The Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) recently hosted an insightful panel discussion as part of their ‘Market Adda’ initiative. The event brought together industry veterans from across the IT Ecosystem, to discuss and share insights on how IT retailers and traders can survive the competitive online marketplace and evolve their business. Held at the Avion Hotel, Vile Parle, the event was a major success, with members passionately participating in Q&A’s and engaging with speakers post the event.
With leading e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart announcing mega sale ahead of the festive season, the panel discussion was hosted by TAIT at a strategic time. With the competitive online marketplaces offering huge discounts, fear of losing out business and most of all, becoming eventually irrelevant, were some of the genuine questions that the ‘Market Adda’ addressed through the panel discussion.
The panel discussion began with the introduction of the stellar set of speakers, namely Mr. Rakesh Shah, Director, Best IT World, India (Director, i-Ball); Mr. Dushyant Mehta, Mediaman Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (A prominent Personality in the IT Channel industry); Mr. Gurbir Singh Bhatia, Prime A B G B Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Shrenik Shah, Options Computers, and Mr. DevendraSayani, D. C. Infotech. The discussion, expertly moderated by Mr. DevangThakore, touched upon multiple facets of online Vs traditional business models, including weather online, really is a threat or an opportunity?; How can a traditional business survive in this environment?; Do we need a transition?; What skillsets/ tools training is required to equip oneself for the virtual marketplace?; and lastly, is e-commerce/ M-commerce the way forward? Discussing these questions, the panellists gave elaborate and insightful observations and guided the members as to how they can proceed to survive and thrive in the current scenario. Key takeaways from the session were:
- Seek Opportunity:E-commerce and the virtual marketplace is here to stay and members need to learn to see the opportunity in the platform, instead of viewing it as a threat
- Add Value: It is important for traditional businesses to add value to their customers who have remained loyal to them. Hence, traditional business in the era of online marketplaces needs to adopt a service-oriented approach that offers the customers a superior understanding and positive interaction opportunities apart from the prompt response and several other value additions
- Focus on a Niche: While conducting business in the traditional format, it will be beneficial for SI’s and traders to identify niche products and service that are NOT available online and create a strong positioning in that area. While e-commerce is growing stronger day by day, it currently only accounts for about 20% total IT sale, translating into a huge opportunity to create a strong offline presence with niche products
- Have an online identity: Lastly, with online transactions practically taking over every aspect of our lives and the next generation literally growing up with a ‘digital’ aptitude, e-marketplaces are bound to grow and flourish. For traditional businesses, it thus important to remain relevant by creating a basic online identity to ensure the presentation is recorded. A more adventurous set of traders many even try creating a standalone e-commerce platform for selling their own niche products and services, thus leveraging the ‘digital’ as a gen-next opportunity
Highlighting the need for discussions on topics that directly impact the business of member partners, Mr. Sameer Parekh, President, TAIT said “This was yet another event organised with the objective of assisting the growth of the member organisations, and I am happy to have received a good response from all members. The tips shared by IT Trade leaders, who are known and followed for their wisdom on the subject, are immensely helpful and I am sure all members would benefit from these.”
Sharing his view on the topic, moderator Mr. Thakore said, “Today’s consumer is increasingly busy than ever before, so their convenience of having access to products online is definitely an important parameter in deal closure. Yet the traditional preference of see-feel-touch and on-ground experience is yet not dead.”
Further, each panellist shared a distinct message for members on the one thing they need to focus on, above all else, to remain relevant and successful in their business. Summarising their message, Mr. Rakesh Shah, Director, Best IT World, (Director, i-Ball) India added, “Members/ partners need to realize they are much more than just box sellers. They need to evolve and create their own identity in order to survive.” Mr. Dushyant Mehta, Mediaman further added, “The partners need to focus on the customer and understand his needs and requirements and scan for possible opportunities to grow and succeed. As a basic rule for any successful enterprise, customer centricity is the key to a profitable business.” Mr.
Gurbir Singh Bhatia, Managing Director, Prime A B G B Pvt. Ltd. pointed out, “My message to the members would be to ‘evolve’ and to ‘innovate’– two basic things they need to consistently do in order to survive in their business.” Adding to this, Mr. Sherink Shah, Partner, Options, said, “The channel partners need not worry about the online threat. Though it is here to stay, the traditional, offline business is also bound to stay and it not a threat to their online business.” Lastly, summing up the entire discussion, Mr. DevendraSayani, Partner, DC Infotech,pointed out, “Every business has their own USP and strength. It may be service, credit period, niche products, anything. It is important for members to identify their USP, focus on it, and nurture it so they can survive the competition.”
The insightful discussion ended on a high note and was followed by an equally engaging LaunchPad Pro Session by Mr. Nikesh Jain, Director, NeoSoft – a premier trading enterprise for computer peripherals and accessories. Highlighting his 17 years long association with the IT trade industry, Mr. Nikesh shared his heartfelt gratitude to all members and went ahead to showcase the latest range of Cabinets, mouse, keyboards and other peripherals and Computer speakers. His aesthetic and reasonably priced products were well received and appreciated.
This was followed by a brief informative session by TAIT Board Members, where future events, including the TAIT IT Cricket Tournament and TAIT Annual Networking Meet, held during the winter months, were announced. Over a hearty dinner and dessert, the Market Adda event wrapped up as a largely engaging and successful evening!
Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India
Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India.
Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India.
“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.
ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament
ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.
The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.
The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion.
The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:
- Country qualifiers
- Country finals
- Asia Pacific finals
Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.
Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals.
Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.
3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:
|ROG Masters APAC Championship||APAC Finals (USD/ team)|
Registration and Official Tournament Website
Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.
Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.
Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars
Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region.
The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia.
The team captains for each nation are:
- Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
- Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
- Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)
- Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
- Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
- Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)
- Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
- Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
- Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)
- RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
- Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
- The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)
Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!.
To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
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