The ostrich mentality

DQW Bureau
31 Mar 2009


Ostriches are strange creatures. They are huge, beautiful and dumb-together

that makes for a deadly combination. But the one thing that gets most mention is

how in face of grave danger, instead of fleeing and saving themselves they put

their head in sand and wish the danger away.

Something similar is happening in the IT sector. We were the first one's to

start harping about how badly we had been affected-the dollar prices are going

up, no one is spending, what are we expected to do-the standard statements in

times of crisis. The thinkers or visionaries among us propagated 'innovation'.

But it has been minimum six months since we have all known the fact that the

market conditions are not likely to improve any further. In fact, come to think

of it have you seen even a small change in the way business has been conducted?


My personal measure of how things are at ground level is the IT Panchayat (ITP)

series that we organize across the country. The response from the latest

edition, has left me a bit befuddled.

The first IT Panchayat I attended three years ago, which was at the height of

the boom in IT sector, the issues were the same. Now when the IT industry and

even for that matter the world economy is facing a crisis of a huge magnitude,

dealers, national distributors and vendors are still crying over the same

issues. The only difference is that now they have another issue-'slowdown'-to

vent their anger on. In fact people somehow have firmly started to believe that

their problems are unresolvable and no one is looking at finding solutions. And

as the oft repeated statement goes-if you don't look for something chances that

you will find it are bare minimum.

So in someway everyone in the channel space is behaving like an ostrich. No

one is ready to start a process, make a change. The vendor's because they never

try and forge relationships with partners. Everyone vendor representative that I

have met in the last two years has been harping about upcountry being where they

will grow but how many of the senior people have actually taken that trip to the

location and met the channel partner's and tried to even test the market. Very

few I can assure you. Holding fancy meetings in exotic locations will not get

you the ground realities or loyalty. The national distributors in front of

vendors project themselves as someone who know the channel but whenever a simple

issue of a DoA arises, they wash their hands and become a logistic company. If

this is the situation can we expect some ground breaking regulations from them

especially when they are busy trying to minimize their market exposure?


As for partners, apart from business most of their time is spent quibbling

amongst themselves. If a partner is selling a product at Rs 100 just to get one

up they will sell the same for Rs 98. And then expect someone else to come and

sort out their mess.

So am I wrong in saying in saying that they have an ostrich mentality? I only

hope that someone sees sense before the crisis becomes deeper.