"Tryst with Destiny"

Puneet Dhir of Dhir & Co talks about how he ac­ci­den­tally enetered into the IT busi­ness and his jour­ney to the suc­cess

DQ Channels - - Front page - SAND­HYA MALHOTRA (sand­hyam@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in)

Based in Ja­land­har, Dhir & Co was founded in July 1949, but ven­tured into com­put­ers busi­ness in 1998. Cur­rently, the com­pany deals in dis­tri­bu­tion of the prod­ucts in the field of in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies. The ac­tiv­i­ties of the com­pany are es­pe­cially ori­ented to the Pun­jab mar­ket.

Puneet Dhir, busi­ness head of Dhir & Co, joined the or­ga­ni­za­tion in the year 1997, and changed the na­ture of busi­ness from real es­tate agent onto IT busi­ness, which was es­tab­lished by Dhir’s grand­fa­ther Ram Pratap Dhir. In the first year of IT busi­ness, the com­pany reg­is­tered a mea­ger turnover of Rs 3.5 lakh.

Ac­cord­ing to Dhir, “I started with very lit­tle cap­i­tal as our fam­ily busi­ness in­volved com­mis­sion agents, and so trad­ing and in­vest­ing in stocks were not in our blood. Slowly, I learnt the games of the busi­ness, and later took loan of Rs 7,5000 to fur­ther strengthen the IT busi­ness.” The Be­gin­ning

For a soft-spo­ken Dhir, the IT field was new as he had a com­merce back­ground. So, tech­ni­cally he had no knowl­edge of the com­puter field. He had to man­age the en­tire af­fairs, from de­liv­er­ies to pay­ments, on his own Dhir, en­tered into IT busi­ness more by chance then by choice.

He feels that his jour­ney so far in the IT in­dus­try is like a tryst with destiny. “Com­ing from a non-IT back­ground, and that too from a ser­vice-class fam­ily, start­ing an IT busi­ness was a gam­ble. But I was des­tined to be a part of the IT in­dus­try. Af­ter com­plet­ing my post grad­u­a­tion in com­merce and busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion there was a strong urge to start some­thing afresh and all by my­self so one of my friends who was in this field sug­gested me to start cor­po­rate sup­plies busi­ness.”

He started work­ing for Eu­reka Forbes for a short span of six months dur­ing his Post Grad­u­a­tion to learn the ba­sics of di­rect mar­ket­ing and later he started IT busi­ness straight out of col­lege.

The com­pany started with a vi­sion of cor­po­rate sup­plies in­clud­ing sta­tion­ary prod­ucts and later its fo­cus changed into dis­tri­bu­tion model be­cause cor­po­rate de­mand per­sonal at­ten­tion and meet­ings and al­ways loved to sit and man­age af­fairs. Cur­rent Busi­ness

Cur­rently, the com­pany has two re­tail stores which con­trib­ute 35% to its turnover and the rest comes from dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness. Tech­nol­ogy dis­tri­bu­tion is be­com­ing more cus­tomer-fo­cused to help re­sellers and man­u­fac­tur­ers suc­ceed. Last year, its turnover was ` 3 crore and has plans to achieve ` 4 crore of turnover this year with a growth of 33 % over the last year. It has al­ready achieved ` 1.9 crore in the half year.

Dhir & Co is at the fore­front of this evo­lu­tion by con­tin­u­ally im­ple­ment­ing faster and more in­no­va­tive ways to help re­sellers and man­u­fac­tur­ers meet their cus­tomers’ de­mands. It de­votes it­self mainly to the prod­ucts, which are ap­pro­pri­ate for us­ing in small en­ter­prises and in house­holds (SOHO mar­ket).

Its in­ven­tory in­cludes more than 1000 prod­ucts from the lead­ing ven­dors in­clud­ing com­puter pe­riph­er­als, com­puter me­dia and ac­ces­sories, printer sup­plies and con­sum­ables, stor­age me­dia, USB prod­ucts and lap­top ac­ces­sories, and many oth­ers.

The com­pany is cur­rently dis­tribut­ing prod­ucts of Tech-com, Ed­i­fier, Nor­ton, Kasper­sky,Tata Pho­ton, V- Guard. In ad­di­tion, it is also deal­ing in HP, Ep­son, Canon and Dell on reg­u­lar ba­sis and in good vol­umes.

It has planned a tar­get turnover of Rs 4 crore in fi­nan­cial year 2012-2013, which will rep­re­sent 40% growth over the last year it­self. Ad­di­tion­ally, on­line sell­ing is an­other ma­jor fo­cus area where it plans to grow phe­nom­e­nally, it has set up an on­line store and get­ting very good re­sponse from the cus­tomers. In the next one year, on­line busi­ness will con­trib­ute at least 10% and over next 2 years 25 % of our turnover is expected to come from on­line busi­ness.

Due to cur­rent fi­nan­cial crunch and over sup­plied po­si­tion in the mar­ket dis­tri­bu­tion is now be­com­ing less lu­cra­tive, so its main fo­cus will be on cash and on­line busi­ness. Hence­forth, it will shuf­fle prod­uct range for bet­ter sales and prof­itabil­ity. Key Mile­stone

The com­pany is man­aged to keep its busi­ness free from li­a­bil­i­ties even in times of re­ces­sions with­out any ex­ter­nal fi­nan­cial help. To­day, its busi­ness is not hav­ing any li­a­bil­ity in shape of loans or bank lim­its. The com­pany en­joys a good rap­port amongst 200 chan­nel part­ners to whom it pro­vides prod­ucts and ser­vices and share strong re­la­tions with the ven­dors, work with is a ma­jor achieve­ment, which is rare to see these days.

The com­pany is open to any kind of feed­back from its cus­tomers and lis­tens to their griev­ances pa­tiently and never ar­gu­ment with them and for sat­is­fy­ing cus­tomers there is no set stan­dards, it may go any far to keep cus­tomer sat­is­fied. In Per­sonal...

“My wife Manika, who is also a post grad­u­ate in com­merce, joined the busi­ness about 6 years back and han­dles fi­nance, bank­ing, tax­a­tion and ven­dor pay­ments. This takes ma­jor burden off my mind and I am free to take other im­por­tant de­ci­sions for my busi­ness and in­ter­act more with my cus­tomers and staff,” says Dhir.

Other than busi­ness, Dhir, is ac­tively in­volved in the work­ing of lo­cal Ja­land­har Com­puter Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion for the last 10 years and has served as joint sec­re­tary, trea­surer, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber and gen­eral sec­re­tary in the as­so­ci­a­tion. Dhir loves to be part of the so­cial and de­vel­op­ment projects and never shy away from an op­por­tu­nity to help peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Talk­ing about his re­tire­ment plans, Dhir feels, “I would like to travel to ev­ery place worth it on this earth, work for a strong so­cial cause and still man­age busi­ness pas­sively.”

Puneet Dhir with fam­ily

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