New Delhi: T Kumar, president of Tamil Nadu based Confed-ITA, for the past two years has been social media-warrior campaigning against the unethical price policy by various OEMs in terms of the price difference and product availability. This year, Kumar has been vocal and educating the fellow channel fraternity to make the customer aware of the benefits of retail store purchases.
“There is no second thought online sale is impacting the partners. However, few positive changes among the OEMs are the efforts they make to stop step-motherly treatment to the traditional distribution network”, Kumar says. He also says, the change in the customer mentality. “Earlier the customer will purchase directly online. However, now, at least they come to us and ask why the price differences are. There are many cases that online-exclusively products are now made available for the channel partners on a ‘back-to-back order basis’. There were also cases where when we approach the OEMs and show them the proof of price differences online, they provide a cash-back through their authorized distributors. These are positive signs among the customers and OEMs which is impacting the business overall.”, says Kumar who also says the sales calls towards the hotline numbers provided in advertisements of leading newspapers were given by the OEM directly to their national distributors. That trend is changing and based on GPS, the caller will be directed to the nearest authorized partners.
The recent meeting helped :
Kumar thanks the Federation of Indian IT Dealers Association (FAIITA) who had dialogues with OEMs recently and warned them of strong action against unethical price policies. “When as an individual we approach the issue will not have much of an impact. However, in the same way, when the forum had represented, it will not have a bigger impact.
Also, Kumar says charity begins at home. He urges that every retail business owner should buy products only from other retailers and not online. “The recent event of FAIITA was an eye-opener personally and we had an opportunity to interact directly with country heads of various OEMs”, he says further adding that rather than approaching as an individual company, a national forum is always of help.
Speaking on the activities, Kumar claims that the association’s summit conducted in Ooty was one of the most successful events. “For the first time in the history of the association, we had brought maximum value in terms of sponsorship. We managed to make more than 20lakh as a profit for the association and also collected the payments from the sponsors.”, he said also adding that the further plans of the association will include more focus on the regular activities, cover the insurance which is left out. To provide value for the sponsors, the association has created a separate B2B forum through social media and Whatsapp where they can get access to the key members of the association.