Philips Chalks Out IT Retail Expansion Plans

Mumbai: | Updated: May 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
Close on the heels of announcing plans to expand its franchisee-operated new technology outlet called IT Concepts to 200 within a year, Philips India Ltd is now planning to expand the number of system integrators from 150 to 450 as well during the period, Philips India Ltd general manager (digital network, PC peripherals & creative display solutions) Ankan Biswas told FE.

The objective behind the move is to improve the reach of Philips LCD monitors and PC peripherals through IT Concepts outlets. This will enable us to strengthen our contact with consumers. Customers can feel the products before buying them. As part of the strategy, we will participate in the cash flow of system integrators in IT Concepts, he said.

This will grow seamlessly with our existing distribution network. Two primary distributors for Philips IT products Priya (catering to the North and East markets) and Compuage (to the West and the South markets) source monitors and PC peripherals from Philips branch offices and supply it to system integrators across the country. At present, both the distributors have 20 offices across the country, he informed.

In order to develop common interconnectivity between Philips IT Concepts, system integrators and 20 offices of two distributors, Philips India Ltd which is currently using the JD Edward IT system at its branch officesis now planning to implement this IT initiative with them as well within a year. This is because the two distributors are using different IT systems to manage their logistics, he explained.

As part of its new customer relationship management (CRM) initiative, Mr Biswas informed that in the first phase, the company will invite customers at IT Concepts to touch and feel the product and then integrate the products according to their requirements. In the process, we will be able to increase the reach of system integrators for our LCD monitors, he added.

As for the emerging trend in the IT products segment, Mr Biswas said slowly there will be a change in the perception of end-users whereby they will soon prefer visiting an IT outlet for buying monitors and PC peripherals in order to feel the product, instead of calling up an IT assembler.

This kind of a concept is predominant worldwide and will soon happen in India because of the retail boom as LCD flat monitors are useful in banking application, call centres and end-users, he added.

With the move the company hopes to grow the market share of its LCD monitors in the two million monitor market from two per cent to 10 per cent, which comes to around 1.5 lakh LCD monitors within a year, he added.