Amid the increasing blare of the pandemic and the spectre of omicron casting its long shadows over the tech landscape, we have ushered into 2022. Channel success which has always been the holy-grail for any business is all set to get a makeover in the new year.
As part of our effort to get the channel community better informed and get an earful of what the leading distributors, who sit at the most critical point of IT business, are thinking, expecting, and planning for the channel community in 2022, we have started this new section to record the channel predictions of the most prominent players of the IT industry.
Here, as part of this special series of Tech Forecasts, Ingram Micro India registers its predictions for 2022.
“We also provide post-sales support to partners on high end technology through our services business and adjacency driven channel expansion.”
Navneet Singh Bindra,
Vice President & Country Chief Executive,
Ingram Micro India
A top-of-the-table technology distribution company, Ingram Micro focuses on cloud, mobility, technology lifecycle, supply chain, and technology solutions, and offers support services as well.
The architect behind Ingram’s recent tractions is its maverick Vice President & Country Chief Executive Navneet Singh Bindra. Navneet has led the company through the turbulent pandemic times and has successfully forged a dynamic and resilient organization that stays a few steps ahead of competition in the ever-changing distribution landscape. Through his long stint as a business leader and now as the head of the organization, he has built a reputation as a fair and balanced interface between vendors and the channel.
Armed with over two decades of experience in the IT industry across multiple organisations like Godrej, Wipro, Redington, LG, and Bharti Airtel, Navneet has donned many hats and handled multiple functions in marketing, sales and business operations and driven various organization-wide initiatives.
In a special interaction with SME Channels, Navneet Singh Bindra, Vice President & Country Chief Executive, Ingram Micro India, shares his company’s Channel Predictions for the year 2022. Edited excerpts
Give a brief introduction about your company.
Ingram Micro helps businesses Realize the Promise of Technology™. It delivers a full spectrum of global technology and supply chain services to businesses around the world. It amplifies the value of its position at the intersection of thousands of vendor, reseller and retailer partners by customizing and delivering highly targeted applications for industry verticals, B2B customers and commercial needs. Deep expertise in technology solutions, mobility, cloud, and supply chain solutions enable its business partners to operate efficiently and successfully in the markets they serve. Unrivalled agility, deep market insights and the trust and dependability that come from decades of proven relationships set Ingram Micro apart and ahead.
As the pandemic is still there and a new variant is spreading, what are the major market trends you are forecasting for 2022?
The pandemic undoubtedly has impacted organisations across the globe, but it also served as an opportunity for many businesses to evaluate their preparedness to handle unprecedented disruptions. The major trends we forsee in 2022 are:
- Government will continue to invest not only in digital infrastructure but also open new fronts like digital currency and data interoperability with other governments.
- Consumers are expecting significantly enhanced digital experience as they now have moved heavily to digital buying mode, e.g., online purchase and transaction etc.
- Businesses will strive to capture differentiated value through human innovation and creativity – days of digital transformation driving market differentiation are over. Human innovation will mean that employees will be enabled with intelligent technologies and there will be tight alignment between customer and employee experiences.
- For B2B businesses, competency of seller organization during sales engagement will become far more important than relationship or other customers’ references.
- Social responsibility and sustainability will move towards centerstage of corporate actions as the external stakeholders will reward companies who execute well on sustainability.
Where does India figure in your overall global marketing strategy?
The overall global marketing strategy is developed keeping in mind that India is one of the fastest growing economy in the world. In India, we ensure that the implementation of similar approach should be applied in the local market.
Further, it is important to understand in detail the country’s individual state markets for their business environments, especially when dealing with such a large and fragmented market. Within the country, there are large regional landscapes, which needs a varied approach as well.
What’s your total headcount in India? Are you planning any significant team expansion or capacity addition in 2022?
Our total headcount right now is closer to 3,000 and have plans to expand to approx. 400 more in 2022 mostly under the technology side of the business. We at Ingram Micro India continuously strive to hire good talent in accordance with the business needs and to address the expansion plans.
Which product segments are the current focus areas of Ingram Micro in India?
