Expert Speak

Community Building – An Ongoing Initiative

Community Building

Last year, there were a lot of activities around associations. Many cities that lacked reseller associations saw them formed. That was a good sign for the industry.

p____p Associations could bring the sense of togetherness of being part of the same business community. If you look around, the metros were already ahead. While Mumbai had Tait, Bangalore AIT, Delhi DCTA, Hyderabad TCCDA, Chennai ITTA, and Pune had CMDA. All of them have been active and have from time to time come out with substantial contributions. Later, many more cities awoke to the need for a common platform and thus many more associations were formed.

p____p This augured well for the future because associations could be seen as the legitimate interface between the channel and the vendors or the government. Although, I doubt if that legitimacy has still been conferred on associations from different vendors.

p____p One concern in that there have been far and few proactive steps from the associations.The associations need to demonstrate strong leaderships at their levels and should see themselves as a Panchayat level administration as in grassroots democracy. One of the initiatives should be to ensure that the channel gets exposure to technology education through workshops, vendor or third party sponsored.

p____p While the cover story for the latest issue of 360 Magazine was being done (Stay Afloat with Technology- A Roadmap for Sellers, issue dated July 15th 2003), the view that came out from some resellers was that they had always considered the seminars done by vendors to discuss their roadmaps, as long and dreary sessions. However, they also opined that the attitude was now slowly changing.

p____p The associations should break the conditioning of whoever in the channel is reluctant to learn, convincing them that learning is the only way forward. A learning community would definitely have the wherewithal to sustain the ups and downs of the business. This should be an ongoing initiative from the reseller associations. For the individual members of different city based associations, the need is to stay aligned with association dictates and vendor roadmaps.

p____p Also different associations should be ready to duplicate some brilliant steps that other associations have taken in their cities. For instance, the initiative of TCCDA (Twin cities Computer Dealers Association) in Hyderabad of setting up a private telephone network for its members in tie-up with Tata Teleservices in May is one such initiative that calls for duplication. While this helps the channel to stay in touch on stock and price developments, it also acts as a medium of building solidarity besides saving costs.

Leave a Response