THE PRI­MARY CHAL­LENGE HAS BEEN THE LACK OF SUF­FI­CIENT LIQ­UID­ITY IN THE MAR­KET, WHICH HAS ELON­GATED THE CREDIT CY­CLES, THUS AD­VERSELY IM­PACT­ING WORK­ING CAP­I­TAL DE­PLOY­MENT LEV­ELS

Ramesh Natara­jan & J K Se­na­p­ati, both Jt. COO, Red­ing­ton India, dis­cuss the fi­nan­cial per­for­mance of their or­ga­ni­za­tion for the fi­nan­cial year 2018-2019

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What is your view of the per­for­mance, so far, of the In­dian ICT in­dus­try in 2019? If we are al­lowed to limit our ob­ser­va­tions to the Dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness for the India Mar­ket ICT seg­ment, it has demon­strated a re­mark­able de­gree of re­silience un­der dif­fi­cult macro-eco­nomic cir­cum­stances. Demand has been steady, pock­ets of growth are avail­able and in­vest­ments in Dig­i­tal India and Smart City projects have pro­vided mo­men­tum. We have been able to suc­cess­fully en­gage with ven­dors & part­ners to cap­ture our fair share of all growth op­por­tu­ni­ties. The pri­mary chal­lenge has been the lack of suf­fi­cient liq­uid­ity in the mar­ket, which has elon­gated the credit cy­cles, thus ad­versely im­pact­ing work­ing cap­i­tal de­ploy­ment lev­els.

What is your view on FY 19 in terms of busi­ness and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance? Please share any two key highlights?

We have de­liv­ered a dou­ble digit rev­enue growth and com­men­su­rate earn­ing, while main­tain­ing strict em­pha­sis on busi­ness hy­giene. Even in a sce­nario of ad­verse mar­ket liq­uid­ity, strong pro­cesses and credit dis­ci­pline has en­sured con­trol over re­ceiv­ables. Our Cloud Busi­ness Ver­ti­cal has main­tained very strong mo­men­tum and has de­liv­ered out­stand­ing busi­ness re­sults while be­ing ac­knowl­edged by all lead­ing Cloud ven­dors as the best model adopted by a dis­trib­u­tor, not only in India, but the en­tire APAC re­gion.

Dif­fi­cult credit en­vi­ron­ment has im­pacted busi­ness hy­giene and has put strain on work­ing cap­i­tal re­quire­ment. De­mands for longer credit pe­ri­ods has bur­dened dis­trib­u­tors with in­creas­ing in­ter­est costs and has ad­versely im­pacted the dis­trib­u­tors’ abil­ity to in­vest in busi­ness.

What is your busi­ness out­look for FY 20 and what are the key fo­cus ar­eas?

FY 19-20 is a piv­otal year for us as our tran­si­tion to a more So­lu­tion Ori­ented Dis­trib­u­tor starts tak­ing shape and we start de­liv­er­ing di­rect value to our ven­dors and our part­ners through this ap­proach.

Dur­ing this year we would also com­plete the first phase of trans­form­ing to a Dig­i­tal Or­ga­ni­za­tion, tar­geted not only to­wards dig­i­tal­iz­ing all our in­ter­nal pro­cesses, but also to­wards con­vert­ing a ma­jor part of our fu­ture busi­ness to seam­less, au­to­mated, dig­i­tized trans­ac­tion ex­pe­ri­ence for our cus­tomers.

Cloud will re­main a high fo­cus area with em­pha­sis on ac­cel­er­at­ing Red­ing­ton Man­aged Ser­vice Prac­tice busi­ness in sup­port of our part­ners.

The In­dian IT dis­tri­bu­tion land­scape is un­der­go­ing a meta­mor­pho­sis. The value-ad­di­tions expected from a dis­trib­u­tor by the ven­dors and chan­nel part­ners are un­der­go­ing rapid changes. Red­ing­ton is care­fully cal­i­brat­ing its ap­proach and in­vest­ments in skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties that will al­low it to main­tain its lead­er­ship po­si­tion in fu­ture.

What is the in­flu­ence of the emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies? How will it im­pact the next cou­ple of years?

We are al­ready wit­ness­ing IT Investment decisions be­ing based on lever­ag­ing the ben­e­fits of AI, ML & An­a­lyt­ics for con­crete busi­ness out­comes. More and more cus­tomer so­lu­tions are be­ing cen­tered on use of these fast-de­vel­op­ing tech­nolo­gies. We are strongly en­gaged with ven­dors who are at the fore­front of ex­ploit­ing these tech­nolo­gies and are ac­quir­ing in-house skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties to help part­ners lever­age Ven­dors’ tech­nol­ogy of­fer­ings to de­velop so­lu­tions for their cus­tomers.

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