How old is TITA? Please share the details of its Governing Body?
Tirupur Information Technology Association (TITA) was established in 2007 and, over the years, it has emerged as one of the strongest associations in Tamil Nadu. We have a total of 125 registered members. Out of this, 18 members form the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, in turn, elects a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Vice-President and a Joint Secretary. Three of our Executive Committee members are also Confed-EC office-bearers. We are affiliated with the Confederation of IT Associations (CONFED-ITA) and it is worth mentioning that TITA has the highest number of members than any other associations forming a part of CONFED-ITA.
Please elaborate on the election system and Association's present strength?
TITA conducts its annual elections at the time of its General Body meeting for selecting the office-bearers and Executive Committee members. Lately, the Association conducted its third election on 8th February, 2010 at the Tirupur Dyes & Chemical Merchants' Association hall to elect the governing body team for the period from 1-4-2010 to 31-3-2011.
How do you tackle channel-vendor issues?
When we come across any fresh incidents of channel-vendor issues, we try to discuss them in our monthly meetings as well as in our mail groups. If we are not able to settle it amicably, we bring the issue to the knowledge of CONFED-ITA administration board and the matter is taken up for finding out a suitable remedy. So far, 99% of the issues have been settled.
Do you come across more of vendor-channel issues or channel-channel issues?
We have not come across any major vendor-channel or channel-channel issues so far. We maintain good rapport and communication with both the channels and vendors. As a result of good relations, we are demanding more service centres for various brands in Tirupur.
Since many of the vendors have started focussing on smaller towns or non-metros, does it mean that there are fewer opportunities in the metros?
I don't think so. It is, however, true that the vendors have come to accept the reality that the smaller towns offer more opportunities to them in terms of sales and business augmentation. This is why major vendors are looking towards these towns very aggressively and aiming to reach their targets in order to increase their share.
What kind of support do you receive from the IT Vendors?
Tirupur is a small city when compared to metros like Coimbatore, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. But, nevertheless, vendors are treating it as an upcoming or emerging metro city, because of which our Association is attracting increasing attention. As a result of vendors having classified their distribution as Tier 1, Tier 2 & Tier 3, they are increasingly concentrating on the Tier-1 and Tier-2 partners. Unfortunately, out of 125 members in TITA, 75% of the members are still out of focus from the vendors community. After the formation of TITA, the strategy has slightly changed (but not 100%). As compared to metros, we are getting very less support from the vendors. Our members might be doing a good volume of business, but the amount of support from the vendors is considerably less. We expect all the major brands to have their own service centres in our town and want more brand promotions and promotional activities to be announced consistently in the interest of our members.
Do elaborate on the kind of activities that TITA undertakes from time to time?
TITA is concentrating on the welfare of its members. We are focussing on encouraging more and more dealers of IT products to become members of our Association. We are regularly conducting seminars, conferences, symposia, conventions, trade fairs, lectures and publishing articles and magazines for the welfare of the members and informing the public about the activities of the Association. We are also conducting family get-togethers, tours and lots of mindsharing activities to promote and develop cooperation amongst the various dealers and other like-minded associations with similar objectives. We have also successfully organized two IT exhibitions so far during the last two years.
What is TITA's focus for 2010?
We are focussing on more business this year and so looking for more opportunities within the city. We are looking for a better position in the channel fraternity and also planning to attract more vendors to our city. We have undertaken a project "TITA Village" and the main aim of this project is to provide each and every member with a small area of land. We are planning to provide personal accident insurance policy cover to all the members and their staff from the United India Insurance. We will also be conducting an Effective Business Management Session for our members in the coming month.
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