Mr Ashok Kumar, MD, RAH Infotech shares with NCN how he started his business and shaped the company as one of India’s fastest growing technology value added distributors (VAD) for four years in a row. RAH Infotech is amongst the country’s top value-added distributors with an extensive portfolio of information management solutions. In over a decade of its operations, RAH Infotech has been consistently providing world class IT solutions to a large number of channel partners and corporates in India and SAARC countries.
Describe your journey over the years and how you started your distribution business?
We started this company in July 2005 and my aim was to address the customer needs in India by offering right sort of IT solutions. In that quest, we went after global technology companies that have best-in-class technology solutions. We partnered with many US, Europe and Israeli firms who are leaders in their respective domains.
Initially we offered networking solutions in collaboration with our OEM partners, and slowly, during 2010-11, we entered into security space when that area was comparatively new to the Indian market. Meanwhile we were expanding our geographical presence as well. In 2008, we opened offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and expanded to Singapore in 2011-12. And during the journey, we kept on building a great team too!
What are the new technological revolutions that you see that have changed?
The technology business, or the business that we are in, is a perfect combination of hardware and software. If I get specific, the role of distributorship has changed nowadays, we are not only the distributors, but we are also technological partners with our customers. We don’t just give them offerings; we talk about the solutions.
In the last year you have had five major tie ups, what are the focus areas for all the tie ups?
Micro Focus is one of the world’s largest enterprise software makers, to help enterprises in India as they start their digitalization journeys and build more agile, cyber-secure and analytics driven organizations. As a national distributor, RAH Infotech will leverage its pan-India distribution network to deploy Micro Focus’ entire suite of technology solutions around Hybrid IT, Security, Enterprise DevOps, and Predictive Analytics. With its robust portfolio backed by advanced analytics, the company delivers the insights, efficiencies, and automation necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. We have a very good reach in the market so that’s what we bring across to the table.
After security space you are focussing on software business also. Please explain?
Cloud is a growing phenomenon and now, post pandemic, this is becoming mainstream. Organizations of all sizes are shifting to cloud in some form or the other because of its multifaceted advantages – be it cost, ease of use, agility and moreover, the overall management of the processes. With cloud storage you have a peace of mind, you don’t have to worry about DC, DR etc. This is one more area we are heavily invested in.
How do you see opportunities in work from home in the business?
Pandemic changed the way do our things –be it business, pleasure or any other thing. Most of our works became dependent on technology and in India there is still a big digital divide. However, post pandemic, becoming digital got priority and it opened up huge opportunities for us. To do WFH, you need an access device and a reliable internet connection. You need security too to protect your data. Means, you need a lot of solutions and there is a huge opportunity.
How do you balance your business with personal life?
In RAH, everything is process driven so even if I am not in office, business run as usual. In 2008, we invested in making our organization process driven and we are reaping the benefits since.
Secondly team is important, and we have a robust team. They are putting in their efforts day and night and that’s my strength. I can blindly trust my teammates as they all are hardworking. Even if I am travelling, I get one or two phone calls per day which is manageable. People are not dependent on me for their work, but we all have separate KRAs. I think at times it’s a bit difficult to get connected to the team, but now people are also used to get connected via various UC tools, so we don’t actually require a physical meeting unless it’s too critical. However, if we keep the processes in place then it’s workable.
What has the journey been for the past 16 years?
It has been fun so far. I never chased after the growth of the company, rather loved working and building the team. As they say, I was not looking at the destination but kept on enjoying the journey.
When will the turning point come in your life?
Getting into official distribution was a turning point, second phase was when we signed up with more technologies; third phase was having more people. We have grown gradually and built our comfort zone. We are a self-financed company and never required VC or private finance support.
What are your plans for international business?
We already have an international reach in terms of delivery and we have reached to Singapore, the US, the Netherlands, and we have tried Dubai too. India is a much bigger and better market and we understand the people and managing things here is comparatively easier. We believe in Make in India, design in India, and build in India, and we are confident we will thrive if we could address these requirements. We already have a good presence in Make In India – we are already designing PCBs here for our upcoming hardware business. We are developing our own OS too! We have already completed 70 % of our work and if everything goes well, then within a month or so, we will launch our new product.
What is your goal?
We are targeting 100% revenue growth in next three years.