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Patiala partners brace up to fight e-tailing

Patiala, a calm city in the state of Punjab, is famous for its lichi gardens, its traditional attire of parandee, turba, phulkari and jutti and ten lavish gates erected by Jat ruler Maharaja Narendra Singh (1845-1862) who fortified the city of Patiala by constructing ramparts and ten gates around it. However, a city so colourful is somewhat going grey when it comes to IT industry. Cyber shopping has cut a huge chunk of customers and this is affecting the dealer's relationship with decade old customers.

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DQW Bureau
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Patiala, a calm city in the state of Punjab, is famous for its lichi gardens, its traditional attire of parandee, turba, phulkari and jutti and ten lavish gates erected by Jat ruler Maharaja Narendra Singh (1845-1862) who fortified the city of Patiala by constructing ramparts and ten gates around it. However, a city so colourful is somewhat going grey when it comes to IT industry. Cyber shopping has cut a huge chunk of customers and this is affecting the dealer's relationship with decade old customers.

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Nonetheless, the hot selling products remain Dell and HP laptops along with canon cameras and lens. The business verticals with popular demand of multi- functioning printers and photostat machines remain in the SOHO and education sector.

Atul Singla, CEO, Computer Empire on being questioned about the working of Punjab Association of Computer Traders (PACT) said, it is active yet it needs to take immediate action on the condition of trade due to flourishing e-commerce and unbilled products being supplied from Jammu.

As we spoke to DS Wallia, chairman, PACT, he said it is because IT products are sold on 0% VAT in Jammu as a consequence of which many choose to buy products from there whose eventual victims become dealers. He also highlighted his concern on emerging e-commerce as it has already reduced the business by 30-40% in the past 1 year. However, when association went to have talks with ministry the response was very positive as even government doesn't get any sales tax from online shopping, added DS Wallia.

On budget all agreed in chorus that it has hardly made any difference in their trade. The hope for ache din now seems to be distant, in the dark.

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Interviews

- Atul Singla, CEO,Computer Empire

What are the top-selling brands in Patiala?

HP, DELL, ACER

How active is the association, if any?

Punjab Association for Computer Traders (PACT) is active in the region.

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What are your suggestions to improve the association activities?

It should work on issues related to tax and supply of unbilled products in the market.

How is the market performing in the last 6 months?

Market is consistently slow from past 6months.

What are the primary business verticals for this market?

SOHO and Education

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Do you face any issues with the vendors or customers?

Piracy, because the original software and anti- virus are expensive. There is a huge demand for pirated software. However, this affects our credibility and sales both.

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*Mavjit Singh, CEO, Standard Systems

Any comments on the recent budget's effect on IT industry.

No effect

Which is the hottest selling product?

All in one photostat machines, Multi- purpose printers, cameras

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Is e-commerce a threat?

E-commerce is a huge threat. Their selling price is much less than our purchase price. This is affecting our dealership and immediate action is required to rescue the real world market from policy makers.

Market Name: Patiala

Market Location: Punjab

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Surrounding Markets: Rajpura, Ambala, Khanna

Computer Association/IT Association: Punjab Association of Computer Traders (PACT)

Prominent Dealers: Blue Waves Technologies, Computer Empire, Standard Systems, Viki Computech, Intek Systems and Services, Gupta Sales Corporation

Business Verticals: SOHO and Educationma

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