Consumer technology brands play an important role in the Digital India mission. Dell, one of the most trusted brands among Indian customers as per TRA’s report of Most Trusted Brands in India 2019, has supported the mission through its various initiatives. Dell gets unconditional support from traditional channel partners and is one of the most favourable brands to works for channel partners. This is due to a unique approach towards the channel community. Raj Kumar Rishi, Vice President and Managing Director, Consumer and Small Business, Dell Technologies, India, recently interacted with Rajeev Ranjan, Editor & Publisher, Digital Terminal and shared his channel strategy for the Indian market.

Rajeev: How important is the role of channel community for Dell’s success in the Indian market?

Raj: A majority of our retail business is done by channel partners. So, channel always remains at the core of anything we do as far as our consumer business is concerned. We are truly focused on making channel supportive strategies so that Dell remains the most favourable brand to work with, for our partners. The two prompt strategies are predictability and consistency. If I am a channel partner for Dell, I should be able to predict Dell’s behaviour going forward by its strategy, program structure so it becomes extremely important to stay consistent. The second, is to offer them support. A top notch product portfolio is the biggest enabler in this segment. Additionally, to provide the right experience to our consumers, we also give them adequate training. The third important thing is the reward structure that must be made financially attractive for partners to work with us.

Rajeev: How do you ensure to provide best service support experience to your loyal customers?

Raj: For many years, service has been one of our key strengths and has helped Dell maintain a leadership position in the market. We were able to achieve this feat due to the large service network across India. With the evolving nature of technology, we introduced Premium Support, one of the firsts in the industry.  Dell ProSupport detects issues before it becomes one and solves the problem instantly. We work on basics so that customers get the right service network, supported by well trained staff equipped with the tools and technology required to run it. Our products, service and go-to-market strategies help us delight our customers.

Rajeev: Where do you see the potential to expand the channel strength?

Raj: We see immense potential to expand into areas where the PC penetration or internet penetration is gradually improving. For markets that have matured it is important to ensure that we provide a favourable experience to our channel partners which in turn will help them deliver that experience to the end customer. Our larger focus remains to be on improving partner experience and consequently customer experience.

Rajeev: What is your assurance to your traditional channel partners regarding price parity?

Raj: The online and the offline channel follow a certain legal framework in India, and we work abide by that. I believe we have supported our partners by introducing the right product segmentation across various channels. We have created a healthy environment for everyone and some of the associations have also recognized our work on that front. The most important question is how do we make these channel partners participate in this evolving business? This is where our ‘omnichannel experience’ through DES (Dell Exclusive Store) comes in to ensure that DES get benefited from Dell’s online presence. In a scenario, if a customer walks into a DES, certain models that are shown to the customers, would be sold exclusively at DES through their own efforts. While on the other hand, if a customer visits a kiosk at the store and then visits to buy the product directly from the website, gets directly delivered to the customer. The store participates in providing an experience to the customers and is given a financial reward to make that sale.