Micro Clinic India
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Head Office: Delhi
Revenue 2008–09: Rs 120 Crore
No. of Employees: 560
Key Executives: JM Seth, Chairman; Tarun Seth, MD; Diwakar Khatri, COO; Deepak Khanna, VP; Prashant Gupta, CTO
Key Principals: HP, IBM, Cisco, McAfee, Sun, Trend Micro, SonicWALL, Acer
Key Technologies: Server & Storage Consolidation, Security, Networking, Datacenter Solutions, Services Support
Key Verticals: IT/ITES, Manufacturing, BFSI, Telecom, Retail
Micro Clinic India started with Dr. Solomon’s security solutions as a service oriented company in 1991. Over the years, the solution provider expanded its geographic presence, product portfolio and customer base registering a good CAGR year after year. “However, we saw ourselves moving away from our core competence of service related business and rely more on selling hardware in the last four to five years,” reveals Tarun Seth, Managing Director, Micro Clinic India. “The company felt hardware was mandatory and the services revenues would be incidental. It was not the right model and so we refocused our synergy on services arm in the last one year,” he adds. The realigned business strategy has paid dividends as the company did not do much hardware business in past quarter but profits almost doubled in that period.
The timely reinvention of its business model meant the company had to reduce its inventory across the 20 plus branch offices in India. “We stock to execute back to back orders or if payment terms of customers is guaranteed,” says Seth. Focus on services arm has helped close deals faster and associated hardware sales occurred simultaneously in most cases. 20 to 25 percent of company revenues emanates from the services arm.
“The multi-location operation acts as a clincher for most deals especially enterprises that look for one point contact for their local offices,” seconds Diwakar Khatri, COO, Micro Clinic India. The branches are an investment for the initial couple of years but later most of them operate as a profit sharing centre, he says. Of the 550 plus staff, 460 are technical staff and engineers. The important components of Micro Clinic India’s success are its people that includes sales, technical, post implementation and the loyal customers. Apart from improving technical skills, handling financial remuneration and the potential career graph, the management culture flows down the hierarchy from regional/branch managers to their staff.
“The ERP implementation a year ago, gives us control over our business and increases business intelligence, as we instantly know which product is profitable, says Khatri. P&L statement of each branch on a daily basis and validation of performance of each employee has become quicker. Started in Delhi four years ago, 3E CRM software delivers voice enabled and web enabled features that allow engineers to update call status from their mobiles.
The laptops and desktops demand in educational institutes is a renewed focus. Seth points out, principals usually do not approach these remote areas, but we have an advantage of geographic coverage. Exploring the virtualization domain is on top of our list as every second customer is keen to adopt it. With an added focus on security, services and virtualization, we will survive this recession period and continue on our growth pathway, says Seth.
Tarun Seth, MD, Micro Clinic India, shares the company’s impetus to cater to the loyal customer base.
You work with a limited client base than a voluminous one? Any specific reasons?
SETH: We normally do not go after customers who are like one-time kind of deals. It makes sense to invest in loyal customers. We do not like to invest in those who keep changing vendors with each order. We prefer to grow with our customers over time and in turn they also grow with us. It’s a much more symbiotic relationship with loyal customers.
How much revenue do you derive from this loyal set of customers?
SETH: We derive almost 50 percent of revenues from our existing customer base. Apart from these, there are opportunity-based orders and market openings. As a conscious effort, we do try to convert an opportunity-based business on a long term. Our various teams work in tandem to try to retain them as such customers turn out to be more profitable on a long-term basis. We have umpteen case studies wherein we started with half a dozen desktops/laptops with various corporate firms, and today we implement their entire IT infrastructure.
Which business technique do you deploy to break into new enterprise accounts?
SETH: Most of our new customers are through reference case studies. Our teams carry the
customer profile and the implementation work done at their sites. We never shy to give telephone numbers of top officials like a CIO or CTO of existing clients to new potential enterprises who want to check on our technical expertise. You can call anyone and know about our services and related deliverables.
‘Services arm’ is a highly demanding section for a solution provider. What are the pros and cons?
SETH: Services arm has always been a 24/7 arm due to mission-critical deployments across storage/server infrastructure at enterprises. Be it night or day, we never say no to any kind of service/support call from the customer. At that time, what matters is a fast closure of the call than discuss on rate and other things. Customers are well aware of our prompt services and pay us accordingly. The numbers of top officials are also with customers if they need to climb the escalation matrix in emergency. Services contribute much lesser than hardware and solutions business but definitely the margins are much better. Another advantage is fast growth of this market creating new business avenues and also up-sell the same accounts.