The distribution industry in India has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, with distribution houses making significant efforts to enhance their presence and drive expansion in the most dynamic market. Prominent players like Supertron Electronics are actively working towards capturing a larger market share by offering innovative solutions, diversifying their product portfolios, and streamlining their operations. Supertron, the leading National Distributor in India, has experienced exponential growth over the years and aims to further increase its market share. In a recent interview with Vibhor Agarwal, CEO of Supertron Electronics, conducted by Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal, he discussed a wide range of topics, including the current market opportunities, upcoming trends and company's expanding partner base. Read the complete conversation below to know complete details about this exclusive interaction.
Rajeev: Please tell about the performance of Supertron Electronics in last financial year.
Vibhor: Despite the challenges faced by the IT industry last year, there are still abundant opportunities for growth. The industry is currently experiencing a positive trajectory, indicating favorable conditions overall. However, it is important to acknowledge that the market has undergone a correction, making it necessary to exert additional efforts in order to capture a share of the market. While the situation remains tough, the industry's growth prospects highlight a promising outlook for those willing to put in the necessary work and adapt to the changing landscape.
Rajeev: Which are the domains where you are focusing currently?
Vibhor: Over the past one and a half to two years, our portfolio has expanded beyond IT distribution to encompass multiple other verticals. In addition to our traditional distribution channels, we have established a robust online presence through our strong EGTM (e-commerce, general trade, and modern trade) platform, facilitating seamless fulfillment for various brands. Moreover, we have actively ventured into the commercial sector, engaging in B2B transactions for leading brands such as Lenovo and Acer. Furthermore, we have entered the Enterprise business segment, catering to the needs of brands like Micron and TP-Link. Our engagement with the Enterprise team extends to their diverse business requirements. This diversification spans both commercial and consumer realms, augmenting our regular traditional distribution efforts.
Rajeev: How do you see the launch of VAD division for Supertron? What was your vision to start this new venture?
Vibhor: We have recently established Supertron VAD, a value-added distribution division that focuses primarily on SI enablement, with a specific emphasis on the surveillance vertical. This division operates with a separate team and business approach that differs from our other operations, and we are pleased to report that it is progressing remarkably well. Initially, there was some confusion surrounding the concept of value-added distribution, with many questioning its purpose compared to regular distribution. However, as time has passed, people have begun to grasp the true value and benefits it brings.
In the past year, we have been actively expanding our portfolio by adding renowned brands. Our continuous search for new opportunities has led us to venture into Consumer Electronic Distribution for the Enterprise division, specifically with Samsung, marking a new and exciting venture outside our traditional IT distribution sphere. Additionally, we have made significant strides in the MFI business and have recently partnered with Nokia for their Enterprise Business. Our engagement with multiple brands in large government deals further signifies our commitment to expansion and diversification. Our organizational perspective emphasizes the need for both organic and inorganic growth, along with efficient portfolio management, to ensure the overall health of the organization. We are fortunate to have the support of our brand partners throughout this journey.
Today, I am proud to announce that we have established ourselves as one of the largest distributors in the education segment, reflecting our success and dedication in this specific market.
Rajeev: Supertron recently organized Synergy Summit 2023 in collaboration with Samsung. So please tell about the objective behind this event.
Vibhor: As a leading IT distributor, we have entered into a partnership with Samsung to handle their Consumer Electronic (CE) business in the Enterprise sector, initially focusing on the Microfinance Institution (MFI) market. We have now expanded our reach to include corporates and other verticals such as government entities. We have been receiving various requirements from entities such as CSD (Canteen Stores Department), CPC (Central Police Canteen), government offices, and CPCs police canteens. Samsung directly manages certain verticals, but the government and corporate sectors, which Samsung considers as significant markets, present a substantial opportunity for CE products.
On behalf of Samsung, we have secured partnerships with brands like Forlanco, who provide workplace solutions to corporates. These corporates are major buyers, often engaging in rate contracts where they procure large quantities of products such as refrigerators and air conditioners to furnish ready spaces for their clients.
This market segment is relatively new to us, but there are partners who are already involved in this space. They have existing relationships with corporates, but they might not be aware of our offerings or how to pitch Samsung's CE product portfolio. Therefore, the purpose of organizing this meeting was to provide them with insights on the possibilities and potential of Samsung's CE products. As a distributor, Supertron is committed to providing support in terms of product availability and commercial assistance to these partners, enabling them to effectively tap into this business opportunity
Rajeev: Supertron has a strong network of partners across India, so how do you support them?
Vibhor: Supertron is renowned for its exceptional partner connect in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Our strong belief in partner enablement and interaction has been a key driver of our growth over time. We consistently engage in various activities to support our partners. Digital marketing initiatives are undertaken to ensure partners are well-informed about our products. At the branch level, we maintain active WhatsApp groups where regular interactions take place with our Tier 3 partners. Additionally, we organize dedicated product days at branches, encouraging partners aligned with each branch to familiarize themselves with specific brands and engage with us accordingly.
We highly value our partners and their association with us. Recently, we conducted a "mango mania" activity where thousands of partners across India received mangoes as a gesture of appreciation. We are committed to expanding our partner base and facilitate onboarding by being flexible and understanding. Our approach is to work closely with partners, resolving any issues or challenges that may arise instead of taking an adversarial approach.
As an emotionally driven company, we strongly adhere to principles of ethics and emotion. These core values have been instilled in us by Mr. V. K. Bhandari, our CMD and a first-generation entrepreneur. From our inception, we have grown steadily with a clear understanding that business should be conducted ethically, primarily through partner enablement and fostering strong partnerships. This emotional attachment to our partners is of utmost importance to us.