Integration of data communication can be achieved through a compatible networking system. Mr Shekar Nair, Managing Director & CEO at Elina Networks Pvt. Ltd speaks on its functionality for retail
Retailer: How are you providing services to the retail industry?
Shekar Nair (SN): Our mission is to help retailers to increase the bottomline, ensuring 100 per cent store uptime (i.e., seamless operation), enhanced IT manageability and synchronised inventory management. All these together scale up the productivity of a retailer. For a retail chain, it is necessary to remain well-connected with the head quarter through a well-structured networking system and we work on this.
Retailer: How networking
can contribute to retail business operation? What are the benefits they can draw from it?
SN: Networking system primarily contributes to inventory and cash management. Relevant data transportation is done in real time from a store to the head quarter. In most cases the centralised IT system is based at the HQ and it is through networking, the skilled IT professionals have the immediate access to the data. This cuts down the operational cost as the retailer does not need to hire IT experts at every store location.
Retailer: Who are your target customers? The majority of the Indian retailers being traditional retailers, how much awareness is there for using modern technology like networking for the business operation?
SN: We have Spencer’s, Planet M, Trends in Vogue, Religare, GKB Optical, Music World, Books & Beyond and some more as our clients. We have Hotspot and Lifescan too as our clients, who are not as big as previously mentioned retail chains. Actually we work on opex model, not on capex model. In this model we charge Rs 699 for providing our services to a store. However, this amount is variable and we offer a discount package as the number of stores goes up. This kind of service is ideal for dealers’ network too.
To bring awareness among the clients, we provide mechanisms like instant messaging and video conferencing for training. In this context I can give you an example. The confectionary retail chain Monginis so long has been running its operation that has no use of modern networking technology. Now, they are realising the need of the hour and contemplating to deploy an effective networking system.
Retailer: How much does retail industry contribute to your overall turnover? How do you provide maintenance support system to your customers?
SN: Retail almost contributes 35 per cent of our revenue. We have skilled IT professionals who are relentlessly working towards enhancing our services making it more time suited and scalable so that the solution can be tailor-made according to the requirements of the clients that vary from one client to another.
We have the in-house maintenance support system that works remotely, apart from this we have technology partners at 500 plus locations who make on-site visit to our clients.
Retailer: How are you experiencing growth? How research and development team of Elina is working for modernising the products and making the products suitable for changing requirements?
SN: This fiscal year we have clocked a growth rate of more than 20 per cent and expecting a growth rate of 25 per cent year on year.
While developing a solution it should be kept in mind that it is going to be catered to the Indian customers. Here we need to apply innovation. We do not follow the international parameters. We tweak the parameter to suit the Indian clients.