Lenovo has been the catalyst for our growth, and the pattern will continue this year, says Amit Mittal, Shree IT Solutions Pvt Ltd
Please share something about your inception and growth?
We are a 12 year old company, started in 2004, as a retailer. We moved in corporate business where we provide all kind of hardware and software products with solutions to corporate clients. We are a partner with Lenovo and some other brands as well.
Shree IT Solutions started as a one man show and today we are a 35 plus employees company. Last year, our turnover was Rs. 25 crores with more than 250 plus active clients. We are platinum partner with Lenovo and silver partner with Microsoft and HP. In a couple of years we have been able to achieve a certain level in business and aiming to go higher. Our team is the biggest and strongest asset.
What kind of support does Lenovo provide you for expansion?
Before Lenovo, we had an indirect association with IBM, those days partnering with IBM was a bit tough. But after Lenovo came in, we joined hands with Lenovo directly, in 2010. Since then they have been a great growth partner. They have given lot of opportunities in terms of customer support and as an OEM backend support. We have managed to get lot of goodwill in the market, being a Lenovo partner. They have helped us to create our own company brand by offering the products at a certain price and value. We have been able to grow and establish ourselves as a respected brand, being a Lenovo partner. The team at Lenovo throughout were very helpful, supportive in guiding us the way to market and getting leads and deals.
Their latest Commercial Channel programs, Lenovo Cares, Lenovo ka Sikandar have really boosted the confidence of the entire Shree IT team.
Other competitive brands also gave us initial support, but it was with Lenovo that the market really accepted us and we saw good growth. So for us Lenovo has a major role to play in our position today.
What trends have you seen over the last few years, in terms of best selling products of Lenovo?
I don’t think there is really any competition to the kind of product line Lenovo offers, no competition has such a vast range. We majorly focus on ThinkPads and our major sale comprises of laptops and desktops. Post IBM X series Server takeover, we have been positioning their servers in the market, as a part of our solutions as well.
Products like Tiny, commercial AIOs and the latest desktop S510 are some of the examples of Lenovo being a technology leader. S510 is an energy efficient machine with latest processor and RAM keeping in mind the requirements of SMEs and corporates.
Do you also provide end to end solutions, using other technologies? Or do you focus only on products business?
We provide end to end solutions, for data centres, networking, and software implementation. In fact we have just set up a data center for Den-Snapdeal TV shopping channel in Delhi. Lenovo has supplied the servers in that data center. To the mid market, we are an end-to -end solution provider. To enterprise, we have a little limited scope to offer but we have network, data backup, data security and Wifi solutions for them. We also partner with Huawei and offer their VC (video conferencing) solutions.
Over the last 2 years, have you noticed any changes in customer preference, and adoption of these technologies?
As per my observation, there are two groups. There are customers that are only price oriented; they have a limited usage and limited budget.
Then there are customers who are only concerned with the brand and the technology…so when you are talking you can always identify if he is a price conscious or tech conscious customer. Technology consciousness is usually more and in my experience, most customers demand latest technology at lowest price. That’s the biggest challenge we have to bridge in between the customer and the product.
In your years of being partner with Lenovo, have you noticed any changes in demand?
In 2004, there were 7-8 laptop brands, now there are really only 3 big brands. Lenovo is one of the top. Being a Lenovo platinum partner, we also put in more effort to establish that Lenovo is a better brand to buy, for our customers. So I would say demand has increased on terms of Lenovo product.
Tablets are also one of the products which have gone very well. And the range of laptops has been very big in Lenovo, we can safely say that in different segments, the range and also demand has increased.
Do you supplement your selling with any promotions?
We do our email campaigns, we go to the client with demo units, which Lenovo provides. We have dedicated team who only sell Lenovo products. Apart from this, we keep sending communications to customers to keep them reminded about Lenovo and us. Twice a week we do eDMS, and also send out co-branding in small gifts- Lenovo and Shree IT.
Lenovo also does promotions in the form of Customer events, Partner events and Digital marketing.
What is your business Focus over the next few years?
For the past 4 years we have been growing 30% YoY, this year we have planned to increase by 40-45% as well as increase Lenovo wallet share of our business.
Last year it was 50% almost, this year we are looking at 60-70% of our business. This year we are increasing focus on servers and storage, that has been our major focus area by Lenovo as well and we have been trying to sell our clients that. We are partners with other companies, like Microsoft, and this year we plan to increase our overall sale. Since we have a silver partnership with MS, we are planning to double our turnover with them, and offer increasing products, as a single one –stop- shop for all IT requirements.
Geographically we would like to expand but right now, we are waiting on the GST implementation, so we will have clarity on the business benefits.
Our long term plan is to build a name in the market and become trusted and preferred IT partner for corporate clients.