Kerala Channels Discuss IT Distributors’ Cooperatives


Kochi, September 9: At their recently concluded state convention, the All Kerala IT Dealers Association (AKITDA) discussed the possibility of forming a special co-operative society model for IT products.

This is similar to what the dealers in the neighboring Tamil Nadu had planned some time ago. It may be recalled that the CONFED ITA had brought up a similar proposal some time ago whereby the association would directly work with manufacturers, taking care of all exercises from importing to branding.

Sources at the AKITDA confirmed to Channel Times that the association is not too keen on tackling imports or branding, given their lack of experience in both these areas. They are not interested in owning a new brand and simply want to keep the focus on procuring materials under a single roof across Kerala state.

Even though there has been no success formula for the model till date, it would definitely shake the existing e-market place, experts who have studied the fast revamping manufacturer-vendor-distributor relationship, say.

The Kerala IT association has a long history of taking on the online retail industry, the last one being their petitioning the then Finance Minister K M Mani through a representation of more than 2000 members. The outcome was that Kerala became the only state to curtail delivery from the online retail majors.

So, when anyone from the state sought delivery across Kerala and typed the postal code on any of the online retail websites, they immediately received a message stating inability to deliver.

Given that AKITDA continues to be the single voice of IT dealers in Kerala, their new idea of creating a cooperative model could once again change the manner in which channel business is run. For one, it will ensure price parity. Moreover, the association has close relations with major sub-distributors and re-sellers.

Even though one cannot hope for such a major change to happen in a single phase, the fact is that a cooperative model can become a reality within the district units. Later, based on the experience, the association can expand across the state.

The end-dealer members and plenty of sub distributors across Kerala should also support the initiative in the forefront paying way for the success of the association. Even though this model might take time to reach certain threshold level, the fact is that the members are keen to make an attempt.

Proves once again that Kerala and innovation, especially on the social front, goes hand-in-hand.

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