Tell us something about Westcon and Comstor?
Westcon was founded 24 years ago, and today our operations are spread across six continents, servicing reseller customers in 70 countries. Comstor is a dedicated business, wholly focussed on Cisco. We represent Cisco in all the technology spaces in which they operate, whether that is borderless network, data center, networking, security and convergence and collaboration. Last year, we executed over 20,000 cross-border transactions in support of the maturing global nature of our Comstor business. Recently, Westcon executed the industry's first Global Distribution Agreement with Cisco.
How long has been your partnership with Cisco? How many partners have you been able to rope in?
Our Comstor brand is the recognized leader in the value distribution of Cisco products. It is a "single vendor" distribution channel that operates in parallel to other Westcon branded offerings. We have been associated with Cisco for the past 15 years now. The size of the Comstor business which is exclusively with Cisco is about $1.7 billion and we represent it in over 40 countries globally. We have around 400-plus active resellers working under us. The active resellers spans from system integrators, service providers, to several other areas of business.
You entered the Indian market in May 2010, at a time when already there were established Cisco distributors operating in the market. What was the driving force behind this decision?
It was more of an opportunity that we got in the Indian market space. The Indian market has been very well served by Cisco products. The Indian economy is quite strong and opportunities are galore. More importantly, it was a joint decision taken by us and Cisco. They felt that true value-added distributors who would be particularly focussed on their brand was missing in the market. That is when we came on the scene. We bring a whole range of skills and proven methodology to the market in India. Our approach is very holistic ranging from logistics to shipping products, to lending money to the resellers, offering credit to the market, etc. But what is significant is the value addition that we offer to business. And, we have achieved this by being in this market for quite some time now.
While others have to set up interactions and chalk out strategies, we already have a large number of foolproof programs to deploy in the market, for consumers to reap utmost benefits. We believe that the success of our Comstor business derives from this pure play approach and our collaboration with Cisco to address the market opportunities and the market challenges that exist in each of the countries we operate in.
Since you consider yourself to be a hardcore VAD, what kind of value addition do you offer to your products?
We are a global organization with very local entrepreneurial engagements. We engage local people to run a portion of the business with our methodology and help them in the marketplace to develop programs and initiatives with Cisco products. The methodology we approach with is that three-fourths of what we do with Cisco products is to customize customer's work at the back office, offering a highly targeted product portfolio and an innovative range of services. While others have yet to set up interactions and chalk out strategies, we already have a large number of foolproof programs to deploy in the market for consumers to reap utmost benefits. We address specific needs of the customers, thereby putting things in place.
When you say programs, do you mean Cisco's or Comstor's programs?
It is basically an integration of both Comstor's and Cisco's programs making them more reseller enabled.
What are the kinds of expectations you have in terms of increasing your channel base by the end of the financial year? Where do you see the untapped potential in the Indian market?
We would be adding new partners in the Cisco base every quarter. But we also understand that it is not just enough to sign partners. Equally significant is the fact that we enable the partner to sell the products. Thus, we give and would continue to give ample attention to this area, as usual.
There is vast untapped potential in the sectors like healthcare and education. In the healthcare sector, there is a need for providing high-tech medical facilities in the non-urbanized areas. And in the case of education, there still remain many challenges when it comes to delivering quality teaching staff or sophisticated methods of teaching or equipments.
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