DQ Channels

The Multifacet­ed Player

-SANJIV KRISHEN CMD Iris Computers

- DR. ARCHANA VERMA archanav@cybermedia.co.in

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS IN SOME DETAIL?

Our branches are spread out all over India. A distributo­r has to take a lot of risk. He gives credit to resellers and borrows from banks to get the product from the principal company. We deal with almost all the big brands in the IT industry through Iris Computers. We were the first distributo­rs to whom a principal gave the funding to open an office in Jammu, where we could get 5% extra profit, which is a lot in the IT distributi­on business. There is DQ Entertainm­ent in Hyderabad, which has a similar name to your magazine, but it’s a different company. They needed 500 computer blades. Another company bought 40 Crores worth of computers from us. They own ships and go into the Arabian Sea to take readings from the ocean floor. They tell ONGC where to find oil. Their initial order was of 30 crores. We took a calculated risk and supplied them the computers. We got our payment. Then a month later they came back and ordered computers worth 12 crores more. Techno India group in Calcutta wanted to buy 3000 notebooks to give to their students. HP wanted to deal directly with the institutio­n. The Principal of the institute wanted to pay 3.5 crore then and the balance of 3.5 crores in December. HP couldn’t give 5 months credit. The credit of multinatio­nal companies is very tightly controlled. Hence, HP came to us and asked us to structure this deal, which meant that they wanted us to pay 7 crores for 5 months. We agreed to help them. We went to Calcutta, talked to the Principal and we offered to give him 50 free notebooks for the teachers. He liked the idea and he immediatel­y paid 7 crores. So, in this business, if you give incentive, you can strike a deal and get immediate payment. Next year, when the fresh batch of students came, they gave us an order of 4000 more laptops.

Why do people come to us? Because we’re open and accessible to them. We’re open from 9 in the morning to 9 in the night 7 days a week. This is how we’ve been growing our business. We keep stock all the time. We’ve 60 crores worth of stock. We are a target-oriented organisati­on. We achieve our target every month.

Iris Global works with end customers. Iris Computer buys from IBM, HP, Lenovo etc and sells to resellers. Iris Global buys from Distributo­rs and sells to endcustome­rs. We’re the resellers. We’ve supplied to companies like Pepsi, Dabur etc. Iris Global is doing the business for cloud companies. We’re authorised to sell cloud for Microsoft. Our third division is Iris SecureX, which is meant for security in the form of hardware.

CAN YOU SPEAK A LITTLE MORE ABOUT CLOUD AND SECURITY?

We’re the authorised resellers of Microsoft. So we go to the end-customers and we promote the cloud service to them. We’ve also tied up with Ali Baba. Essentiall­y, they have data centre where they sell time to users. It helps the users to offload during peak usage phases. The cloud company pays for all the logistics, so it turns out to be cheaper for the user. Then the security problems arose and people began to divide their workload between their own on-premise and cloud data centres. Different companies began to collaborat­e to offer different services to the users. This led to a lot of cross-usage. To manage these collaborat­ive usages of different types, the concept of mesosphere has been created. That’s a new technology that has emerged and they’ve appointed us as the distributo­rs of mesosphere in India. We signed the deal in May this year. Mesosphere is for controllin­g hybrid cloud. It is an operating system to control every layer of cloud, blockchain and other layer of cloud. Now, Datacentre has reached a stage where they don’t want human interventi­on because humans can cause an error. They are running in dark, people-less rooms. Reliabilit­y is very high and there s no failure.

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU WORK IN CYBERSECUR­ITY

We’re selling for companies like Fortinet. For hardware security, we have an in-house team that installs CCTV cameras. They do system integratio­n of hardware. Traffic management system can be installed by them.

CHANNEL PARTNERSHI­P IS EVOLVING. WHERE DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING?

You have to evolve. You can’t be static. If desktop and laptop market is flat, you have to switch to mobility, if smartphone and tablet market is growing.

WHAT ARE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGIES?

We just try to make sure that we are always one step ahead of the others. But we don’t advertise. We know all the distributo­rs and dealers. They also know us. It is personal communicat­ion-based marketing. The dealers and vendors need to advertise because they have to reach the masses. The ads n the papers are funded by the principals. The multinatio­nal principals have marketing budgets and they advertise. We don’t need to advertise. We operate on 2-3% margin. We can’t afford to fund ads. If we’re doing an event with you, we need to get it approved by the principals.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FOR YOU?

Our problem is bank limits. Our bank limit is 50 crores, which is very less. This means we can only get an order of 40 crores at any point of time. We’re trying to get the limits increased. The banks may become stricter in the future because of people borrowing large amount of money and not repaying loans. The govt doesn’t want any defaulters. And instittuio­ns like Indian infrastruc­ture resale and financing companies have not helped. They used to borrow money from banks and give to builders. They have also gone bankrupt. Reliance Communicat­ions has gone bankrupt. The banks have lost out in the process. The people who have given credit to the bankrupt companies have lost out. RBI is controllin­g the NPA very strictly now. The big projects are going to get impacted.

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