Vishnu Kumar Bhandari, Chairman and Managing Director of Supertron Electronics Pvt. Ltd.spoke to BE’s AnkitaChakraborty on the future prospects of IT hardware business.
Q. What are the major setbacks faced by eastern India when it comes to a high quality IT distribution sector?
A. As far as the IT business is concerned, east India’s contribution, including that of the north eastern states, is the lowest compared to other parts of India. The major challenges are geographical reach and socio-economic status compared to other regions. Challenges to technology adoption that stand out in the eastern region are high initial investment, lack of adequate infrastructure in states, no compelling business reason to implement technology, etc. But with time, we have seen a lot of improvisation in technology adaptation in the government, industrial, and corporate sectors. In the initial period, there was not much focus from the vendors either. Slowly focus and investment from vendors contributed to the growth of eastern India. Partners also upgraded to understand technology and started investing in business to keep pace with the growth of industries. Supertron works closely with its partners and ensures their growth. Supertron is not confined to the eastern region only; we are present all across thecountry.
Q. As IT and telecom are among the sunrise sectors, what would be your strategies to drive distribution business to supply chain management?
A. The convergence of IT and telecom has given opportunity to IT distributors to get into mobile distribution and we are also in a similar line. We are being associated with a few mobile brands and play a role of distribution along with end-to-end execution responsibility.
Q. The GST of telecom sector is 18%- up from the previous 15%- resulting in a load over the telecom sector, which is already under financial burden. How will it affect the sector?
A. GST is positive sign for all industries and it is true for the mobile industry as well. Under the government’s ‘Make in India’ push, it will encourage manufacturing in India with cost effectiveness of the products. As per reports from different agencies, a good number of phones got manufactured in India and were sold in the January-March quarter. Specifically, in mobile phones,a lot of infiltration was happening between states due to difference in the tax structure. The GST will allow a level playing field across territories.
Q. What is Supertron’s growth percentage in the last five years and how has it evolved its presence on a pan India basis?
A. Our growth has been decent from FY08-09. We are growing both organically and inorganically every year with a cumulative growth 30% plus y-o-y.
Q. What are the major brands that work with Supertron and what have been your strategic tie-ups to increase your company’s presence worldwide?
A. Currently, we are dealing with more than 20 brands. We are associated with world class brands like Dell, Seagate, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Acer, Logitech etc. we feel there is enough space to grow in India. We will get into other markets worldwide with the right strategy when we are fully ready to take that route.