PHOTO - Unanimous support by the country's IT retailers for the formation of an independent IT retail association
Despite an increasing demand for ICT products, more than 140 independent ICT retailers from all over Malaysia said they face the challenge of surviving in a highly competitive and changing local market.
The forum held on 27 September 2012, which was themed 'Survival of IT Retailers', was chaired by 1 Utopia Berhad managing director Chin Book Long in Kuala Lumpur, who said he had called for the discussion in response to the current challenges faced by Malaysian IT retailers over the years. Other attendees included Irene Sau, chairman of Penang ICT Association (PICTA), Kevin Chan, chairman of Ipoh IT Association and Simon Kong, vice president of Kuching Computer Business Association.
Chin said serious issues plague IT retailers, include the steady decrease of retail prices and profit margins as well as increasing operating expenses and rental costs.
A statement released after the meeting added that many IT retailers could go out of business as competition increased while they needed to reduce 'unrealistic stock commitments set by vendors'.
National ICT Association, Pikom executive director Ong Kian Yew said Pikom was committed to take on the issues raised during the discussion and to table them at the coming council meeting in two weeks' time.
However, more than 100 IT retailers supported the decision to form an independent association to champion and safeguard the survival of IT retailers in Malaysia, said 1 Utopia's Chin.
The IT retailers also signed a petition to show their support on the solutions proposed during the forum. The petition has garnered the support of most attendees, and is still going nationwide to reach out to those who were not able to attend the forum.
So far, 13 IT retailers from all over the country volunteered themselves to be part of the working committee for the new association.
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