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Revival on the way

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DQW Bureau
New Update





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Shimla, popularly known as Queen of the Hill Stations, is a popular tourist

destination. For the IT channel partners in the region, there are a number of

opportunities in the form of government offices, limited companies and the apple

orchards. “The size of the market is approximately 20 percent as compared to the

Delhi market,” informed Ashwani Kumar of Ace Infotech Systems, with more and

more partners coming from outside to set up their businesses in the capital city

of Himachal Pradesh.

One of the major trends in the region is that of retail. “Retail is huge.

This year, with pay scale of government being revised we are hopeful of seeing

good sales,” claimed Satnam Singh of Access Marketing.

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Shimla is also known for its apple orchards. And while Kumar pointed out that

this is a big business opportunity for them it is only seasonal, with August to

October being the peak season.

The Shimla IT market is fairly small with a handful of local IT dealers.

However, in the recent past there has been an increasing number of dealers

setting up their businesses here, to tap the potential. This has not gone down

very well with the local channel which plans to take up the issue.

Shimla at IT Dealers' Association has about 20 registered members. The

association was formed about six years back but remained dormant. With growing

issues in the market, members have recently decided to revive the association.

“The process has started and we should be registered by the end of this month.

Through the association, we will aim to increase computer knowledge among

customers. We will do this through seminars and other literacy programs. One

issue we will tackle is that of fake dealers, or outsiders who are operating in

our region, eg. partners from Chandigarh,” informed Jayant Upadhyay of Eline,

who is also President of the association.

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Market name: Shimla


Location: Himachal Pradesh, North-West India


Size of the market: Approximately 400 PCs a month


Surrounding markets: Rampur, Bilaspur, Chandigarh, Solan


Prominent dealers: Access Marketing, Ace Infotech Systems, Computer

Care, Eline, HTP Computers, Microbridge


Association: Shimla IT Dealers' Association


Business verticals: Government, SOHO, education, corporate


Recent market trends: Dealers are looking forward to a profitable

festive season post the lag due to slowdown






While government is a huge opportunity in the region, channel partners

informed that due to the existence of HP State Electronic Development

Corporation (HPSEDC), they were not getting any share of the IT deals. “The

government has ordered that all IT purchases should be made through HPSEDC. The

corporation in return makes all their IT purchases directly from vendors which

is leaving the channel out,” explained Kumar.

Satnam Singh, Access Marketing
What are the major issues in Shimla market?



In Himachal Pradesh, we are facing a major issue with the state

government.Our local association has just become active and is in the

process of being revived. With all the government orders going to HP State

Electronic Development Corporation (HPSEDC) it is a big setback for the

channel, since 80 percent of the business in the state comes from government

sector. It should be an open market and not closed and monopolistic.



How is the channel planning to address this issue?



We have an association-Shimla IT Dealers Association, which was formed

six years back. It has not been revived and we are getting it registered.

Once it is registered we take this matter up with the state government.

What are the business verticals in Shimla?



Apart from government there is education and a bit of corporate segment.

Retail is also huge here with many channel partners opening their showrooms.

This year we are hopeful of good sales during Navratras, especially since

the pay scale of government employees has been revised.

Sharing his opinion on the current situation Singh stressed, “About 80

percent of business in the state happens in the government sector, however, we

get zero percent of it. It should be an open market and not monopolistic.”

Another issues is involving freight. “Distributors started collecting freight

amount from us about a year ago. We have to shell out about Rs 100-200 per

machine. This puts much pressure on us as we have low margins and yet have to

sell at lower prices in order to compete with nearby markets like Chandigarh,”

informed Neeraj Sood of Microbridge who is also the Press Secretary for the

association.

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