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Coimbatore resellers boycott HP

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DQW Bureau
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In an unprecedented action, the Coimbatore market observed the week November

19-25 as boycott HP week. The event has left an indelible mark in the history of

IT business in Coimbatore market. The week has been truly observed as black days

by the city resellers who boycotted HP's entire range of products. Named 'HP

1925 — Black Days', the novel protest got significance with entire channel

community here expressed in single voice their displeasure and protest against

HP for alleged harassment of the channel community.

The entire action was triggered of by a raid initiated by HP through its

private agency to curb free-flow of counterfeit cartridges in the Coimbatore

market. HP, along with its investigative team and local police, had carried out

this raid on November 9 and according to market reports, Maruthi Computers and

Sujee Computers were the two shops where the raid had been conducted. It is

understood that HP and its team had recovered a couple of fake cartridges from

these shops.

Meanwhile, the team had approached the local police to file an FIR and take a

legal course on the concerned parties. What annoyed the channel community in

Coimba-tore was HP and its team's least respect for the local associa-tion-Coimbatore

Computer Dealer Association (CCDA)-which tried to intervene in the matter and

solve it amicably. Secondly, the market feels HP is harassing the reseller

community in the name of raids regularly. According to them, HP has conducted

four raids in the last six months alone.

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Interestingly, the persistent approach to take police and legal action

against Maruthi Computers by the team was received with shock by resellers, as

Maruthi is a key partner of HP and has won many awards from the vendor for its

outstanding perfor-mance and commitment to the brand. "If this can happen

even to a sincere partner, who else will be spared by them," asked a

leading reseller of Coimba-tore. "We are not afraid of instigated raids,

but if HP is determined to curb fake products, it should catch the culprit

instead of harassing innocent traders like us. Has HP and its team ever tried to

investigate and find out the source of these products and take action against

them? And, why have HP or for that matter other consumable vendors not devised

any fool-proof concept to identify original products against fake off-hand by

resellers themselves? We are not selling fake products intentionally and at the

same time, we are unaware of any fake product coming in while purchasing

goods."

By and large, the channel community in Coimbatore market stood united with

the association to boycott HP's products for the November 19-25 week. CCDA is

again meeting shortly and will chart out further course of action in its general

body meeting. According to sources, the association is planning to extend this

boycott indefinitely, as there has been no response or communication from HP to

solve this issue till date. It is also learnt that resellers would return their

HP stocks to distributors as a sign of protest and not deal with the vendor

anymore.

"We are determined and will be together till we get a favorable reply

from HP. The association has tried all means to reach HP at various levels, but

none of them have been available to sort it out. All (the reply) we got is HP is

not directly involved in this initiative and it is carried out by a separate

wing from its Apac region," said another leading reseller.

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When The DQ Week tried to contact HP officials in Delhi as well as Chennai,

they preferred to remain tight lipped about this issue and declined to comment

anything, except saying that they do not have any direct role in it, as it is

being handled by their Apac region. When contac-ted, HP's agency EIPR also

declined to comment on this issue.

Several leading resellers of Coimbatore who are also key partners for HP such

as Bloom Electronics, Ozone Computer Services, Ashish Electronics, Init Systems,

e-Caps, Compu Soft Systems and Microbase, among others, have confirmed their

participation in the boycott.

"We want to be with the market and we will stand united to protect the

channel commu-nity's interest in business. We welcome HP's move to control

fake products, but they should plug it at source instead of targeting innocent

traders," said the number one reseller of Coimbatore market.

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"Today, we have cut-throat competition in business and resellers try to

source materials wherever it is cheaper. In the process, some fake products are

also being mixed with origi-nal ones and there is no mech-anism to identify it

off-hand by resellers. Finally, innocent traders are being targeted by vendors

to create some sense of fear in the market, which is a bad practice," said

another leading reseller in the market.

"The associations across the country should be streng-thened to handle

issues with the vendors. Presently, they have little respect for the associat-ions

assuming there is no unity among the resellers. We want to teach them a lesson

and show our strength and unity. The boycott would continue indefini-tely till

HP comes with a solut-ion and we are sure the vendor would act quickly if

business takes a hit in the market," said a key office-bearer of CCDA.

S Gopikrishna


Chennai

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