IT distributor RAH Infotech works with more than fifteen technology OEMs for the India market. The Delhi headquartered disty company is currently engaged with over 500 channel partners across the country including tier-2 cities. Ashok Kumar, MD and CEO at RAH Infotech, talks about the company’s growth plans, OEM relationships and the partner ecosystem in India.
What are the major expansion plans of RAH Infotech for 2017 in terms of revenues, technology focus and branch offices?
We are aiming for a 40 percent growth this fiscal year and to facilitate the same we have increased the manpower from 130 to 145 team members. We will be opening new branches in Hyderabad and Cochin to further strengthen our presence in southern part of India.
Ashok Kumar, MD and CEO, RAH Infotech
Digital transformation will certainly mean consolidation of an end organization’s IT infra resulting in more virtualized or software defined datacenters. This will take center stage in the days to come across enterprises of various verticals, different sizes and varied business type. With hyper-converged infrastructure gaining momentum, it is certainly a technology we will be focusing on along with cybersecurity and application acceleration and availability solutions.
How do you maintain the work equation with so many different OEMs (as a disty) with respect to channel enablement and GTM perspective? Any recent initiatives?
In 2016, we signed up with Accelirite, Content Keeper, Data Resolve, Device42, Netscout and WinMagic. While some products have a long sales cycle, our efforts last year are about to bear fruits sometime this year. Rest of the products have been faring well and we are quite happy with the performance so far.
RAH’s TRYST WITH SECURITY OEMs
We mostly carry solutions from various vendors which complement each other. This makes it easy for us to bundle these solutions and position the same to our channel partners. Recently, we conducted a joint seminar with Seclore and WinMagic in Chennai and another session with Seclore and Radware in Delhi to showcase how our solutions work together to help alleviate security concerns of enterprises. Since there’s no conflict of interests in the portfolio of OEM brands we carry, the channel partners too have welcomed our initiatives.
Security has always been an important focus for RAH Infotech since its inception in 2005. Which are the top three security vendors you work with?
Over 40 percent of revenues are from security business and it is expected to grow further this year to the tune of over 10 percent over the last year.
We work with some of the key players in the security domain including Radware, ForeScout, F-Secure, Gemalto, Seclore, Infoblox, WinMagic, Netscout, Data Resolve and Content Keeper. Our top vendors at the moment would be Radware, ForeScout, Gemalto, F-Secure, Netscout and Seclore. With Infoblox signing up a few days ago and few more lined up for this quarter, we expect the top players list to grow bigger. And thus keep our focus on enterprise security as a top priority as we have in the past.
How has the relationship changed between technology OEM partners and RAH over past couple of years?
The OEMs expect us to help them with channel enablement, PoCs apart from reaching out to newer accounts and expanding channel base in the country.
RAH Infotech has nurtured its relationship with each OEM over time and as a result things have certainly changed for good. Today, we have a better equation with the OEMs, our teams interact more closely, and we are able to win more cases thanks to synergy between the teams. This greatly benefits our sales and technical teams as knowledge sharing happens on a regular basis and helps us understand the pulse of the market better.
Ashok Kumar’s 3 Channel Mantras
Be transparent and give each other space to grow and nurture the relationship to the next level.
Timely introduction of advanced technologies with competitive pricing and periodic promotions.
Enable them with regular trainings, certifications, webinars and other digital marketing activities.
What would be your advice to the technology OEMs to accelerate their channel business in India?
They should further enable channels with regular sales and technical trainings and keep them abreast with marketing trends. This would help channels keep pace with the technology and gain a competitive edge. Periodic promotions would further help channels to get better margins and stay profitable.
What would be your channel mantras to encompass a loyal set of partners in India in 2017 and beyond?
Being transparent and giving each other space to grow and nurture the relationship is the key to a long-term relationship with the channel ecosystem. Timely introduction of advanced technologies and providing competitive pricing does help a lot. Also, encouraging them with periodic promotions and enabling them with periodic trainings and webinars make a huge difference as well.