Our focus is to enable partners to create a digital presence: K Jaishankar, Ingram Micro India

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K. Jaishankar MD Ingram Micro India
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Jaishankar, MD, Ingram Micro India shares insights into how the company re-aligned its GTM strategies to stay relevant in the changing market scenario

With the nature of customer expectations and requirements changing, channel and distribution along with brands have also evolved to meet the customer requirements. Ingram Micro, the world’s largest technology distributor company, too has gone beyond the traditional business of distributing products and now offering more value to the whole channel ecosystem, end customers, vendors as well as suppliers.

“Looking at these changing market dynamics, we also had to re-align our go to market strategies in order to be more relevant in the current scenario. It’s all about selling solutions and that too according to customers’ business needs. This is where the evolution of channel and distribution has to focus on and while it is happening, more and more momentum is required to develop this practice,” says Jaishankar.

Focus on cloud

Amongst the new areas where the company has invested in the last few years, the one has been setting  up of its own cloud business unit. “We are following the distribution only, wherein we have built a cloud aggregation platform and ISVs or vendors who have cloud solutions for their software or infrastructure can integrate with our platform and customers and resellers can access this solution and subscribe to them,” asserts Jaishankar. The company is gradually building this solution portfolio as well as customer base. This is one of the key focus areas for Ingram, as it believes that cloud based consumption model will be a great enabler for customers going forward.

Building services capabilities

Ingram has invested in creating the services in its portfolio that could help it manage the complete device lifecycle. “In this endeavor, we have acquired a few companies who have IT Asset Disposition capabilities and carry licenses in India for e-waste disposal. We have also set up a unit for refurbishing of products. Today, we are offering customers hardware-as-a-service, which is bundling the devices with services capabilities, including giving the upfront residual value of the devices and either refurbishing them and reselling them or disposing them in a environment friendly way,” adds Jaishankar.

Additionally, the company is investing in building professional services capabilities. With a team of 80-90 people,  the focus is to build practices in domains like cyber security, physical security and surveillance solution, and wireless technology. “While there are large SIs and VARs who have their own technical team and competencies, there are larger numbers of mid-sized partners who find it difficult to invest and create these in-house capabilities. Here, we are investing in those capabilities so that we have larger community of resellers who can start engaging in these kinds of opportunities in the marketplace,” explains  Jaishankar.

Creating digital presence

The company is building a whole business model on providing services that would enable its retailers to create a digital presence. Right from helping them to setup stores in multiple market places, managing their product portfolios, publishing their inventories, managing their shopping cart, warehousing and inventories, and last mile supply chain, Ingram is providing a complete end-to-end services for online business. “We are now in the process of building a large warehouse in the first stage which will be completely focused and dedicated to providing warehousing and supply chain services for online players. We will try and get certifications from the likes of Flipkart and Amazon,” points out Jaishankar.

Smart Cities & Digital India  

A couple of years ago, Ingram created a separate sales organization to work on Smart City and Digital India projects. “We realized that the partners bidding for these projects were different from the traditional ones and with whom we had never done the business before like L&T Infotech, Honeywell, Sterlite, etc. We had to first build the relationships and understand how they work. Luckily, all these investments helped us. Many small vendors saw the value we brought to them in these projects. It was a good and timely investment that we made. This will be a significant contributor to our revenue growth in the future,” concludes Jaishankar.

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