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Sun is again shining bright

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DQW Bureau
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Last 18 months have been an eclipse for this erstwhile sunshine industry. An industry that was synonymous with the glamor and good profits, was hit hard by the recession. But the eclipse seems to have receded and the sun is shining back.

January 2003 saw an increased growth that was nearly 8-10 percent. Sentiments in the local markets have also risen across the nation. There are various reasons attributed to the present trends. Some of the channel partners feel that this trend is one of the regular fluctuations in the market and few of the resellers are feeling very sure about this upward trend and believe that this growth rate would sustain.

November and December 2002 were taken to be the rock bottom for this recession period and January came with a fresh lease of business for the resellers. When asked about any specific segment's contribution, most of the resellers feel that all segments are contributing equally though the government, especially the defense buying is very low.

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RK Malhotra, CEO, OA Compserve, said, "January was very good and the business so far in February has also been good.

The home and SOHO segment has contributed very well to this segment. Companywise, HP has performed very well in this period and it would be maintaining the upward trend hopefully."

He also added that the general sentiment is positive and this is one more reason why market seems to be more positive as the channel partners are trying to push the products in the market in a positive manner. Margins are also slightly better. "This slight hike in the sales can be attributed to the JFM factor."

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Contrary to this belief, Ankur Bansal, Director, Pulse Systems, saw marginal growth. "December was very low, which could be one reason for which resellers are finding the sales better because the month-on-month sales have been definitely good. But if one needs to take a holistic view, growth is yet to happen. Yes, I do agree that margins are slightly better now." He also added that a lot of people are delaying buying as they are expecting some benefits in the forthcoming union budget and due to the cricket world cup the thrust is more on consumer durable products.

Amit Kedia, Director, Shree Sagarmatha, has seen a overwhelming growth. "Considering the slowdown that happened in the November and December, January has been a welcome break. But now the golden question is that will it sustain. As margins are slightly better I am sure the general sentiments would remain positive even if the numbers don't come through." He predicts that February would be slightly better than the last month.

Similar sentiments were opined by Bharat Bhushan, Director, RR Systems, "January 2003 was the best during this recessional period and I hope this trend continues. I have no idea why this has happened but I am sure this would continue." Now is the time for good margins and better toplines, he pointed out.

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Harsh Vij, CEO, SD Computers, has changed its business model and felt that the general market trends are moving towards

positive. Though, Rajesh Agarwal, MD, Micro Max Technologies, felt that the numbers are coming through but the eternal problem of payment defaults is on the rise.

Gaurav Jajodia, Director, Mangal Electronics Pvt Ltd, said, "Margins are definitely better but the market dynamics are very volatile. Various importers are pushing the products in the market, the schemes are repetitive and there seems to be no innovation from the vendors."

With margins getting slightly better and sentiments being high, the market needs to be observed closely. We just hope that this trend sustains over a quarter or two and brings back the past glory.

Shweta Khanna

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