At a time when the upcountry market is trying hard to consolidate itself in the IT reselling business--Chandigarh has been rocked by a case where a reseller is absconding with more than Rs 1.25 crore in his kitty. Jordan Loyal, the proprietor of Fairbrother Marketing, a prominent GID of Chandigarh, is absconding after leaving outstanding dues of over Rs 1.25 crore and it is believed that he has packed up his bags for Switzerland with his wife and two kids.
"When we heard about this news, we could not believe as this guy was there in the market for more than 12 years and he had a good image in the market as well as with the distributors," remarked Satpal Singh, Director of Chandigarh-based DS Data Spec Pvt Ltd.
After coming to terms with the fact that they have lost a lot of money given just on faith--resellers launched their own manhunt for Jordan and came up with this information that about two months back he had got himself and his family's Switzerland visas done at Chandigarh itself. "We traced his passport number and from there we got this information that he had applied for a Swiss visa and finished off everything just about a month back," revealed Naveen Beri, a close friend of Jordan and MD of Chandigarh based Atlantic Technologies.
Personally to Beri, it has not been a good year for he has already lost more than Rs 8 lakh in a theft which happened in the month of January 2003 at his showroom. And now the disappearance of Jordan. "Some days back he came up to me and asked for top-of-the-line IBM notebook and he never paid for that piece, so that is the only loss for me. Though I have not lost a huge amount to him, but still I feel cheated as he was very close to me and we had family relations for a long time," he lamented.
Of the estimated Rs 1.25 crore which he has taken, Jordan owes over Rs 21 lakh to SES Technologies, Rs 15 lakh to Redington, Rs 8 lakh to Neoteric, Rs 3 lakh to Tech Pacific, Rs 2 lakh to Aditya Infotech, and the balance to other city-based resellers, informed market sources in Chandigarh. Interestingly, Ingram Micro is the only major distributor which didn't lose any money as it had stopped dealing with him for a long time.
Based at the Sector 21 locality of the city, Fairbrother's Jordan is said to have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and gave frequent parties to his friends and market people. "His everyday expenses after office hours ranged between Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000.
Everyday he used to take his wife and kids out for dinner and kept two cars separately for himself and his wife as well. This may be the reason why we could not believe that a man of such a repute can do this kind of thing," pointed out
SES, Redington, and the local trade association, Association of Computer Traders (Act), have already filed separate police cases against Jordan Loyal. However distributors who have lost big money to Jordan are in complete disarray considering the size of the default. "The market has reacted in a sharp way to this event. For instance, today we just had a business of less than Rs 5 lakh--on a normal day the overall business in the market is well over Rs 40 lakh," added a prominent reseller of
It may be difficult for the police to trace Jordan back to Chandigarh but this event has given the channel community another reason not to put faith blindly and give credit to not only unknown but also even the known and recognized faces in the community.
Another issue being raised by the channels is the reason behind all this. "Why would someone do such a thing, I think its more than money. The sheer pressure from vendors to sell more products and offerings, forces channel players to sell in the market for lesser amount--undercutting. Hence there are more losses then the actual sales, a situation like this does not give any other option to someone like Jordan but to run away from the market and take the booty with himself," pointed out Singh of Data Spec.
It's about time that we should start realizing the facts beneath facts and take stock of situations like this. Vendors should make sure that they are not involved in any inappropriate pressure building up exercise where a channel partner finds himself in a tight situation. "If the market dynamics demand bigger targets then there is no issue but if there is no more scope to further expand the market then mounting pressures become a big issue and it may lead to malpractices at the hands of channels," quipped a Chandigarh-based system integrator.
To tackle such a situation is also very important and it should become a part of regular exercise of channels. Regions such as Hyderabad have taken bold steps at the local dealer association level to make sure that default does not happen. Similarly upcountry markets will also need to pull up their socks and mobilize a bit.
"We have already proposed to form a `Channel Forum' manned by vendors, press people and the channel community. This will help us to keep an eye on situations like this and may be we will be in a better position to stop something like this to happen," added Singh.