Fes­tive Bo­nanza

With fes­ti­vals round the cor­ner, com­pa­nies are get­ting en­thu­si­as­tic about in­creas­ing their sales and com­ing up with var­i­ous schemes to pull cus­tomers to their brands

DQ Channels - - The Perspective - SAND­HYA MALHOTRA sand­hyam@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

The fes­tive spirit is in the air with Durga Puja, Dussehra and Di­wali just around the cor­ner. To make gift­ing and shop­ping even more spe­cial for cus­tomers, IT ven­dors have started rolling out mega fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tion of­fer for cus­tomers and for their chan­nel part­ners. Fes­ti­val sea­son is a good time for the re­tail­ers to ap­peal to cus­tomers with dis­counts and schemes. The con­sumers too look for­ward to avail the dis­counts on of­fer. The fes­ti­val sea­son is con­sid­ered aus­pi­cious for shop­ping too which adds to its at­trac­tion.

To­day there are hun­dred of brands, each com­pet­ing against each other for get­ting the mind share of both the part­ners and end cus- tomers. The best way to get and re­tain the part­ner’s mind-share is to have con­tin­u­ous schemes/pro­mo­tions. IT ven­dors have to be in the minds of the deal­ers so that they pro­mote ven­dors prod­ucts to the cus­tomer.

Will fes­ti­val sea­son ben­e­fit our chan­nel part­ners? Most of the IT com­pa­nies are ready to bring more schemes in the mar­ket dur­ing the fes­tiv­ity sea­son. A num­ber of schemes are ei­ther be­ing launched or at the soft launch stage, wait­ing to be launched in the re­gion. Sales on the Rise

Part­ners have pinned hopes in the com­ing times. While cur­rently lap­tops of Dell, HP and Len­ovo are scor­ing high when it comes to the best sell­ing IT prod­uct, deal­ers feel that the mar­ket for tablets is also go­ing to be big in the fu­ture. “There is lot of craze for tablets among peo­ple. I feel its mar­ket is go­ing to fare very well in the com­ing times,” said Pradeep Jhawar from Ber­lia Compu Sys­tem.

Schemes are re­quired for part­ners as it acts as a mo­ti­va­tor for them to work to­wards the set tar­get. This also helps to plan their in­ven­tory for the en­tire quar­ter as most of the schemes are floated on quar­terly ba­sis. How­ever, ex­e­cut­ing a scheme is not a sim­ple af­fair; a lot of fac­tors go into the plan­ning process. It is also im­por­tant that schemes are achiev­able

for par­tic­i­pants which will be help­ful in boost­ing sales and achiev­ing the de­sired rev­enue goal of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Jammu based Naveen Gupta, “This year, we hardly did any busi­ness due to VAT is­sue in the state, but we are look­ing for­ward to Di­wali time and ex­pect­ing to make good busi­ness and cover up our sales tar­gets be­fore Di­wali. More­over, we are wait­ing for ven­dor schemes to come in which will fur­ther push end cus­tomer sales.”

Adding to Gupta’s view, Kolkata based KL Lalani, chair­man of Lalani group said, “We al­ways en­joy bumper sales dur­ing fes­ti­val time. We have been wit­ness­ing healthy sales since Durga Puja time and our sales have been in­creased by 35% as com­pared to reg­u­lar sales, which may go up by 200% be­fore the Di­wali time. Lap­tops, tablet PCs and smart­phones are among the fast mov­ing prod­ucts in the end cus­tomer’s space.”

Do­ing THAT Ex­tra Bit

While there has been an emer­gence of large for­mat re­tail stores, sev­eral small stores are seen re­fur­bish­ing their re­tail out­lets to at­tract more foot­falls and im­prove their vis­i­bil­ity and de­vis­ing re­tail-spe­cific growth strate­gies. Now, with the fes­tive sea­son on, the small re­tailer is dar­ing the big boys with dis­counts and spe­cial of­fers, pub­li­ciz­ing them with sharply tar­geted pam­phlets.

