Progressive Channels Association of Information Technology (PCAIT) organized an ‘All India Channel Conclave’ on 2nd August in New Delhi. The conclave witnessed participation of PCAIT members from across India who deliberated on topics related to the growing competition faced by ICT channel partners from the online e-retail industry and creation new opportunities for the channel retailers to flourish in the market.
More than 80 channel partners from across the country got together for the first time to promote a common objective of setting up of an online marketplace owned by channels themselves and bridge the gap of a dedicated IT and product service portal. The portal will be a first of its kind in India that will offer product-based services across the length and breadth of the country owing to the strong channel network of PCAIT. Additionally, it will cater to the demands of the online customers who, due to a lack of proper service platform, return the product owing to defects or unsatisfactory performance. Alok Gupta, President, PCAIT, commenting on the relevance of the conclave stated, “Over the years, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of online retailers operating in India. However, there is an urgent need to pay attention to the practices deployed by such portals when it comes to procurement and selling of products at rates which are way below the market rates. Also, providing online service for the products is a key issue which has been lacking till now. The conclave is an attempt to address this disparity and make the market a level playing field for ICT channel partners by providing them a platform to operate their business, online in order to cater to the fast growing segment”.
The conclave featured various presentations from members across the regions, focusing on related topics. Some key speakers at the conclave included B Hari, President, CIITA (East); Champak Gurjar, President, FITAM (West); Karthikeyan, S., President, SIITA (South); and Prasanto K. Roy, Member, PCAIT. Shedding more light on the objective of the conclave, Saket Kapur, General Secretary PCAIT (North) opined, “ICT Channel Conclave is a step towards identifying and addressing the issues being faced by the channel retailers from the online platforms. Being true to the theme of our conclave which was- ‘Growth with Unity’ we understand that online is an important mode of doing business, hence we encourage our members to take their business online and explore new growth avenues.” The speakers also stated that a national level association would be formed to deal with the problems of the partners. All the different regional level associations will be connected to this organization and work in coordination.
This national level organization would also be coming up with its own online portal where partners can now sell their products via this portal. This is a move to counterbalance the activities of the online portals in the market. PCAIT has already started discussions with govt officials about the messy market conditions generated by the online portals who are upsetting MOP and the measures that need to be taken to curb this menace. PCAIT also plans to organize a meet of different vendors in an attempt to coax them to come up with a common policy that puts controls on the online portals and that sets price tags that will keep both online portals as well as traditional channel in balance.