Importance of associations

DQW Bureau
07 Oct 2004

What is the total number of channel partners opera-ting in the country. While
there are no clear numbers available, it is by and large accepted that the
number is 20,000 at the minimum and about 30,000 at the maxi-mum. Even if you
take the number as 20,000, it is quite huge by any standard. Most importantly,
these partners are very widely spread across more than 600 cities and towns of

And when you have such a large community in place, comes the need to have a
body or bodies to take care of their welfare. That's why associations are
extremely important for the channel community as they have a very important role
to play.

Interestingly, in most of the important B and C class towns associations
exist and are pretty much active too. Notable amongst these are in Jalandhar,
Jaipur, Kanpur, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Shillong, Baroda, Surat, Nagpur, Pune,
Pondicherry, Madurai, Trichy, Cochin etc. All of them are doing a lot of top
quality work in furthering the cause of its channel community members.

Surprisingly, the metros are lagging behind on this front. While Kolkata is
an exception as COMPASS is going great guns there, Mumbai is somewhat okay as
far as TAIT is concerned. However, Delhi and Chennai are absolutely the culprits
on this front. Both these cities have multiple associations and on top of that
none of them are effective.

In fact, Chennai takes the cake where five associations-DAIT, ITTA, Sneham,
G-10 and CITRA-exist. While the first two claim to represent the interests of
the community as a whole, the last two are trying to further the cause of
supplies resellers. And in between there is Sneham, which is trying to be the
voice of system integrators.

Thankfully, Delhi does not have so many of them. Rather two bodies exist at
the moment-DCTA and CMDA. While DCTA is more of less defunct, CMDA has a
handful of members who are into the supplies business. However, things are
changing in the capital as one brand new association is getting formed which has
representations from a cross-section of the channel community.

Although there are plenty of associations all over the country representing
the channel community, what they lack is a unified body, which will take care of
issues that have national ramifications. While one such body-NACIT-was
formed about sometime back with the active backing of DQCI, it doesn't seem to
have lived up to its initial promise. It has remained more or less as a body
representing the channel community of the western region. Other regions have
cooled down after the initial euphoria.

Which brings us to the question; do we really need a national association?
The answer is an emphatic yes. Remember the issue of handling charges imposed by
the top three distis last year. Due to the efforts put in by NACIT, the charges
were rolled back by the distis. Which really proves that associations really
have an important role to play.

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