By Zia Askari
In an effort to thwart the ongoing onslaught of online portals, channel partner associations from all over the country and uniting to create a national channel association. The first and the foremost objective of this effort will be to create a national online trading platform for over 10,000 channel partners in India.
This announcement was made during the All India ICT Channel Conclave, organized by New Delhi based Progressive Channels Association of Information Technology (PCAIT). The conclave witnessed participation of PCAIT members from across India and deliberated on topics related to the growing competition faced by ICT channel partners from the online e-retail industry and creating new opportunities for the channel retailers to flourish in the market.
Speaking about this special initiative, Champak Gurjar- President, FITAM said that time has finally come for channel partners to put a united stand in front of the growing encroachment their business by online platforms such as Flipkart.com or Snapdeal.com.
“This national association of channel partners will connect all the small and big channel partners of India in a single thread and together we will fight with this menace of online portals. Our first objective would be to create this online trading marketplace,” he explained.
Even though the finer details of this national association such as its name and executive members are yet to be finalized, it is quite clear that channel partners from all over the country are eager to come together in order to regain their lost business ground.
Online Marketplace for Channels
As part of this national conclave, more than 80 channel partners from across the country got together for the first time to promote a common objective of setting up of an online marketplace, owned by channels themselves and bridge the gap of a dedicated IT and product service portal.
The portal will be a first of its kind in India that will offer product based services across the length and breadth of the country owing to the strong channel network of PCAIT. Additionally, it will cater to the demands of the online customer who, due to a lack of proper service platform, returns the product owing to defects or unsatisfactory performance.
Alok Gupta, President, PCAIT, commenting on the relevance of the conclave stated that “Over the years there has been a tremendous growth in the number of online retailers operating in India. However, there is an urgent need to pay attention to the practices deployed by such portals when it comes to procurement and selling of products at rates which are way below the market rates. Also, providing online service for the products is a key issue which has been lacking till now. The conclave is an attempt to address this disparity and make the market a level playing field for ICT channel partners by providing them a platform to operate their business, online in order to cater to the fast growing segment”.
The conclave featured various presentations from members across the regions, focusing on related topics. Some key speakers at the conclave included B Hari- President, CIITA (East), Champak Gurjar- President, FITAM (West), Karthikeyan S. – President, SIITA (South) and Prasanto K Roy- Member, PCAIT.
Shedding more light on the objective of the conclave, Saket Kapur, General Secretary PCAIT (North) opined “ICT Channel Conclave is a step towards identifying and addressing the issues being faced by the channel retailers from the online platforms. Being true to the theme of our conclave which was- ‘Growth with Unity’ we understand that online is an important mode of doing business, hence we encourage our members to take their business online and explore new growth avenues”.