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BHOPAL DEALERS GIVE MIXED SIGNALS

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DQW Bureau
New Update





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The market was down during the February-March period and is now recovering

but customers are still cautious about making purchases

John Jacob

Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is also known as the city of lakes and

is one of the greenest cities in India. Being the seat of political power, it

houses various government institutions, banks, colleges and has an estimated

population of around 1.5 million as per the 2001 census. According to market

sources, the IT market in Bhopal is worth around Rs 300 crore annually and there

is an average sale of 2,000 PCs a month. As of now, there are mixed signals

about the state of the market with some dealers finding it better post budget

while some others who saw more sales before the budget.

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According to Prakash Chandra Gupta of Bootcom Systems, which is a dealer in

assembled PCs, the post-budget season has been picking up with customers who

deferred from purchasing now buying IT goods. “The market was down during the

February-March period but now the market is recovering as those who had wanted

to save and keep their investment in IT in the pipeline to wait and watch what

impact the Budget policy would have are now going ahead with their decision to

buy, especially since there is practically no effect on IT goods,” said Gupta.

For some others though, the pre-budget period was better than what it is now.

Manoj Dadlani of Channel Four said, “March was better than April for us.”

Concurred Manish Sharma of Sharma Computers, “The market before March was better

while now it is slow. Since I deal mainly in the corporate segment, customers

will be more cautious making purchases for two to three months as the fiscal

year begins in April. Usually savings is the name of the game in the first

quarter.”

Talking about some of the major buyers of IT in Bhopal, Dadlani said, “Bhopal

being the state capital has various government HQs, public banks and other PSUs

located here. This makes the Government one of the biggest purchasers of IT

infrastructure. Another upcoming vertical is education with around 60 colleges

being setup here in the last five years. The home segment is also another big

segment in this market.” IT products like PCs, desktops and laptops, peripherals

and printers are most demanded. Major brands include Dell, Compaq, HP and Acer

in the PC segment; Canon, HP and Samsung in the printers and peripherals

segments. From an overall perspective, laptops sell more than desktops in the PC

segment even though the cost of a laptop is more than that of a desktop. “The

cost of maintenance and hardware is more with a laptop. Accessories like battery

cell, charger etc are more expensive than desktop accessories,” said Gupta.

Pramod Talreja of Netlink Distribution said, “For every 100 laptops I sell, 10

are desktop PCs. Students and businessmen are mostly buyers of laptops.” Sharma

sharing his insight on the printers segment in Bhopal said, “SFPs are more in

demand as compared to MFPs and inkjets are sold more than laserjets.”

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Market name Bhopal
Market location Madhya Pradesh, Central India
Size of market 2,000 PCs a month
Surrounding markets Mandideep, Sehore, Vidisha
Number of dealers 200
Prominent dealers Netlink Distribution, Bootcom Systems,VS

Tech, Coral Business Systems
National distributor Ingram Micro, Rashi, Redington, Compuage
Associations Bhopal Computer Dealers Association (BCDA)

and Bhoj Information Technology and Office Automation Dealers Association (BITOAA)
Business verticals Government, corporate, home IT trend: In

the printers category, single function printers are preferred over

multifunction printers because of cost and inkjet printers are more popular

than laserjets

There are two major associations in Bhopal-Bhopal Computer Dealers

Association (BCDA) and Bhoj Information Technology and Office Automation Dealers

Association (BITOAA). Of the two, BITOAA is bigger with around 120 members while

BCDA has around 40 members. Ironically, the number of members of both

associations is a fairly high percentage of the total number of dealers in the

market which is around 200. This makes the role of both the associations quite

significant in influencing market forces both internal and external.

 

Narendra Lokwani, Proprietor,

Milestone
Which are the major verticals in

Bhopal? Any emerging ones?



Around 50 percent of the market size is contributed by the government

while the rest is divided among corporate, home and then smaller emerging

verticals like education. While the education sector is emerging, growth has

not taken off because the standard IT requirements have been fulfilled.

However there is a shift toward other types of solutions like security and

smart classrooms being adopted by this vertical so there is still scope for

IT solution providers to do business here.

What are some of the market trends in laptops and desktops?



In the home and corporate segments, the ratio of laptops to desktops is

higher in favor of laptops with about 60:40. In the government segment

though, the desktops are preferred as government bodies are just getting

their IT infrastructure in place while in corporates and homes, it is more

of an established market now.

What are some of the service-related issues faced by dealers?



The problem lies both with vendors as well as national distributors. For

instance Acer does not send the replacements for their notebooks on time,

customers face issues with HP printers service, there are delays of nearly

two months with the servicing of HDDs by Hitachi. National distributors also

are at fault for instance with motherboards there is no replacement or

proper warranty given by their local branch.

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