Market Needs Sheela Ki Jawani



Hey Hey, I Know You Want It But You
Never Gonna Get It
Tere Haath Kabhi Na Aani
Maane Na Maane Koi
Duniya Yeh Saari, Mere Ishq Ki Hai Deewani
Ab Dil Karta Hai Haule
Haule Se, Main Toh Khud Ko Gale Lagaun
Kisi Aur Ki Mujhko Zaroorat
Kya, Main Toh Khud Se Pyaar Jataun
(What’s My Name, What’s My
Name, What’s My Name)
My Name Is Sheela
Sheela Ki Jawani

Before you wonder what Sheela Ki
Jawani
is doing in a discussion on the Indian IT market let me
put in the proper context. The year 2010 has been one of the worst
years for Bollywood. Movie after movie, made with huge budgets,
flopped badly at the turnstiles. Conventional story lines have become
pass`e, conventional way of conducting movie businesses have proved
to be turkeys at the box office-there was a need for innovation if
producers and financiers have to make money out of Bolloywood. The
result is innovations like Sheela ki Jawani or Munni
Badnaam Hui
; irrespective of whether the movies worked or not,
catchy songs promoted aggressively through various media much before
the release of the films have worked wonders financially. Tees
Maar Khan
is yet to release, but Sheela Ki Jawani has
ensured enough eyeballs and financial windfall for the producers,
even if the movie now bombs at the box office-that’s the innovation
I am talking about. When the going got tough for Bollywood, at least
some enterprising producers/marketeers have devised innovative routes
to sustain their businesses during these bad times.

As the year comes to a close, the IT
market too is in dire need of such innovations. Unlike Bollywood, it
was definitely not a Dabanng year for the channel. After all,
2010 has again proved to be a challenging year for most partners.
Increasing commoditization of most hardware products, diminishing
margins, perennial credit crunches, principals going on a direct
retail route, piracy and counterfeiting-the challenges have been
manifold and seemingly insurmountable. Cornered and pressurized, 2010
was the ripe time for partners to devise innovations like Sheela
ki Jawani
to revive their businesses, now that it had become
certain that conventional way of channel market dynamics need a
complete makeover for sustainable businesses in the future. It’s not
that some partners have not tried anything on these lines, but 2010
at least did not see anything spectacular like a badnaam Munni
or a jawan Sheela from the IT marketplace that could leave a
lasting imprint on the business.

For one, some partners started look at
online more seriously in 2010 eye. The first push, expectedly came
from the national distributors and as a natural corollary many of the
channel partners were compelled to go partly on the online route. In
fact, Ingram Micro’s b2b
website for resellers had been a resounding success in FY10 in
improving transparency and reducing costs of doing both stock sales
and run-rate business. The more visible innovation was many of the
partners foraying into non-IT areas. The definition of IT, as a
result, got gradually expanded in 2010 and included telecom (mobile
phones, mobile Internet devices etc.), consumer electronics
(intelligent LCD TVs) and even niche areas like physical security and
surveillance products. The convergence of the IT channel fraternity
with the telecom channel, consumer electronics channel or more niche
channels, as a consequence, could come closest to being IT channel’s
Sheela
during 2010.
There
are still a lot of missing innovations-fixing the DoA and warranty
ambiguities, targeting the government sector, focusing harder on
retail. Hopefully these and more innovations will be brought up by
partners in 2011, just as Bollywood, I am sure, would find its newer
Munnis
and
Sheelas.

Happy
New
Year. See you in 2011.

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