Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ingram Micro as a Leading Tech Distributor is Strongly-Positioned to Support Service Providers and Organizations with IT & Mobility Requirements

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Ingram Micro India Pvt Ltd (IMIL) is a subsidiary of Ingram Micro Inc, USA. Established in 1979, IMIL today is one of the top IT Distribution companies in India with a nationwide presence at nearly 40+ locations. Ingram Micro Inc (the parent company of IMIL) is the world’s largest technology distributor, providing sales, marketing and logistics services for the IT industry worldwide. Mr. Sanjay Achawal, Executive Director – Consumer and Commercial and Head of Sales, Ingram Micro, India, has a rich and diversified experience of about 26 years across various functions such as Sales, Marketing, Service, Credit Control, Operations and thereby has a good cross-functional understanding of the business. After having managed the Sales and Marketing operations for Strategic Business Unit and Enterprise Business Unit, he is currently Head of Consumer & Commercial Business Unit at Ingram Micro with a large portfolio of IT Vendors. Mr. Sanjay Achawal has earned a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and Post-Graduation in Management from the University of Mumbai. He is based out of Mumbai.

In an interaction with NCN Magazine, Mr. Sanjay Achawal, Executive Director – Consumer and Commercial and Head of Sales, Ingram Micro, India, shares about their market focus, customer-orientation and business strategy for the Indian market.

Please throw some light on how Ingram Micro is playing a pivotal role in the distribution business.

Technology plays a crucial role in helping organizations become agile and maintain business continuity. At Ingram Micro, we are well-equipped to adapt to 100% remote operations without any hindrances. Most of the technology we use is cloud-based, and this enabled our team to adapt to remote working seamlessly.

Ingram Micro is expanding its footprint around the world with a task force that helps in driving opportunities and getting future-ready. We scan the environment and prepare ourselves for the ‘next new.’

We started as a distributor for electronic components, computer peripherals, growing and developing into a value-added distributor. The strategic acquisition of vendor logos in our vast portfolio allows us to move along the transformation journey where we currently play an important role of a solution aggregator in the channel ecosystem.

How has the pandemic affected your business and what lessons have you gathered from this?

The pandemic undoubtedly has impacted organisations across the globe. The lockdown made remote workforce support essential, and it happened at a scale that most organisations weren’t prepared for or struggled to maintain steady business volume.  Businesses had to quickly adapt to a rapidly evolving situation and turn to IT channel for the tools that they need to make remote work possible such as mobility, wireless connectivity, security, business applications and collaboration solutions. The top lessons we have gathered were:

  • We need to be ‘Digitally ready’ as the drive to adopt data-driven technologies is rapidly changing the face of today’s workforce.
  • Need to have quick response mechanism to act fast to any situation through navigating new and ever-changing demand of the market.
  • As the largest distributor of technology products and services with warehouses and offices across India, we were well-positioned to support essential service providers with their IT and mobility requirements from the early days of the lockdown.
  • Covid-19 has served as an opportunity for businesses to evaluate their preparedness to handle unprecedented disruptions. This has inevitably boosted demand for long-term digital transformation projects, and channel partners ensured that they develop the skills and competency to leverage these opportunities.

What are the current focus areas of Ingram Micro? How are you dealing with the challenges you face in channel management?

Some of Ingram Micro’s focus areas include:

  • Solutions selling over product selling especially in the Enterprise and Commercial space.
  • Promote B2B2C Services designed to eliminate the challenges faced by physical stores such as limited inventory, a narrow product range and loss of sales. We are expanding the market for our retail partners through B2B2C Platform with a One-time setup solution.
  • IMeCom – the industry-leading ecommerce platform of IM gives you access to thousands of IT resellers a wide product portfolio comprising of over 200 vendors withcomplete ease of doing business.
  • Financing solutions through Ingram Micro Financial Solutions provides flexible and affordable payment terms to support acquisition of IT and support working capital needs in execution of large multi-year.
  • News areas in the adjacencies space, expanding product portfolio.
  • Investing in Advanced Solutions to help partners create complete solutions using these new and emerging technologies, Services and Training activities including Professional Services, Security Services, IM Link, Training & Education services.

What are your strategies to educate and motivate your channel partners?

  • Through our Professional Services we provide top class training courses from 65+ Industry Leaders to fit every business need on your schedule with our training and education services.
  • Conducting monthly Webinars for Enterprises, Cloud Partners and end customers.
  • Run Partner Incentive Programs for partners to win exciting rewards.
  • Support lead generation activities.
  • Pinnacle Program for IM’s Elite partners.
  • Proactive Credit support to meet large deal execution and manage business peak cycles.

Explain the scope and opportunities in the distribution segment in India?

Distribution is all about making the product available to the Users from the Manufacturer in the most efficient and economical manner. The scope and opportunities for supply chain solutions are immense in India. Nowadays, we hear terms such as Industry 4.0 which includes Machine Learning, AI, IoT and by combining Industry 4.0 with supply chain offerings. The Indian industries can transform their distribution channel and can turn the challenges into opportunities.

How do you build a product ecosystem for the solution business?

  • Create Industry specific solutions addressing the needs of the specific customer set e.g., education, manufacturing, logistics etc.
  • Continue to expand product portfolio to be able to provide complete solutions.
  • Leverage on strong Professional Services team to support Partners in execution.
  • Help partners with presales support in the enterprise space.

What strategies are implemented by Ingram Micro for upgrading the sales system?

  • Quick quotes to Partners being sent by Ingram Micro making it easy to accept and convert it into orders directly.
  • IMEcom – B2B ecommerce Platform eliminating the need to conduct business through physical mode or email for order placement, Query handling, all operational support about Delivery Status Information, Account statements Order status etc.
  • Investments in collaborative tools for Sales associates to enhance their productivity and lead to superlative customer experience adhering to defined SLAs (Laptops to each associate, Connectivity internally through MS teams).
  • Automated emails to internal associates as well as customers on information on routine queries.

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