It is all about "Caring" and "Sharing"

By VARINDIA - 2012-08-27

It is all about "Caring"  and  "Sharing"

Amit Mathur
Director – Channel Sales, India 
Research In Motion (RIM)

“The channel is open to new ideas, but the success of any channel policy revolves around, that whatever you do should add value to the partners’ business,” shared Amit Mathur.

Channel’s maturity

Amit Mathur has been part of the IT & Telecom industry for the past 13 years. In almost every role, he was associated with the channel barring a few exceptions. He sees that the channel has evolved as highly customer-centric today. “Today, they are just not to make money but retain their customer and add value to them and win their customers’ loyalty in return. The channel has also become technologically advanced and I have been seeing them loyal to brands which are good and takes care of them well,” shares Amit Mathur.

This brings added responsibility to the shoulder of the principal as they not only have to be proactive towards the customer’s needs but also towards the channel. RIM tries to listen patiently and work towards each and every partner’s feedback. They keep organizing open forums, interact with the partners on a regular basis to understand their challenges. “As they are our face to the customer, it is our prime responsibility to keep partners well-equipped, so that partners are able to handle customers in a much healthier manner,” he adds.

What does Channel want?

If a vendor looks for a store or location, so are partners in search of principals. It is believed that a good brand would yield good footfalls, which means business and so the partner’s purpose is served. The partner looks for such a brand as will help them to grow. So to keep them motivated and create that win-win situation, RIM tries to ensure enough visibility that would help him in attracting the footfalls. “After brand visibility, the partner is motivated by the brands that invest in them. For us when we design a plan, we try to ensure that our programmes not only bring them under our umbrella but also make them part of our brand. The next is recognition not only in terms of monetary gains but also soft accolades like Dinner vouchers. We also send partner owners gifts on their birthdays,” shared Amit. 

RIM has a policy of arranging one-on-one or group meetings of their valued partners with their global product and marketing or sales team on their visit to India and RIM claims that this really boosts their morale. “Ever since RIM started open market business, they have been taking their select few partners to Orlando to be a part of our ‘Blackberry World’ event. We introduce them to our various global teams and channel people of various countries. This becomes an information exchange platform for them. They get to understand the brand they are associated with better,” he added. So far, around 80 partners comprising of RDs and retail partners from India have attended it. Partners who have made a significant contribution to their growth are the guests to the “BlackBerry World”. He could be an MBO or an exclusive store partner, he could be from a metro or could be from a potential smaller town. 

Channel Management

For me, channel management means – 

* feeding of data by brands into channel so that they are able to evolve, add value and rise to the expectations of the principal and in return should benefit. 

* implementation of policies – whether it is submission of a claim and clearance of a claim so for both there should be a clear and standard documented guidelines adhered to by partners and brand both.

* investing in their field staff so that they are able to talk about the product the way we want and which converts business from most of the walk-ins. 

Channel management is not only taking the feedback from the partner but also provide them market realities and some check points to improve.

For more
Syeda Beenish
beenish@varindia.com


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