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, Supertron India registers its predictions for 2022.
“The growth in Industry is there but at the same time every partner at his level has to evaluate and see the Value addition they are doing by adding services which will help them in growth with good bottom line.”
From servers to laptops, from components to accessories, Supertron is a leading player in IT & Telecom distribution and services intermediary in India. The company boasts of a wide national network of over 9000 retail points, 24×7 logistics support, safe warehousing. The company caters to all formats of the business – whether it is traditional retail, modern trade or the online marketplace.
The architect behind Supertron’s growth story is its Marketing Director, Vibhor Agarwal. Agarwal, an industry veteran with over 30 years experience in IT hardware distribution, has led the company through the turbulent pandemic times and has successfully forged a dynamic and resilient organization that has sailed through the ever-changing distribution landscape. Through his long stint as a business leader, he has earned a distinct reputation as a healthy interface between vendors and the channel community.
As Director Marketing in Supertron since 2004, Agarwal manages the overall Sales and Distribution for the Group and is also part of the Board.
In a special interaction with SME Channels, Vibhor Agarwal, Director Marketing, Supertron India, shares his company’s Channel Predictions for the year 2022. Edited excerpts
Give a brief introduction about your company.
Supertron is in to IT Hardware Distribution for more than 25 years and we are rated among TOP 5 IT National Distributors in India. Our Headquarter is based out of Kolkatta and the Marketing Headquarter is in New Delhi. We have more than 35 Global Brands in our portfolio of distribution. Out of that approximately, 75% Brands are exclusive with us as ND PAN INDIA. We have 53 branches across the country employing approximately 700+ head counts and are a professionally managed Organization with robust Growth Plans of 20% year-on-year.
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 has redefined many things in life and there are many new normals which have come into practice. It does impact the Retail market to a great extent. We see a shift toward ONLINE due to fear of going out and shopping among the people. The new variant, as of now, is more visible in metros and we still do not see its impact in B & C class cities. The market for IT products will continue to grow, as our all market TAM has increased and users have understood that for computing there is need of a computing device like Desktop/Laptop and only phones can not fulfil the requirements. The WFH/LFH/EFH , are very much in practice which will help IT to grow but yes the growth will not be as it has been since Pandemic started as that was the time when the overall TAM had increased. Now, it will be regular growth on that increased TAM.
What major trends would you forecast in the channel market?
Channel market had seen very healthy last 1.5 -2 years in terms of overall business, but yes, now going is not easy. The growth in Industry is there but at the same time every partner at his level has to evaluate and see the Value addition they are doing by adding services which will help them in growth with good bottom line. Trend is slowly moving towards D2R ( Direct-to-Retail). Most of the Brands are looking forward to take this route.
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?
Yes as ND, our objective is to increase our partner base month on month and that is the only mantra of success for us, the more we expand our addressable markets, the more we can drive sales. We are already very strong in Upcountry Markets and are further investing to grow in smaller towns. Manpower training and Channel Training for specific product category is an ongoing process in our organization. With help from the vendors, we keep organising such training sessions that help in skill development, Marketing and Sales training. Pre Pandemic, we used to have regular sessions for our team from consultants, which we have shifted now to virtual sessions. We also have our in-house training sessions for sales team.
What are your plans for onboarding new brands or addition of new business lines for next year?
As stated above, we are looking for growth above 20% every year. Hence, when we have to grow more than the industry, then adding new brands are very important and we have plans for adding multiple brands which suits our portfolio not only in IT but also in CE, Mobility and other verticals.
How would you like to value add to pre-sales, training, post-sales services for your partners and customers?
We have a full-fledged VAD ( Value Added Division ) which is into SI sales and they have technical manpower helping SI partners for Pre-Sales/Technical briefing, etc. Post Sales mostly are done by vendor/brands we deal in. But in some cases, our VAD provides special warranty services end to end for Corporate Customers.
What is your geo – spread? What is your plan for enhancing geographies presence from Point of Presence or sales points perspective?
Have already answered the same above.