Nagpur’s infrastructure progress ushers new business opportunities for partners

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Traditionally, Nagpur is home to large commercial, manufacturing industries and MSMEs. The growth of IT has been steady in these segments

The Orange City, Nagpur has been proposed as one of the Smart Cities in Maharashtra and maintains the top ranking among 100 cities in India. The entry of national level education institutes like AIIMS, IIM, IIT, and NLU in the city has already brought the city on the national education map over a couple of years and made it as one of the sought after educational hub. On the flip side, the way infrastructure development has taken place in the city, but it failed to attract large companies to set up their base. Still for the large amount of procurement of materials, Mumbai and Pune are the first choice.

Furthermore, local companies have fear of payments while working with start-up companies. Moreover, in the last five years, many IT and software companies such as GlobalLogic, Persistent Systems, Tech Mahindra, etc, have opened their offices in Nagpur. This has resulted in faster growth of the technology as majority of office and industrial work is carried out using digital processes.

Traditionally, Nagpur is home to large commercial, manufacturing industries and MSMEs. The growth of IT has been steady in these segments. Nevertheless, the IT channel of Nagpur, a commercial and political centre of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, feels many traditional hardware and reseller partners have started diversifying into services and solution integration of IT business. And to drive this change in the channel ecosystem, the regional association Vidarbha Computer & Media Dealer’s Welfare Association (VCMDWA) has played a big role. Every year the association organises its largest computer exhibition COMP-EX, wherein all the major IT brands participate.

Rajesh Saboo, President, VCMDWA and Director of Shreyas Technosoft, says, “Nagpur is on a infrastructure drive, with new national institutes and hospitals coming up. Indirectly, there will be scope for IT. Hence, we are preparing our members and setting a roadmap for our 150 members to take on these new opportunities in the areas of mobility, cloud, application, value added services, etc. We have seen decent size of partners moving from pure hardware selling into solution building and integrating mobility, collaboration, applications and software-led services business. Today, we have a good mix of partners who are fulfilling the local need and taking up sub-contracting business from large global accounts.”

Ritesh Patil, General Manager, Silver solutions, comments, “Our company is involved in system integration and we have worked with many companies in the past years. Many offices are getting established in the city which has helped in our business. Companies are increasingly using Wi-Fi and other digital solutions.”

Another IT veteran Rita Budhay, Director – Finance at Business Algorithm, one of the largest HP distributors for laptops and printers in Vidarbha region, says “The IT channel business has been going slow due to the increasing number of new players, who operate in the channel for short period and sell products below the landing prices, which has eventually distributed the business of established distributors as well Tier 4 channel. We can’t operate and trust these new companies as there has been a growing number of payment issues with such companies.”

She also added, “Working with large companies locally is also a big challenge as they require lots of paperwork and formalities. Despite the government and private infrastructure projects in progress in Nagpur, local partners do not get ample opportunities. Big partners from Mumbai and Pune take over the major share of material procurements, wherein we do the services support and implementation deals on a small scale; in return, we make less margins.”

The setting up of airport project, Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has not brought cheers to the local partners, due to the lack of required skill sets and funding capabilities. Whereas, partners outside Nagpur have capitalised the opportunities. The potential in Nagpur is massive and is aided by the determined initiatives from the government. However, the government needs to work on its implementation and provide the push for the IT industry in the city.

An employee of business analytics firm Infocepts, located in Nagpur, highlights, “In Nagpur, there are four-five big companies such as TCS, Persistent Systems, Hexaware, HCL and Infosys. IT is now finding its way into Nagpur; there should be around 20,000 professionals employed in the city’s IT industry. The MIHAN project has been here for around 10 years, but the development has been really slow. There is a lot of work which needs to be done in its implementation. There is a lot of potential in this city, but it needs to be managed.”

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