Jagannath Kallakurchi, MD & CEO, Choice Solutions believes that post COVID-19, the market will witness huge competition for every opportunity and partners will have to rely heavily on their USPs and the value that they can bring to customers
What’s your assessment of the current scenario and what are the lessons learned?
Looking at the current scenario, I believe it is going to take lot of time for everyone to lead a normal life. My guess is that in the second half of 2020, COVID-19 will be slowly forgotten. For solution providers like us, it has brought near zero or negligible business.
We have learned the following lessons from this pandemic:
• Reduce the fixed expenses
• Be agile and automate processes
• Improve profitability for cash availability
• Focus on core business
How well are you prepared to handle such unprecedented situations? What are some of the best practices followed?
To be honest, our ability to handle such situation was less than 50 per cent. The best practices we worked during this period were around using analytics tools to study and analse the current state of each business divisions. It reflected and helped us to make some informed and strong decisions.
During the period of total lockdown, how did you ensure 24×7 support and service to your customers and in the process, helped them in maintain continuity of their business operations?
We helped all those customers who we could connect remotely or offer telephonic support. Most of our customers are in corporate and non-medical domain, and that’s why, many of them too were under lockdown. In the coming one year, we will communicate and ensure that many of our customers are prepared for remote management so that we can provide better services 24×7.
Highlight some of the challenges being faced while providing support or service to the customers during this period
None of the customers made any unrealistic requests during lockdown period. And once lockdown 4.0 started, wherein we were allowed to travel, we started attending on-site calls as well.
How will the IT channel industry evolve post COVID-19 crisis?
The learning during this period is going to be huge for the channel industry. The influential parameters are as follows:
• Choose your customer
• Corporate or Retail business take a clear stand
• One needs to have clear differentiation to have better profits
• Stocking will be ‘SIN’ during 2020-21
Channel will also be ready in coming times to opt for work-from-home options and, at the same time, provide services and consulting to customers. However, the partner community is strong enough to overcome this crisis very fast. The recovery would be seen tangibly before end of second quarter. Partners will work around their core competencies and with increased automation.
Please outline your growth roadmap and GTM strategy post COVID-19? And where do you think the OEMs / vendors will help your organisation in achieving the desired growth results?
We, at Choice Solutions, have a strong desire and planning to improve business by 50 per cent over the 2019-20 or even more in remaining three quarters left the current financial year.
We are going to focus more on our core competencies, while choosing profitable customers, preparing teams to handle the tough situations, training them, and improvising the CRM and all other tools within the system.
The OEMs/vendors have not yet communicated on how we are going to operate once the market opens up. I guess they are also carefully evaluating how to make their own GTM and ensure that all partners are enrolled into their mission of being successful.
Lastly, I would like to mention that things are not going to be as straight forward as it was before. The market will witness huge competition for every opportunity. Hence, partners will have to rely heavily on their USPs and what value they can bring to the customers. We spent six weeks to get this USP right for both internal and external (OEM/vendor) products.