bengal were in the mood for

elections rather than focus over other things,” complained Debraj

Maharana of Kharagpur-based Tirupati Electronics.

Echoing the same feeling,

Bongaon-based Debashish Dutta, Propreitor, JC Electronics said, “The

sales went down dramatically as I think people were focussing totally

over the elections. Already the business scenario is very poor in

this district and atop that, with the elections raging on, there was

an absolute lack of enthusiasm from the customers.”

With the financial crisis

eating deep into the pockets of the people in the upcountry markets,

no Class B and C city has reported a considerable growth in the last

FY. “My business is already

suffering as a result of the low purchasing power of people. Annual

computer sales has gone down to just 30 nowadays and with the

election fever raging on, it has become very difficult for me to

continue with sole computer business,” stated Basak. Similarly, Dutta


“Rising prices and state bankruptcy has cost us much with sales

going down drastically in the end user space. Unless the economic

scenario in the state improves, I find little hope.”


The drop in sales figure

across West Bengal has widely varied during the electoral phase. With

Murshidabad registering the highest fall yet at 50%, other locations

like Malda staved off the fall with a 16% drop. Siliguri, during this

phase braved the market with an estimated 5% growth while Hoogly

maintained the stagnated growth figure at 8%.

However, in Bally, the

business scenario is acute, not just only on account of the elections

but primarily because of the price scenario prevailing across the

state after state Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta declaring 'state

bankruptcy'. “Business here is

usually down with the leftover customers opting to purchase products

from nearby Howrah and Kolkata. With such a pathetic state of affairs

prevalent in Bally, the election phase has further dampened the

scenario,” complained Arijit Banerjee of Bally-based The


During the busy election

hours, it seems that the retail segment was the worst hit with

potential buyers opting to focus more over the elections than their

'daily routine'. However, not only did business suffer as a

result of the fall in end-users, but government tenders too went for

a toss.

Suman Bhattacharya of

Murshidabad-based Zillion Technologies who focuses mainly in the

government segment stated, “All the tenders whose payments were

supposed to be made after March 31 were put on halt with the local

bodies stating that the Treasury has issues a stop payment

instruction. My tenders in the WBSEB and the District Collector's

Office has thus been halted and I wonder about when it will be

released finally because once it is halted one never knows how much

time it will take to clear the payment.”

Adding to it,

Siliguri-based Debashish Chakraborty of Cyber Infotech said, “All

the tenders here are closed and halted. The issuing authorities need

to understand that these tenders are not linked directly with the

government body. However, owing to it, business for me has gone down