Among the areas that receive our attention and focus, currently, are:
- Advanced Automation plays a pivotal role in driving innovation which will become a key differentiator in 2022. Automation is moving out of the back office and into the front office to become a powerful enabler of new business and operating models. Enterprises must design an automation fabric as a framework to construct, orchestrate, and regulate a hybrid workforce of human and digital workers to achieve this condition.
- Security industry is constantly changing, evolving and now moving from discussion of emerging security concerns to a bias toward action. As a result, the security industry is responding with greater automation and integration. The industry is also pivoting from automated detection to prevention and response with a focus on applying AI and machine learning to speed remediation.
- Interplay of multiple technologies to support rapid growth of smart infrastructure. Internet of-things (IoT) and edge technologies that ride advanced networks like 5G have demonstrated that they can empower smart, connected ports, roads, and trains. It’s a strong match, and in 2022 we expect smart infrastructure investments to gain remarkable growth, powered by a government spending windfall in all geographies.
- Everything-as-a-service – The adoption of digitization in both professional and personal lives have accelerated. As businesses adopt a digital-first strategy, they continue to reap the benefits in terms of increased business agility, reduced redundancy, and increased efficiency.
As a technology distribution company, where do you see more traction: cloud, mobility, technology lifecycle, or technology solutions or any other?
As a technology distribution company, we see more traction in datacenter, cloud, security and outcome driven solutions. The vast majority of the value the datacenter, cloud and security generate comes from increased agility, innovation, and resilience provided to the business with sustained velocity. The focus on incorporating reusability and composability so that investments in modernization may be quickly expanded across the business. Instead of evaluating individual applications for potential cost reductions, this method can assist focus programs on where the advantages matter most.
Are you planning to transition from ecommerce into an omni-channel experience provider? Please detail us.
Yes, for our partners who are our customers. We already have multimodal engagements like IMEcom as well as physical transaction handling and this will be refined further.
What major trends would you forecast in the channel market?
Against the backdrop of a dynamic tech landscape, we foresee some prominent trends in the channel market. We can clearly see:
- Shifting from a CAPEX model to an OPEX model to create a lot of opportunities which allows companies to spread their expenses with low upfront investment.
- Shifting more towards the Solution based enterprise as partners are significantly enhancing the digital experience for better business outcomes.
- Advancing the digital transformation journey, while offering smart technology, which is significantly more efficient and cost effective in the process.
- Partner eco-system to expand into other areas to accelerate their market reach.
- Investing on talent acquisition, development and retention which may become a prime focus at channel level
As a distributor, do you have any channel expansion plans for 2022? Do you plan any additional investment in terms of skillsets enhancement including technical, sales and marketing for your team?
Ingram Micro planned to offer a pathway to increased expertise and expanded core focus, plus the background needed to optimize full solution deployment. Ingram Micro provides top trainings from Industry leading vendors to fit every business need. Not only can Ingram Micro’s training team provide access to streamlined and convenient training options aligned with key vendors, but also work closely with solution providers to map company and individual professional development plans that deliver a competitive edge. Ingram Micro can also help resellers in catering to end-user training opportunities on various technologies to gain an innovative edge in the marketplace and promote a complete solution sale. We also provide post-sales support to partners on high end technology through our services business and adjacency driven channel expansion.
What are your plans for onboarding new brands or addition of new business lines for next year?
We have plans to enhance the portfolio and working with various brands to onboard in the areas of business adjacencies, which we anyway keep on doing as a part of the business development project. We are focusing to expand the business, while creating additional long term revenue streams.
How would you like to value add to pre-sales, training, post-sales services for your partners and customers?
For small SME organizations, we help in developing the pitch for their costumers, apart from training their engineers and helping to get the certification etc. We help design solutions as per project requirement. POC / Demo is another important area where we contribute to the business growth.
We have a large team size of pre-sales covering networking, store, back-up, virtualization, Cyber security architecture etc. Post-sales support is jointly driven by Ingram in-house team and leading Professional Services partners.
What is your geo – spread? What is your plan for enhancing geographies presence from Point of Presence or sales points perspective?
We are spreading our footprint across India. The plan for PoS and sales points enhancements, we will engage with partners to co-develop models which will enable them to enhance their footprint digitally as well as physically, while providing advancement to businesses with greater flexibility, control and intelligence than ever before.