Lalani added, “We are in­vest­ing close to ` 40 lakh on mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the fes­ti­val sea­son. We have re­placed grimy, dark, old wood cab­i­nets with bright, col­or­ful lam­i­nated shelves. Next, just like su­per­mar­kets, we started stock­ing fash­ion­able prod­ucts like tablets, lap­tops, cam­era and smart­phones and many new de­vices. La­bel­ing, price stick­ers and neat rows stacked with the good­ies fol­lowed. More­over, to get more foot­falls, we are invit­ing lo­cal TV celebri­ties and sport-stars to our re­tail store and do­ing joint pro­mo­tion. All these ac­tiv­i­ties are pay­ing off, and we are look­ing to do record break sales on this Di­wali.”

Lalani re­lies on his mar­ket­ing in­stincts to stay on his toes, al­though he has no clue about the brouhaha over FDI in re­tail., he brain- storms with his “boys” in the shop on ways to not just re­tain ex­ist­ing cus­tomers but also to at­tract new cus­tomers.

In Delhi, the Asia’s largest IT hub Nehru place IT mar­ket is all geared up to see great Di­wali. This year, the Nehru Place IT as­so­ci­a­tion All Delhi Com­puter Traders As­so­ci­a­tion (ADCTA) has started new ini­tia­tive “Di­wali Cel­e­bra­tions Carnival” - A scheme for end users to buy and get chance to win prizes worth ` 20 lakh by get­ting a “Lucky Prize Coupon” on pur­chas­ing IT prod­ucts.

Speak­ing on this ini­tia­tive, Mahin­der Ag­gar­wal, pres­i­dent, ADCTA said, “This firstof-its-kind Di­wali carnival fo­cuses to en­hance the sales of IT com­pa­nies and bring back the lost glory of Nehru Place, with get­ting more walk-ins. Our as­so­ci­a­tion is in­volved to make this carnival a big suc­cess for the IT mar­ket. We are get­ting good re­sponse from the ven­dors as well as from IT deal­ers.”

On the same line, Mum­bai based TAIT as­so­ci­a­tion is planned to or­ga­nize TAIT Di­wali chan­nel net­work­ing event, on Novem­ber 3. Ac­cord­ing to CW Kad­wad­kar, mem­ber of TAIT, “The ob­jec­tive of this event, is to cre­ate new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for IT ven­dors, chan­nel part­ners and end cus­tomers. Dur­ing the event, more than 1,000 peo­ple is expected to be par­tic­i­pat­ing. We will be seek­ing more sup­port from ven­dors to en­hance the sales dur­ing the Di­wali time.”

Im­por­tant Points to Keep in Mind

Fes­tive sea­son is the time when most of the part­ners start get­ting into un­healthy trade prac­tices like erod­ing of MOP, over­stock­ing, cheque bounc­ing, etc. Ad­di­tion­ally, ven­dors cre­ate an aura around chan­nel part­ners which can eas­ily tempt them to over stock­ing of the prod­uct. No doubt, chan­nel schemes do help in cre­at­ing a buzz around the prod­ucts, but is the prob­lem of over­stock­ing, a way to get rid of old stocks?

Over­stock­ing is a reg­u­lar and un­avoid­able phe­nom­e­non which the ven­dors en­counter. Ex­plains Govind Marda CEO RS Com­puter, “Over­stock­ing is a reg­u­lar phe­nom­e­non which hap­pens when the mar­ket trend doesn’t go as per the plan and var­i­ous other rea­sons, so we have to adopt some other plans to come out of over­stock­ing if it hap­pens to be.”

No mat­ter how pru­dent the or­ga­ni­za­tion is to avoid the sit­u­a­tion of ex­cess in­ven­tory, but some­times dur­ing sell-outs, sea­sonal im­pact, etc, the busi­ness does en­tail the sit­u­a­tion of ‘over­stock­ing’.

“Dur­ing such times, we have worked out best ways to deal with it and over­come the sit­u­a­tion. The over­stock­ing sit­u­a­tion may be di­luted by of­fer­ing and bundling with the most-in-de­mand SKUs. Some­time this takes time but this be­comes the mantra,” re­veals Siril Muthi­rakkal, sales man­ager for In­dia chan­nel at Fox­conn.

Low­er­ing price is like self-bleed­ing and it will not help in the long run. Tar­gets are to be achieved with good sales strate­gies and not only with the price. Oth­er­wise it will be im­pos­si­ble to move for­ward once it reaches the bottomline. Most of the schemes carry var­i­ous con­di­tions; one of the con­di­tions is that mar­ket MOP should not be dis­turbed with scheme amount by de­duct­ing and clear­ing the stocks.

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