Director & Spokesperson TAIT Chairman - COMIT show
How old is TAIT? Please share details of the Governing Body of TAIT?
The Trade Association of IT (TAIT) was founded in March 1996. It consists of seven Board of Directors elected by members and three co-opted Directors selected by Board of Directors. At present, there are more than 200 partners associated with our Association.
Please elaborate on the election system and what is the current strength of your members?
Election system of the TAIT Committee members is an annual event. All the eligible members can contest for board of directors. Election is conducted by secret ballot method. There are total of seven board of directors which are further designated as President, Vice-President, Joint Secretary, General Secretary and Treasurer. Three directors retire by rotation every year at the end of the Annual General Meeting.
How do you tackle the channel-vendor issues?
In the event of disputes, we communicate with the vendors and, if required, organize one-to- one meetings to resolve issues by bringing parties on the same table under one roof.
TAIT has initiated a campaign to streamline direct selling by principals, importers and distributors. Direct selling by principals, importers and distributors is a major cause of concern for channels. Many IT distributors and importers have adopted dubious direct sales strategies for reaching out to end-customers directly. The effect of this is disastrous as this leads to a situation where channels will not find it feasible to continue and ultimately perish or move over to other business avenues or models. Channel health (and confidence) is shaky.
We, at TAIT, fully understand the need to sell direct to end-customers and are not suggesting that principals/importers/distributors do away with this practice. However, we would strongly urge them to draft clear-cut policies for direct and channel sales. This will lead to a healthy business scenario, higher margins for all and garner higher channel loyalty and more robust channel force. We would invite all TAIT members to cooperate and help us in this endeavour to bring the much-needed sanctity and rationalization in this issue.
Are fraudulent and "fly-by-night" kind of activities prevalent more in metros?
No issue - No trouble means No business. This is what we feel. For us, the type of issue is not important. Rather, reaching to its resolution healthily is what is important. Undoubtedly, “fly-by- night” kind of situation is more rampant in the metros or A-class cities as the size of the market is quite large and it is not easy for a single association to keep a check. Thus, we try to promote a few necessary guidelines, according to which we promote the idea to avoid doing business with new-comers, always cross check the credibility of the partner with your fellow associates before doing business with any partner for the first time. Based on our experience, the situation in smaller towns is better because of close-knit environment in business. Not many people are there in the business of selling computer or broadly speaking IT. So, it is easier to keep track.
What kind of support do you have from the IT vendors?
Vendors are very supportive and are always there to resolve any issues faced by our members.
How do you take the voice of the channel to the principals?
Mails, discussions and seminars are the various means adopted to keep discussions healthy and regular between the two parties and members also. Recently, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) launched a Voluntary Endorsement Label - BEESTAR Ver 1 - for notebook computers/laptops, which will indicate that the product is among the most energy-efficient models available in the Indian market. TAIT feels proud to be the only channel association to be a part of this exercise. The label provides an endorsement indicating that a product meets specified criteria of energy efficiency. The purpose of endorsement labelling is to indicate clearly to the consumer that the labelled product saves energy compared to other similar products in the category. BEE STAR label is at par with the ENERGY STAR version 5.2 of the US EPA.
What is your target for 2011?
ComIT started four years back. Our vision is to see that IT is the gateway of all IT products and new technologies. Every year, we are getting new vendors joining the participation list. We want to give our customers the knowledge about the products. We always visit other countries to learn new things, but with this event we want our colleagues to get first-hand information in the home town itself.
Time has changed now. IT and telecom are going to merge. Next, we will see that communication will have IT as its backbone and will host shows together. We will also bring participation from foreign vendors also. We will not just showcase products but we are also planning to have classrooms for students and elderly people to make them aware of technology and educate them. We are not a commercial company. So, we work for the benefit of the industry and public at large. In the last year's ComIT, about 80 brands participated, which we expect to significantly increase this year.
Why did you feel that the Association is important?
The Association - as the name suggests - is a get-together. The mission is to tackle business criticalities if they are of concern to many and not one, jointly.
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