Birendra Yadav, managing director, Bluecom Infotech Pvt. ltd.
Tell us a little about yourself and Bluecom Infotech Private Limited.
I am an engineering graduate from Mumbai and consider myself what we call a ‘first generation entrepreneur’. Bluecom was born in the year 2005 as a small time system integration company and since the time of its inception, it has been a roller coaster of a journey and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The company has been associated as a sales partner with Lenovo from day one and later was appointed as a Service Partner for Mumbai in the year 2008. I have always been a strong believer in the philosophy of karma. This has helped me learn from the tough times and emerge as a winner in most situations.
Briefly explain your business model. What are the key verticals and drivers for your business growth?
The Bluecom business model is divided into 3 verticals.First, Value Added Distribution (VAD) where we distribute the entire commercial portfolio of Lenovo products to the channels. For example Laptops, Desktops, Visulas, Peripherals, Services, Servers, Storage and Tablets.
Second, we sell System Integration (SI) portfolio such as- End points, Servers, Storage, Networking, Security, Power Solutions, Softwares, Services to various corporations.We have a large team in this vertical in order to address end-to-end needs and expectations of these companies
Third, we also have a dedicated team exclusively working in the Government Business(GB) vertical, with a very strong participation on the GEM portal. We recently bagged a very big project (worth INR 40 crores) from the Government of Maharashtra
What were some of the challenges that were overcome by your organization due to the COVID pandemic?
I am a strong believer in the philosophy that one who sees an opportunity in a challenge will always come out the winner. This COVID pandemic definitely posed some challenges. During the first lockdown most of our staff moved to their native places and for those who were in Mumbai, it was not easy to commute. Though most of our staff had the option of working from home, we still required some manforce onground to receive and dispatch materials. I would personally pick up and drop my employees in my own vehicle. We also faced issues with procuring and moving materials, which we resolved by using our personal transportation. Fortunately the IT industry has done really well during the lockdown and has aided us to pick up our business after the initial struggle. We added a few fast moving devices during this time, which has resulted in business growth. I am very proud to have a team who worked tirelessly during the lockdown period, and because of that Bluecom is seeing almost a 100% growth over the pre-pandemic time.
How have you as an SMB fared in sales in the last year and what is your long-term strategy?
If we compare the pre pandemic FY19-20 period with the current FY 21-22 period we are faring quite well with almost 100% revenue growth. The digitisation that would have taken 10 years has happened in the last one year which is an exciting thing for the IT community. Every additional device that is getting sold is bringing in a lot of allied opportunities for every domain in IT and hence it is an exciting time for the entire fraternity.
Some of the Lenovo devices that have seen a high demand during the pandemic are - entry level devices like ThinkBook and V series. There has also been a huge demand for ThinkPad and Tablets in the market. So much so that this stock demand could not be met by other companies, except Lenovo. Before the pandemic lockdown situation, Bluecom would struggle to procure and sell a few hundred units. And now with the help of Lenovo, we have already received over 40,000 units. We are expanding and building our overall capacity to be able to grab the opportunities which are available to us.
What kind of services and solutions do you provide your customers?
Bluecom Infotech is a hardware system integration company and our core strength lies in integrating solutions and services around those hardwares.
In our association with the Government of Maharashtra, we have provided end-to-end educational content solutions along with the devices. This includes MDM, remote access software, and complete educational content software. Additionally, Lenovo has recently started focusing exclusively on driving services and solutions around their hardware business, which has greatly benefited our customers. Particularly services from Lenovo like Device as a Service, Premier Support, Lifecycle warranty and protection have seen a positive response from our customers.
Are you seeing any trends that are causing customers to shift to another brand or product? What is the most preferred customer brand in your view?
There are few established IT brand names in India and Lenovo is one of the most trusted and established ones among them. Due to the pandemic, there has been a huge supply shortage across the IT brands. Lenovo, with its sheer intent to ensure that the demand was met, worked with their channel partners during this time and was seen as one of the highest contributors of devices in the market.
For PC and Servers our territory is Mumbai and for Lenovo Tablets we are responsible for the entire Maharashtra. During the lockdown when there was need and when it mattered the most Lenovo along with their channel partners were there to fulfill the needs and requirement of the market. Hence, according to me the one who stood by us when it mattered, is the most preferred, and that is LENOVO.
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