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DQ Channels - - Solution providers - RA­JNEESH DE

merg­ing’ as a word has dif­fer­ent con­no­ta­tions for dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Some feel of­fended when get­ting tagged with the term-they of­ten feel that they have done enough in their re­spec­tive do­mains to have ‘emerged’ and call­ing them ‘emerg­ing’ still is con­de­scend­ing. There are oth­ers though who feel proud to be re­garded as ‘emerg­ing’-they take it as an ac­knowl­edge­ment of their po­ten­tial and the pos­si­bil­ity that to­mor­row they will be­come lead­ers.

There were sim­i­lar con­sid­er­a­tions be­fore us at DQ Chan­nels while com­pil­ing the list of the Gold Club So­lu­tion Provider 50. While the Top 50 lists of dis­trib­u­tors are more clear cut, there is al­ways a grey area about the pa­ram­e­ters on choos­ing the So­lu­tion Providers 50.

Rev­enues not be­ing the only yard­stick, the choice as­sumes a much more sub­jec­tive na­ture. The kind of work th­ese play­ers are do­ing, what they are at­tempt­ing and what po­ten­tial they have to grow in the fu­ture, be­comes im­por­tant.

Rev­enues has been another area where we have been more flex­i­ble this time. While we have pro­vided rev­enues, the com­pa­nies have not been ranked on that ba­sis. Also, while most of th­ese play­ers are still low on toplines, you will find cer­tain com­pa­nies who should have been in ei­ther one of our Top 50 lists ac­cord­ing to their turnovers.

Ei­ther their in­for­ma­tion reached us late, or we were able to track them down later. There are chances that while their over­all toplines might be high, the kind of work for which we are ac­knowl­edg­ing them might still be not so sig­nif­i­cant. So one should not feel sur­prised or of­fended to see some of th­ese ‘ap­par­ently emerged’ com­pa­nies in the list.

Another in­ter­est­ing facet is that half of th­ese emerg­ing com­pa­nies are not from met­ros or large ci­ties but from far flung places like San­gli, Suren­drana­gar, Guwahati and Udaipur. That again proves what I have been as­sert­ing for years that In­dian IT’s real growth now is tak­ing place only in tier-3 and tier-4 ci­ties.

Over the past few years, tier-2 and tier-3 ci­ties in In­dia have shown max­i­mum business po­ten­tial and more or less ev­ery distrib­u­tor and so­lu­tion provider re­sponded to the call by in­creas­ing their up­coun­try net­works. Th­ese mar­kets are al­ready sig­nal­ing signs of ma­tu­rity at­tract­ing th­ese com­pa­nies to be more ac­tive to­wards gen­er­at­ing higher business growth from the In­dian up­coun­try hin­ter­lands. Un­der­stand­ing the grow­ing po­ten­tial of smaller towns beyond the T1 and T2 bound­ary, the ven­dors too are now pay­ing more at­ten­tion to go deeper and cap­ture th­ese un­touched mar­kets.

With time the scal­a­bil­ity and na­ture of projects de­liv­ered by th­ese so­lu­tion providers have changed dras­ti­cally. They have started tak­ing up and de­liv­er­ing large scale and more com­plex projects for their cus­tomers, a ca­pa­bil­ity neatly built over time and with much ef­fort. Some of them have also started ac­tively ven­tur­ing over­seas. Ge­o­graph­i­cal ex­pan­sions are must now as there are var­i­ous un­ex­plored ter­ri­to­ries with lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties and it is up to the so­lu­tion providers to ex­plore the same as much as pos­si­ble.

One par­tic­u­lar do­main where most of th­ese emerg­ing play­ers are start­ing to make a mark is with SMBs. The IT chal­lenges of SMBs are in­her­ently dif­fer­ent from that of large en­ter­prises. In fact, th­ese chal­lenges of­ten end up be­ing far more com­plex for SMBs purely be­cause of the re­straint that has to be ex­er­cised by them on the bud­get front and on var­i­ous other is­sues like server space, what model to go for, ven­dor man­age­ment, get­ting the right skill set, etc. To add to th­ese, while a typ­i­cal SMB in a tier-1 city shall still have some­one on the lines of a CIO, the mid sized or­ga­ni­za­tions in tier-2 ci­ties and fur­ther down may not even have an IT depart­ment.

Add to this, in or­ga­ni­za­tions in smaller towns, th­ese prob­lems get fur­ther mag­ni­fied; in ad­di­tion to lack of skillsets, an over­all lack of ex­po­sure to the mod­ern tech­ni­cal and business up­dates vir­tu­ally make IT a non-starter for most of them. There is a wide gulf in ma­tu­rity be­tween the met­ros and other tier-1 ci­ties with the hin­ter­land. The is­sue of dig­i­tal haves and dig­i­tal have-nots get ruth­lessly ex­posed here. This def­i­nitely puts more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties on the shoul­ders of up­coun­try part­ners-not only are they fo­cus­ing on th­ese SMBs merely to gen­er­ate moolah, but they are per­form­ing that role of IT evan­ge­lists to build an over­all tech ecosys­tem there.

As the de­liv­ery port­fo­lio and ef­fi­ciency en­hances, so does ex­pec­ta­tion and com­pe­ti­tion. To sus­tain and thrive in this business it is very im­por­tant to follow the cur­rent mar­ket trends and up­grade skills on reg­u­lar ba­sis to catch up with lat­est tech­nol­ogy and de­velop so­lu­tions around them. Ser­vices is an area wherein one has to pro­vide end-to-end so­lu­tions to his clients. There­fore, con­tin­u­ous evo­lu­tion is es­sen­tial and its now up to th­ese emerg­ing com­pa­nies to see how fast they can shape their way to join in the big league.

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