In a chat with VARINDIA, Nagendran Kathirvel, Managing Director, GBS Systems & Services shares his thoughts on the future growth opportunities, Lenovo’s contribution in their business growth, customer trends, best practices, challenges post the COVID-19 pandemic etc.
Brief about the company
I was born and raised in a humble village called Ramanathapuram District, Tamilnadu. I moved to Chennai as an aspiring young man post my graduation, with the aim of starting my own business. I launched a small business in computer hardware parts in 1994 called Gigabyte Systems, which started in a small space available at my house with me being the sole workforce. We are now called GBS Systems and have grown to an organization consisting of more than 200 employees with a turnover of more than 100 crores.
The market has been changing significantly over the two few years and we are well in sync with the changing trends. GBS has now established itself as the Number 1 retailing PC showroom in India.
Briefly explain the business model. What are the growth opportunities seen in the near future?
We currently have exclusive outlets for various leading PC brands, including Lenovo, and sell a variety of Lenovo Laptops, Desktops, Tablets, and Monitors. GBS is the only company that has exclusive stores across India for all brands like Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer, and Asus. This helps us fulfill a wide range of our consumers' requirements and results in customer satisfaction.
Customers have always been interested in receiving new innovative products. Hence, GBS ensures to stay updated and provide our customers with the latest technology.
How has the business grown and what has been Lenovo’s contribution to the business growth?
GBS started its first exclusive Lenovo store in Chennai. We have always had a special bond when it comes to Lenovo as our very first exclusive store was a Lenovo exclusive store. I am very happy to say that GBS now owns a total of 9 Lenovo exclusive stores across the state of Tamil Nadu.
Lenovo has played a major role in the GBS system’s growth with strong business strategies and by providing us support with various tailored schemes that helped our business over time.
What is the most preferred brand/product by your customers? Have you seen any customer trends in the last few months?
The end-users tend to compare between various brands before making any purchase decisions. We have seen a clear preference for Lenovo amongst our customers. I personally feel that Lenovo has been a trendsetter with a series of different models and catering to the requirements of all age groups. It provides a wide range of devices focusing on current customer trends of devices that are stylish, durable, and have great performance.
How have you tackled challenges post the COVID-19 pandemic? What have you done differently during this time? Any best practices followed by you during the pandemic?
Post the pandemic we realized that the customers do not wish to visit on-ground stores any longer, as a precautionary measure. We then switched to virtual assistance in order to meet the needs of our customers. We overcame the roadblocks that we faced during the pandemic, with the help of video calls and door-to-door deliveries.
What are the trends to look out for in the technology segment?
As most people shifted to the Work from Home ecosystem due to COVID, we saw a rise in demand for laptops. Our consumers have been asking for higher versions of graphic cards, new generation CPUs and SSD Drives.
What are the changes in the consumer segment driven by technology?
Technology has significantly changed over the years. It has simplified the way people work and has brought access to education and knowledge to their fingertips. Consumers now look for durable devices which are lighter in weight and come with good storage and RAM capacity.
How has Lenovo been part of your emerging product lines & accessory business?
Lenovo has aided our business by providing a wide variety of devices and accessories. Their current and upcoming product line seems promising. They have also been taking initiatives in the form of demo offers for all their business partners, in order to showcase the newly launched products in their stores. We would like to have some more software security options to fulfill the demands of our customers.
How are you focusing on upselling & maximizing reach to service more consumers?
With the help of virtual platforms, we have been able to provide our consumers with 24*7 customer service which has in turn helped us maximize our sales.
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