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Small Is Better

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DQW Bureau
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Till the late eighties, the big mainframes from IBM were considered to be the ultimate. In fact, the mainframes which used to be as big as a room, fulfilled all the computing needs. But then came the era of PCs which needed no more space then a table.

Today's PCs have the same computing power or probably more than the mainframes of the eighties. In addition, they are priced pretty cheap as compared to those huge mainframes.

In the same way, till the last two year or so, all the action as far as IT buying was concerned was concentrated in and around the major metros. Vendors as well as the distributors had not even bothered to venture out to the hinterland.

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But in the last two years, the whole scenario has changed and changed very rapidly. First, the economic recession took its toll with buying pattern going for a toss. This forced everybody to look for alternate markets. Second, the awareness of IT in smaller B and C class towns grew rapidly and at the same time their buying capacity also went up considerably.

Both the factors put together meant that every vendor worth its salt and also every distributor started focussing very heavily on the smaller towns. And suddenly, towns like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, Pune, Cochin, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad etc have become the new el dorado for the IT industry.

This has meant in vendors hot-footing to these cities. Suddenly there is a big explosion in terms of number of roadshows, seminars, events, exhibitions etc being held there. And it shows no signs of decreasing in the near future.

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At the same time, we at the DQ Week have also contributed our mite in furthering the cause of these smaller cities by holding channel meets. Called IT Panchayat, these meets have already been held at Jamshedpur and Cochin. Next on the agenda are Bhopal, Coimbatore, Pune, Nasik and Ahmedabad which would be held over the next four weeks.

Interestingly, the issues and problems faced by the channels in these small towns are almost the same as what is articulated by channels in the metros. Issues like warranty support, price protection, undercutting etc are some of the major problems for them. But unlike the previous times, vendors and distributors are now making sure that they give these issues a patient hearing.

Which in turn proves that small is increasingly more beautiful.

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