Association: A group of people from a common community that works toward a common goal to fulfill the business objectives and create harmony in the community.
This definition might be true for a generic association, but with the business dynamics in the IT industry changing every moment, it’s time enough as per the leading IT channel associations to form a nationwide IT channel association that can address the IT channels’ issues and settle various disputes that cannot be solved by a particular region.
We took a general census from the IT associations across the nation to get some inputs from the regional associations. Most of these associations would welcome a National Association, in fact in past there has been one try to make a national association for software channel partners. Though, this national software association is yet to be formed. However, there are few associations that differ and feel that a national association might not be able to take care of the regional business issues and a national association might just remain as a sleeping partner for channel members.
Puneet Singhal, President, Computer Media Dealers Association (CMDA), Delhi, is enthusiastic with the thought of a National Association. “With business rules changing so soon, we really need an association that can guide us to manage our business prudently and make our business models agile.” Commenting on the structure of this kind of an association, he said, “We could divide the association region wise and than organize various events or address issues.” Elaborating the essence of such an association, Singhal said that the IT channel business is not performing as profitably as it used to do and now it is time enough when they require an organization that can look into the business matters more holistically.
MC Jain, Secretary, Information Technology Traders’ Association (ITTA), Chennai, said, “An association for the resellers at the national level is very much required and this will help them to voice their issues more powerfully. The national level association can play a bigger role in dealers’ problems such as payment issues, government policies, warranty issues and also have a check on unscrupulous players who often shift their base after cheating a particular region.” He also stressed on the need for continuing with regional level associations and close working relationship between regional associations and national association.
Added Nirmal Jain, President, ITTA, “A national level reseller association is the need of the hour and someone should play a lead role to guide the business which is on a roller-coaster ride because of unhealthy competition and wafer thin margins. The association should be a common forum where resellers from across the country can share their views and messages, which can also alert others in the business.”
According to B Kuberan, Secretary, Association of Computer Traders Trichy (ACTT), “We have already initiated some
steps to have a common forum for the resellers and we got a very good response from the associations in the upcountry markets of Tamil Nadu. We are ready to go all out and support these kinds of moves as this would be of great help and support for every reseller. The national level association should grow more powerful to address warranty and service issues with MNC vendors who dictate terms and their service is poor, while local issues can be sorted out by the regional units.”
L Mahesh Babu, President, ACTT, added, “Our association has already requested media support to develop and promote a common website for the resellers where traders can share their personal experience and problems in business. Unity is strength and if all the resellers come together, they can take up any challenge in business and can get early response from vendors on day-to-day issues. The association can also play its role in controlling the unethical competition and price wars.”
According to R Mahesh, Secretary, Coimbatore Computer Dealers Association (CCDA), “As of today, there is no common forum for the resellers/traders in India and associations such as MAIT have demonstrated their strength in the time of requirement. However, certain top people who come from big companies and multinational background influence most of the associations in IT. But, there is no association to represent the traders’ community in the national level in India; we have absurd taxation systems which affects the business very much. The formation of national association with members from all regions should be a strong and powerful body to take issues with central government and get some benefits for the resellers community.”
Added Natarajan, President, CCDA, “The national association should be ready to fight with vendors on warranty and service issues and also try to influence government to go for more IT projects and promote IT business in the country. They should also give their valuable inputs to the government while framing policies and promoting the country as the IT destination of world.”
said Aloshious George, President, All Kerala Computer Manufacturers and Dealers Association (AKCMDA), “A national federation for resellers is a welcome one, however, the present regional associations should continue to exist and do their activities. A national committee can be formed with regional association members participating in it and address the common issues affecting all resellers.”
Pointed out Anil Sachdeva, President, Delhi Computer Traders Association (DCTA), “I have been talking about a national IT association for a long time and I feel that this kind of an association is the need of the hour. The IT industry has gone from bad to worse and the business ethics have gone for a toss. Till the time we would not do a collective effort to kill the malpractices, IT industry will face such issues like payment default or incentive scheme payments.” As per him, this association would be a catalyst in the IT channel’s growth in India. “Channel is an integral part for the IT business in India and we need to maintain our business profitably.”
Umang Mehta, Spokesperson, Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT), Mumbai, vouched for such an association. “I feel a national association would give a new meaning to the IT industry. An industry that defines business models and standard business practices. National IT association can catapult the IT growth in India.”
Hitesh Mody, President, Suburban Computer Association of Latent Entities (SCALE), Mumbai, has been talking about a national warranty policy and feels that a national association is a must for the Indian IT industry. “Working on disparate business models in the same country might just increase the error rates. If we have a national association in place, I am sure life would be more profitable.”
With a growing consensus for a National IT Association, most of the association members are looking for a kick-start for this movement that can revolutionize the way channel community works in India.
S Gopikrishna in Chennai