Channels Bring In 95 Per Cent Of Our India Revenue

Our India Revenue
Praveen Sahai
VP of Channels, EMC

Leveraging the maximum potential of channel partners is increasingly becoming a high priority for IT vendors, in a fragmented market like India. And while every organization is focusing on incentivizing partners, the changing market dynamics have also concluded in stringent retraining program for channel partners.

In an exclusive interview with Channel Times, Praveen Sahai, VP Channels of EMC India, shares the new opportunities as well as set of challenges emerging for IT channel partners in the country.

Below are the excerpts from the interaction:

What will be the channel strategies of EMC for this fiscal?

In India, we plan to focus on the concept of PPP this year, which stands for Profitability, Pipeline and Performance. With profitability and pipeline as an initiative, we will focus on enhancing the revenue generations and setting platforms for our partners, including marketing and promotional events across the country. While performance on the other hand will comprise of commitments from channel partners and assistance from EMC to help fulfill them.

How many distributors and channel partners does EMC have in its India channel portfolio?

At present we have two national distributors including Redington and Ingram which serve to our 850 channel partners across the country, of which about 250 partners are engaged in doing annualized business with us. We also have players like HCL, Wipro, TCS serving as System Integrators for us in Tier 1 locations of the country.

What is the value proposition for a channel partner in aligning with EMC?

We have a strong rebate programme for our channel partners which includes an upfront margin, a back-end rebate programme (which includes rebated ranging from 0-4 percent), and the value added services which are delivered to customers by our partners with assistance from EMC.
We also have special partners in the categories of Platinum, Gold and Silver called as our metal partners.

At present we have 27 metal partners in India and their grading is primarily dependent on the volume of business they do with us along with the amount of investment they have made in terms of technical know-how.

What is the eligibility criteria for EMC to certify its partners?

We have multiple types of relationships with our channel partners. While we provide sales accreditations as free of cost to our partners, there are also comprehensive tests which include reading for a week and a 10-days mandatory class to gain hands on experience. We also have a HiPO (high potential reseller program) wherein we pick the best performing sales guys from our partners and encourage them to sell our offerings of their choice be it storage, server etc.

How do you see the mushrooming SMBs in India as an opportunity?

SMBs are extremely vital for both the company and our channel partners, since 95 percent of our revenue in India comes from channels. We have created an ecosystem of 40 plus partners across India to tap the promising potential of the SMB space and also plan to increase our direct office presence from 7 cities to 15 cities in the country by the end of this year. The SMB vertical is also an excellent opportunity for our hyper-converged solutions which don’t require a significant IT expertise during their installation. EMC has registered a (Compound Annual Growth Rate) CAGR of about 30 percent in the Indian SMB market in the last three years.

What are the major challenges in the Enterprise storage market in India?

The overall consumption pattern of mid-market and enterprise is heading towards Reverse Auctions, where in you have to compete with 3-4 other competitors and the player which quotes the lowest price bags the deal. This comes as a major challenge for the sector as it makes the OEMs and SIs bleed. Also while the customers do save on costs, they lose out on quality of service if they do not align with the right OEM.

Do you also plan to tap the potential of e-commerce channels in the country

At best we would like to sell through our own online e-commerce platforms similar to US. This will be introduced at the right time in India as the market is still not mature for online sales of enterprise IT equipments.

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