"We aim to be­come a true cloud so­lu­tion provider"

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­ac­tion with the DQ Chan­nels, P S Neogi, Joint Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer – IT Di­vi­sion, Red­ing­ton In­dia shed light on Red­ing­ton’s cloud strat­egy for the In­dian mar­ket

DQ Channels - - Front page - PRIYANKA PUGAOKAR/( priyankapu@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in)

P.S Neogi Joint Chief Op­er­a­tion Of­fi­cer - IT Di­vi­sion Red­ing­ton In­dia

Com­menced In­dia op­er­a­tion as a pure hard­ware so­lu­tion provider, Red­ing­ton has now for­ayed into the so­lu­tion space. How you have trans­formed busi­ness over the years?

P S Neogi: We started In­dia oper­a­tions in 1993. Till 1998-99, we were sell­ing only prin­ters and ac­ces­sories. From 1999 we started sell­ing PCs, and then in 2000-01, we moved into value added dis­tri­bu­tion space. Till 2007-08, 70 per­cent of our busi­ness was vol­ume busi­ness 30 per­cent were val­ued busi­ness. To­day, al­most 55 per­cent busi­ness is val­ued busi­ness and 45 per­cent busi­ness is a vol­ume busi­ness. We have com­pletely trans­formed as a full spec­trum dis­trib­u­tor over the years and now we are get­ting more into the so­lu­tion space.

Which are the key busi­ness ver­ti­cals in Red­ing­ton In­dia? Which ver­ti­cals con­trib­ute high to the rev­enue?

P S Neogi: Our busi­ness is di­vided into four key ver­ti­cals. The first ver­ti­cal is Con­sumer PCs where PCs, ac­ces­sories, print hard­ware and sup­plies are housed. Sec­ond ver­ti­cal is En­ter­prise Servers which com­prises En­ter­prise Servers, Stor­age Power Con­di­tioned equip­ments and Net­work­ing prod­ucts. Third is Soft­ware and Se­cu­rity and the forth ver­ti­cal is Cloud and So­lu­tions. Apart from that we have a sis­ter com­pany named Caden-sworth In­dia Lim­ited which pro­vides so­lu­tions in stor­age and net­work­ing. They have a strate­gic part­ner­ship with EMC. It is very dif­fi­cult to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween the ver­ti­cals. We have a very large prod­uct port­fo­lio and all our busi­ness groups are equally im­por­tant for us. Now we are fo­cus­ing on strength­en­ing our Cloud busi­ness and we are in­vest­ing heav­ily in the Cloud. We hope that tomorrow the Cloud group will be our star group and it will com­pen­sate the loss of rev­enue in the other groups.

What will be the busi­ness model of your Cloud busi­ness? Will you be­come a Cloud ag­gre­ga­tor?

P S Neogi: We are at­tempt­ing to be­come a true Cloud so­lu­tion provider. So one of the as­pects of this busi­ness model is to ag­gre­gate all the world class cloud ser­vices and of­fer them though a dig­i­tal plat­form for re­sellers and cus­tomers to lo­gin auto pro­vi­sion and con­sume ser­vices. We will pro­vide monthly billing ser­vices to re­sellers and cus­tomers. It is more of IT as a Ser­vice (IaaS) model.

We are in the process of defin­ing our role as a dis­trib­u­tor in the Cloud space. We are de­ter­mined to evolve a space for our­selves and niche for our­selves. Our aim is to be rel­e­vant to the ven­dors who are in the cloud space and be rel­e­vant to the part­ners who want to be­come cloud ready part­ners. We want to cover end to end what are the re­quire­ments so that Red­ing­ton can be­come a one stop shop for all the part­ners who want any kind of sup­port to mi­grate their cus­tomers to the Cloud. This process is evolv­ing and we are putting in place the el­e­ment re­quired to ex­e­cute the process. We are very hope­ful that 18 to 24 months down the line, Red­ing­ton will be known as the dis­trib­u­tor which has been able to marry the Re­quire­ments of ven­dors and part­ners.

How do you forecast the growth of Cloud busi­ness in In­dia in next 3 years? How Red­ing­ton is gear­ing up to tap the busi­ness prospects in the cloud space?

