Preparing for slow growth, Delhi based IT distribution company Iris Computers is looking at adding healthcare products to its portfolio as soon as the lockdown period eases. According to the distributor, the lockdown period has been a big setback for IT distribution houses, which are majorly dependent on import and delivery of products to partners and customers. Since lockdown came into force, Iris’ supply of material has been limited to ‘essential’ customers. However, the distributor is hopeful of recovery of the business through addition of healthcare products to its offerings.
Speaking exclusively to CRN India, Sanjiv Krishen, Chairman, Iris Computers says, “The Covid-led lockdown has impacted us in a big way in terms of revenue growth; we have seen eight per cent hit in our revenue. We had orders of Rs 100 crore before the lockdown, but we could not bill them due to lockdown and secondly the supply chain from China was impacted January onwards. For instance, our order worth Rs 55 crore for 8,000 desktops to Kendra Vidyalaya could not be delivered. Overall, the March month has a crucial billing cycle, and last week of March sees billing of the highest number of orders. The lockdown has come heavily on our payment recovery. Nevertheless, we are waiting for the lockdown period to end, so that we can resume delivery of orders.”
Unlike IT/ITeS services, the work-from-home (WFH) approach for a distributor like Iris does not garner positive result. Krishen feels that WFH has reduced the efficiency and productivity to 50 per cent as the delivery of orders is at standstill. He informs, “Our main job is distribution of goods, our business transaction has come down to 10 per cent, limited to essential services such as banks, hospitals and telecom companies. Delivery is on hold, except for essential services where customers are giving declaration and permission from the authorities.”
Payments and bank limit
With the lockdown period extended till May 03, vendors like HP, Apple and Dell have agreed to extend payments after the lockdown. “With payment cash flow impacted, banks are reducing limits and payments of recovery from customers and partners is getting delayed. Overall, just few sectors like healthcare, banking, telecom, education and IT services may see a healthy growth, but for IT distribution, it will be a flat year,” Krishen projected.
With production in China and supply of material returning to normalcy, Krishen believes, “Although there is an anti- China sentiment among people, I don’t expect companies will stop buying laptops and desktops. We are receiving new orders from corporates and enterprises; we see that things will be back to normal once the lockdown period ends.”
When asked about the recovery plan for Iris, Krishen affirms, “We are making realistic projections. We will grow, but not at 30 per cent- may be between five per cent and 10 per cent. We are looking to add thermal imaging cameras, handheld healthcare products, and exploring this space with standard products. Now every company has to put in precautionary measures and Iris wants to participate in this opportunity.”
Krishen assures that Iris will not deduct salaries of its workforce or lay off employees. He adds, “We are optimistic that business will happen and all of our workforce will be required. We don’t need to cut and layoff people. Overall, the IT industry will witness a flat year.”