Micro Clinic registered a 30 percent dip in its topline revenue for March ending 2013. As a 22-year veteran in channel business, the dip from Rs 113 crore in FY 2011-12 to Rs 77 crore the next fiscal was a severe blow. But Tarun Seth, founder and MD, Micro Clinic says, "It was a conscious decision to avoid hardware orders with fewer margins. The bottom lines in FY 2012-13 were better than FY 2011-12." Seth, with his years of experience and business acumen, had few aces up his sleeve.
A month into the new fiscal, he took 100 employees from a Mumbai-based enterprise partner organisation to help refocus on security and availability in the Western region of India. "If we had to train our people, it would take years to develop the required skill set, by which time we would have lost valuable time in the market. IT does not wait for anyone.
So, we got them onboard and started," he says. Seth has couple more reasons to whole-heartedly believe in this business move. In his long standing career, he has never before seen the manner and conviction by which this new team sells availability solutions from NetApp and EMC to customers, he says.
Micro Clinic, primarily strong in North India, was mostly into fulfilment since its foray into storage in 2005. For him, profitability makes a big difference as it offers and conducts sizing and application testing to suggest the right mix to customers. "This new team added a second tier of security solutions to our portfolio," Seth says. "We will extend 'availability and security' to northern and southern parts of India. It was a God send opportunity, as the deal was finalized within three months of discussions," says Seth. This new venture has started showing a profit since August 2013.
Money and Skills
Years ago, in 1991, as a first time entrepreneur with limited funds, Seth invested his provident fund money to begin business. "We were purely a service organisation. We had no money to execute hardware projects," recalls Seth. By 2012, the company's turnover grew from Rs 14 lakh that it recorded in 1991 to Rs 100 crore. The biggest challenge today for companies like Micro Clinic is the cash crunch.
"There seldom is extra cash," says Seth. "There has been zero borrowing till date and it was just one year in the last two decades that we did not make profits," he says.
In late 90s, branch offices that the SI added across India amplified losses and the quality of people handling the location was a challenge, he says. HP appointed Micro Clinic as ASP in 14 locations five years ago which helped in sorting day-to-day expenses. "But, a national presence across different states (with different licence policies) helps execute local delivery pan India," he says. Micro Clinic has never closed any branch till date. "Today it adds brand value as we increase footprints in infrastructure, security, and availability. Now we will make more profits from these branches," he says. Its brand value has strengthened due to its credibility.
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