P S Neogi: There are two as­pects of the Cloud busi­ness. Trans­for­ma­tion, learn­ing and be­com­ing ready to in­vest is one phase and the sec­ond phase is to build a mod­ule and start ex­e­cut­ing it. If one is not go­ing to build his so­lu­tions and make him vis­i­ble through the dig­i­tal me­dia plat­form he is not go­ing to get new age cus­tomers. Sim­i­larly, Cloud is the one method of adop­tion of so­lu­tions or IT as a Ser­vice model and I am sure that it is tak­ing its place in the in­dus­try to­day. We want to be­come a true con­sult­ing part­ner where if the cus­tomer does not need cloud then we should have the guts to stand up and say that he does not re­quire in­vest­ing in the cloud. We should sug­gest guide them and con­sult them and help with right adop­tion of the so­lu­tion.

Will you have a sep­a­rate set of part­ners who will take the cloud of­fer­ings to the end users? Or the ex­ist­ing part­ners will of­fer Cloud so­lu­tions?

P S Neogi: There is al­ready a seg­ment of part­ners who are cloud ready like host­ing part­ners and man­age ser­vice providers. We will cover them in terms of a wide spec­trum of so­lu­tions we want to sell. We will also have an en­gine called ‘Red­ing­ton Cloud Acad­emy’, where we would have an en­able­ment of this trans­for­ma­tion and learn­ing as a mod­ule for the VARs to come on to the cloud busi­ness model.

Apart from Cloud, are you in­tended to foray into the IoT and Data An­a­lyt­ics space?

P S Neogi: Of Course yes. De­pend­ing upon the work­load in­dus­try sit­u­a­tion we will definitely have those of­fer­ings as well. It will also be­come an in­te­gral part of our so­lu­tion busi­ness of­fer­ings.

Be­ing a vet­eran in the in­dus­try, you have closely wit­nessed the trans­for­ma­tions in the dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness? What are the key trends to you iden­tify in the chan­nel busi­ness?

P S Neogi: Most dis­trib­u­tors are aware that the era of box sell­ing is over. Ear­lier, only In­gram and Red­ing­ton were known as the value added dis­trib­u­tors. Now all dis­trib­u­tors have added that fac­tor in their busi­ness. Now more and more dis­trib­u­tors are mov­ing into the value added dis­tri­bu­tion in their own ways and try­ing to pro­vide their unique so­lu­tions. All dis­trib­u­tors are look­ing at what ex­tra they can do for the ven­dors. It is not only the so­lu­tion ori­ented ap­proach but it can be a mar­ket ori­ented ap­proach and that is the big­gest change I have seen in the dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness.

Be­ing a prom­i­nent IT dis­trib­u­tor, how do you ad­dress the E Commerce fac­tor?

P S Neogi: It is a very dif­fi­cult ques­tion for us. E Commerce af­fects the busi­ness of our part­ners and ul­ti­mately our busi­ness. So we both are in the same boat. We do not pro­vide prod­ucts to e commerce to sell at a cheaper rate. The irony is that E Commerce part­ners have pro­vided the mar­ket space and some of our own part­ners are sell­ing the prod­uct on the on­line sites.We feel that it is an evil we have to live with and we are with the part­ners. How­ever, boy­cotts will not solve the prob­lems. E Commerce com­pa­nies are not look­ing at profit making. Once they will start look­ing things will set­tle down. We are go­ing through a churn and so­lu­tion will come out.

What are the key growth ar­eas for Red­ing­ton in the next fis­cal?

P S Neogi: We will be fo­cus­ing more on de­vel­op­ing our so­lu­tion sell­ing ca­pa­bil­ity in the soft­ware and se­cu­rity space and com­mer­cial en­ter­prise space. We will work very hard to make sure that our Cloud port­fo­lio and offering is com­plete and ready in a use­ful man­ner to ven­dors and part­ners in next 6 months. That is our im­me­di­ate con­cern. We are making the re­quired in­vest­ment in that seg­ment and you will find a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties from Red­ing­ton in next 3 to 6 months.

We will work very hard to make sure that our Cloud port­fo­lio and offering is com­plete and ready in a use­ful man­ner to ven­dors and part­ners in next 6 months

P S NEOGI, Joint Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer – IT

Di­vi­sion, Red­ing­ton In­dia

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