Zenith on mission reclamation

DQW Bureau
02 Jul 2005

Zenith is trying to reclaim lost ground in the channel network. The company
has tied-up with Mumbai-based Hardtrac Computer Services, to enhance its
presence in the distribution channel in West India. Hardtrac will sell the
Zenith PCs through its existing network of 350 partners across A, B, C and D
class cities of Maharashtra. According to PK Gupta, Senior Vice President,
Zenith Computers Ltd, the company will be entering a similar tie-up in Gujarat
in the month of July.

Of late, Zenith stock with the resellers has taken a beating. And it is so
across India even in the regions such as Kolkata and Orissa where the company
claims it has a stronghold. A random sampling of the channel partners brought
forth that the company has not particularly been aggressive with its marketing
strategies. Narender Dhanuka of Kolkata-based Odyssey Computer Services accounts
growing competition as the cause. "Resellers are shifting their focus on
other lucrative brands/products," he said. Resellers in Kolkata are at
their candid best when they say there has been no proper marketing, and no local
person to deal with their queries. Besides, they also state that the company
does not deliver on commitment to resellers. The tale is not different in North
India either. Here it is alleged that the company lacks a clear marketing focus
and is unconcerned about their channel health.

Vinay Saxena, who handles Zenith brand at Delhi-based Kadam Marketing said,
"The company has a lax attitude with a very slow market response time. He
cited a case of an order placed on April 18 which was not delivered until May
3." That apart, he states that sales support from Zenith is nil.

"Zenith has lost its earlier glory as a prominent vendors among the
channels," said Rajeev Khanna, Computer Touch, Jalandhar. Khanna, who is
also General Secretary of the Jalandhar Computer Dealers' Association (JCDA),
added that Zenith partners in the region change every two years.

Besides, service is also an issue, Naresh Kumar Kanted, Director of Ritchie
Street-based Sagar Infosystem, Chennai, said, "Zenith needs to strengthen
its service network and have continuous engagement with the resellers, if it
wants to survive and grow." Zenith authorized dealers agree.

A Chennai-based Zenith authorized dealer, Ramya Shivakumar, Director,
Hansoever Technologies Pvt Ltd, said, "Zenith has to strengthen its service
network, now that the company is talking of expanding its network. It will
lessen the service burden on authorized partners like us."

Currently, Zenith has around 150 partners across the country. According to
Gupta, the initiative to strengthen the reach and depth of its channel has begun
from Hardtrac in Mumbai and the company is focusing on the SMB segment.

DQW News Bureau


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