One of the major metropolis in India and the largest city in Gujarat, Ahmedabad has been rapidly evolving as an important IT market. Ahmedabad’s selection among the Modi government’s Smart Cities mission further poses bigger potential in terms of opportunities, especially in the government sector, for IT vendors and the channel ecosystem.
Speaking on the government business, Biren Shah, Managing Director, Adit Microsys, informs, “We are associated with government projects, but most government projects provide opportunities to large system integrators and national channel players. The smart city projects provide large volume business opportunity to such large channel partners.”
He further informs that security, networking and cloud are the top three IT segments in the city. The storage market in Ahmedabad is good as well, but volumes are mostly for lower cost products. market for premium storage is limited. He says, “We don’t see any strong trend in any particular month for mostly SMB customers. Enterprise customer and government have a tendency to buy more in February and March. Some of the bestselling brands for us are HP, Dell, Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, Kaspersky, QNAP, etc.”
For another city-based player Bitscape Infotech, the top three IT segments includes pharma, manufacturing and retail; whereas, the key business period includes the months of March, June, September and December.
Kartik Shah, Director, Bitscape Infotech, further informs, “Overall the market for storage in Ahmedabad is on growth trajectory as the data size is increasing with a mix of cloud storage also gaining good ground. As cloud is the buzzword in the industry, the solutions and services built around and over cloud platforms is gaining momentum. Due to the high data volume being generated, storage – cloud as well as on-premise – is also one of the fastest growing segments. While mentioning this, one cannot forget the growing security concerns and needs for businesses and enterprises, resulting this into one of the top segments for the vendors and the partners specialising in deploying these solutions.”
Challenges for partners
Speaking on some of the challenges faced by the IT channel community in th city, Karthik Shah says, “In terms of service support, the situation is changing and people and organisations have started valuing the services/expertise and therefore resulted in they being ready-to-pay extra for the services. However, there is a long way to go on this front and as maturity increases, things will happen for good.”
According to Anuja Parikh, Director, Intech Systems – a Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in ERP solutions, there is also lack of awareness about the products, and lack of well-defined scope of work by the end client. Adding to that Biren Shah points out that long payment cycles is a key challenge.
There is a mix of all kind of channel partners in Ahmedabad, with each one trying to carve their niche in the markets that they participate. Over the years, many resellers have been diversifying into system integration and are providing total solutions and services to their customers, trying to grab higher wallet share.
Some of the key national, regional and sub-distributors in the city include Ingram Micro, Regington, Compuage, M-Tech, RAH, Inflow, iValue, RPtech India and several others.
International Association for Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) Ahmedabad Chapter is on growth trajectory and currently has a member strength of over 20 partners in the city. Regular knowledge sharing meetings around best practices, partner-to-partner collaboration, etc, is being carried out.
Apart from this, Gujarat Electronics & Software Industries Association (GESIA) represents the ICT industry of the state. The association works in partnership with the Government of Gujarat for the promotion of IT, ITeS, electronics, telecom and networking in the state. “Another association that is active is Infotech Software Dealers Association (ISODA). The local association Ahmedabad Computer Manufactures Association (ACMA) is also active in the region,” states Kartik Shah.