Dell India targets augmenting productivity for SMEs and smaller towns: Indrajit Belgundi

Dell has been synonymous in the market with their latest projects. Recently the tech giant started a few initiatives focusing tier 1, 2, 3, 4 cities separately, probably covering everyone. Here is more about their unique initiative reaching out to the unreached.

Dell India has been conducting many successful projects for last couple of years across India. The special project called ‘Dell EMC Everywhere’ is a series of city-level seminars conducted in collaboration with trade associations across the country. In 2017, this was conducted across 13 cities.

These roadshows are aimed at enabling growing businesses to improve their IT productivity, and offering insights on the technology necessary to build a productive workforce. Many of the companies are now focused on going hand in hand with technology and productivity. Some of the trade associations that Dell had engaged with are Kerala Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in Trivandrum; Nashik Industries and Manufacturers Association in Nashik and Vizagapatam Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in Vizag, among others.

Indrajit Belgundi, Director and General Manager, Client Solutions Group at Dell India, in an exclusive interview with IDG Media, discusses the thought behind this outreach, what they learned from these experiences, and the way forward.

Edited excerpts:

Please tell us about the Dell EMC Everywhere roadshows? What was the strategy behind associating with trade unions, and what was the overall agenda?

We started this initiative last year. We conducted many city-level seminars in collaboration with trade associations across 13 cities in the country—13 cities outside the eight metros. And these are the growth engines for India right now. Over 800 plus unique organizations were covered in the initiative which is aimed at enabling growing businesses to improve their IT productivity, and to offer insights on the technology necessary to build a productive workforce. The main strategy was to focus on tier 2, 3 cities. It is not only about tier-1 cities and talking to the same customers time and again; we have really gone ahead into the tier 2, tier 3 cities and addressed their needs, and we have seen really strong winds coming in. So we reached out to them, became a part of their growth, and we showcased solutions customized to their challenges.
For example, for many of them, even now social media will be around Facebook, not beyond that. Many of them were honestly not aware that Dell had a 2-in- 1 kind of a latitude machine or a big workstation machine—a small desktop machine which can optimally utilize the space. They can do maximum utilization of space because of the small desktop, because their office will not be as big as ours. We showcased to them that their total cost optimization will be much better by using this technology, and productivity will increase. It has been received well.
It is not a one-time activity that we are doing. We did Chandigarh or Nashik almost a year back. We are still in constant touch through our other activities like webinars, apart from events, to reach out to their members.

“Some of the trade associations that Dell had engaged with are Kerala Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in Trivandrum; Nashik Industries and Manufacturers Association in Nashik and Vizagapatam Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in Vizag”

Who were your initial targets? What were the mantras used before reaching out to trade associations? Could you explain how it’s going to work and your focus market for this?

It is not about just going as Dell and workforce transformation event. We are going with a little bit of vertical approach as well. For example, a particular city is more towards manufacturing or automobile or a little bit more of healthcare. So, it is really going into the vertical specific approach, working along with the trade associates. It is not about tweaking, but we are giving based on the vertical, in terms of how we can really be a part of their journey. The whole idea was to reach out to those associations who are looking for productivity. Productivity is the mantra that we used when we reached out to these associations. We told them productivity can be increased by using the right kind of products, the right kind of client products. So that’s what we pushed and that’s what we wanted to show—that we have these client products.

The plethora of client products which they might not know about, which is the right machine for each of their particular persona. There will be different personas in an organization. The right machines can increase their productivity. When we start speaking to them, they realized this, and they accepted it. For example, in cities like Indore or Chandigarh today a lot of SMEs do that. Their increase in productivity depends on the right technology being used and invested.

I will just give an example. For the many organizations in tier 3, tier 4 cities, it is more about the challenges they have for that particular region. How can we basically help to address them? There are various cities wherein the workspace or office space is limited. Being SMEs, they don’t want to really invest in real space; but they want to grow, and they are growing a lot. For them we have an OptiPlex, the micro form desktop which can fit behind a monitor. And it uses low power as well. So there are lots of benefits which are there in terms of productivity, space savings, dollar savings and so on.Another example from a manufacturing city. Their view was, whether it is a standard CAD/CAM or some other application, they will work only on a standard desktop. It used to take a lot of time for their rendering or even to open an image. We had a conversation along with certain ISVs, on how we can help them giving the right solution. It’s not only about hardware; but it is more about hardware, ISV and an ecosystem. That has really opened up their perspectives and helped them amplify productivity.

“It is not a one-time activity that we are doing. We did Chandigarh or Nashik almost a year back. We are still in constant touch through our other activities like webinars, apart from events, to reach out to their members.”

How did you approach these trades and who were your points of contact?

The point of contact was basically the trade associates themselves. When we reached out to them the response was very positive. Even for us it was a pleasant surprise. Never ever had they seen a tier 1 vendor like Dell reach out to them. For them this was a terrific positive connect.

How challenging was the whole project? The small cities which you are focusing are still basically following those legacy architecture?

I believe the conversion which we are driving along with them is more from a security side. Nowadays security has become very much important. It is not only about the large enterprises; but all across. We told them how we integrate certain offerings, how it would stitch a solution right; various suites which are basically available, but they were not aware of. So, we have seen positive response coming in even from these customers. For example, we have a unique offering called Client Command Suite which comes by default along with the desktop. Now VMware is part of Dell family, and hence we have Workspace ONE and AirWatch. And on top of that we have Dell Guardian, then Dell data protection encryption. One size doesn’t fit all; but again, we can package different solutions in a way that can help them.The whole objective of going ahead with these 13 or 14 cities was one—they should be aware of what Dell can basically offer. We also have lots of solutions available for them because for many customers, they also have to look at the ability to support their applications which they have been using. So we have been working along with our services team that come out a little bit of the migration options and so on and so forth.

“Productivity is the mantra that we used when we reached out to these associations. We told them productivity can be increased by using the right kind of products, the right kind of client products.”

Do you have any targets by 2020 or 2019 for this particular roadshows that you have been doing? Are you going for more cities or are you going to build on with the same people and organizations?

We want to do both ways. It is not like once-a- year kind of activity. It cannot be that, for example, we had covered Chandigarh last year, hence we should not cover this year. That is not our approach. We want to increase our magnitude. There are some learnings which has happened on these events. So right now we have started again as ‘the future of workforce’. I am not sure how many roadshows we will do in the next five years. It is too early for me. But what I would be able to tell is we want to continue this journey and we will basically grow a lot in this manner. For this year we started with metros and want to be candid out here. But moving ahead we basically want to expand. Some of the cities will be repeat of what we did last year; but most of them will be new cities. Because, for me or for Dell, that is going to be a big growth driver, point number one. And then Dell has a complete portfolio. I want to ensure that the customer knows the Dell portfolio and how we can basically help them address their challenges. So we will basically continue to grow on that side.