RAH Infotech Expands the Distribution Paradigm Ashis Guha, CEO, RAH Infotech emphasizes the value addition they offer as a distributor and how this has been critical during the pandemic
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RAH Infotech Expands the Distribution Paradigm | Ashis Guha

Ashis Guha, CEO, RAH Infotech emphasizes the value addition they offer as a distributor and how this has been critical during the pandemic.

What are the solutions and services in RAH Infotech portfolio and who are the OEMs you work with?

We have been in the industry for the last 15 years and have been growing exponentially year on year. Most of the products that you really see in our portfolio is around cybersecurity space. We have recently added a few infrastructure players like Hitachi, BMC and a few more. The philosophy of the company is that we will add value to whoever we are presenting. From a solution perspective, it is just not about delivering a product to the customer or a software to the customer, it is also adding a lot of services around it. This is a very interesting fact because most of value added distributors are not doing a lot of these activities.

How can you prevent cannibalization of business of the resellers and the overall partner ecosystem in this model?

One thing is very clear that we will do all the evangelizing with the customers and all the work with them but when it comes to actual closure of the order that will be done by the reseller or the partner. We will not go and pick up the order there. Showing all the support in terms of sales, pre-sales, all technologies solutioning will be done by us but very clearly we will not pick up the order directly. This is a win-win for everyone in the ecosystem. For the customer, he gets the right solution; for the partner he is delivering the right solution and we are not interfering. For the OEM, we have acted as an extended arm to ensure that their technology is being showcased properly with the customer and  the best usage of the technology is used by the customer.

What are the innovations in digitization that RAH Infotech has undergone in the last couple of years continuing into the pandemic?

The most important aspect of being away from the traditional distribution model is what I have explained to you. That is a very unique thing what we are doing with most of our partners, OEMs and the customers. But at the same time our presence is in different parts of the country. We have a very strong ecosystem and we use a lot of marketing support to ensure we are doing the right thing to reach out to our customers. From the digital perspective we have utilized our marketing arm and we are helping a lot of OEMs in their marketing activities. It could be things like working on events with them, helping them with their PR releases, working on their PR releases, working with the industry bodies who connect with the right forum and then at the same time helping them with their EDMs and consolidating the information reaching out to those customers through to the partner ecosystem. It is just not about being a pure play distributor, but it is about much more than the regular distributor would do.

What will be the proportional contributions from the value-based OEMs and  the volume-based OEMS?

The portfolio that we really carry is the value portfolio. Our space is where we are in value to our partners, OEMs and customers. If you look at the complete portfolio that RAH has, you will not find a hundred kind of a product. The space that we are in, we have been doing this business from a long time. There is a lot of work that goes in terms of solutioning, working with OEMs, going to the customers and I really appreciate the support that we have from each one of the OEMs. If you ask me volume vs value, I do not really have a volume play in that space.

How has the nature and profile of partners changed from traditional models to include the ISVs and born-in-the-cloud partners?

We are very focused around data and data management. Everything that we talk about is data and every seller who is associated with us or working with us needs to be in that place. Cyber security has been our forte, and our maximum business comes from the cybersecurity space. If I look at the partner ecosystem, these partners who are in the cybersecurity space work very closely with us.

What were the initiatives undertaken by RAH Infotech to help partners manage their cashflow challenges in the current situation due to payment delays from customers?

This pandemic has taught us a lot. Customers have not been able to pay to the partners, partners have not been able to pay to us. We though had ensured that all our OEMs were paid on time, and we did not hold back any payments of the OEMs. All the projects got delayed, everything that we were supposed to close in April or May got delayed. We worked with the OEMs, partners, customers to ensure that nobody suffers too much.

How did you manage the disruption in the supply chain?

First two to three weeks we did not think it will be affected so badly but then we realized otherwise after two weeks or so. Then immediately we started working at the back-end with our supply chain teams how can we ensure whatever was in country that at least gets delivered to the customers. For certain projects with a critical nature specifically the government projects, we made sure that the delivery happen and we took some special permissions from government, from the local authorities and our team did a fantastic job of ensuring that none of the partners delivery suffered. Deliveries got delayed by a few days but after taking the due precautions we ensured  that to cover their areas and do the delivery.

What were the marketing and marcom activities prioritized by RAH Infotech in the current situation?

From the marketing perspective, we prioritized how to reach out to our partners, how to train them, how to get them up to speed with the technologies that we represent; all those activities we were able to deliver beautifully. Our marketing team worked very closely with the OEMs to ensure the partner ecosystem is well versed with the technology to work from home. We gave complete solutions stacks for some of this work from home solutions and we started propagating that to the market. It is not just one product but a combination of multiple products which we started incorporating to the market and reaching out to all the partners and customers.

How did you look at helping your partners balance between retaining existing customers and acquiring new customers?

We are in a very interesting space as a value added distributor. We interact with the end customers, we worked closely with the end customers but there are a lot of customers that we do not even see them. We have never seen them but possibly we would have supported them remotely in their endeavours, in their implementing data centres or working on the cyber security solutions. There is one set of customer that we have direct engagement with in terms of evangelizing and working with them on the solutions; that touch always remains . We have a lot of reseller community who is already in touch with tons and tons of customers available in the market. We were always in touch with our SI and reseller community. That is our strength end of the day.

Has the shift from on-prem to cloud model attained a critical mass during this period?

The way we have been working we have not seen too much of a movement as of now but discussions are on in that space. As we move ahead more and more customers will move there, but right now it is more of let us secure what we have or whatever it takes or whichever works well to ensure right now to secure the environment and take care of the challenge that we are facing customers are more concerned about that.

Who are your Top 5 OEMs and how much have they grown?

Our number one will be Radware, then we have Forescout, then we have Keysight. We have done phenomenal work with them in last two quarters, a lot of uptake of technologies from them. They became really big for us. Growth for these players would be 35-40% in respect. For Radware it will be 15%-20% or more. The contribution of Radware in our portfolio is very huge.

What are going to be RAH Infotech’s key focus areas in the near future?

Capitalise on whatever is there right now. Ensure that you are with the customers solving their challenges, solving their problems because end of the day for solving the problems your revenue will come in from them. For us our customer is our partner, OEM and the customer also. We have a very controlled and close engagement with all three of them. Ensure that we are adding value to whatever we are doing in the market today, be it sales activity, pre sales activity, post sales activity or marketing activities. The other point is to ensure to get the maximum out of the new technologies or the new OEMs we have added.

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