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IT Systems: Bets Big on Their Own New Brand Tonink

by Imaging Solution Bureau

IT Systems are in the imaging and printer industry as a prominent distributor for the past 23 years. They are the main distributors of Brother Printers and also inks, toners and other spares for Brother Printers. They also sell compatible cartridges for printers of many other brands including HP, Samsung and Brother. Recently they have launched their own brand Tonink for inks and toners.

 

 

Since there are lots of brands in the market, a company to make a mark needs some differentiators. In this context, Tejpal Singh, MD, IT Systems, says, “Our cartridges are not only for Brother, but for several other brands as well. We have been in the market for 23 years and know the consequences bad cartridges. Our expertise makes us best guides for the remanufacturers.”

Regarding the focus market segments, Tejpal explains, “We have a very good grip in North India, particularly in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi and also some parts of UP. So we will position ourselves strongly here. Our price is cost-effective since we have the advantage of avoiding some expenses compared to other companies as we directly purchase from the reputed manufacturers whereas others purchase from traders. As already emphasize quality remains one of our important selling points.”

Direct Selling Vs Selling through Channel
Some companies prefer to sell directly whereas other would like to depend on channel. On the Tejpal details, “Right now 30% of the sales we are doing directly and rest 70% through dealers. Only in Delhi, we are doing directly and in rest of the places thru dealers. For dealers our quality is good selling point and also we are giving good service support to help them sell more confidently better. That is our strategy as of now.”

In a scenario of intense competition, service plays a crucial role. Tejpal asserts, “In every state we will be having a dealer who will provide service on behalf our brand. In Delhi and Haryana we will be directly providing service. If the customer finds problem with our product, he can always send it back to us. If there is genuine manufacturing fault, we always give replacement to the product. Normally if the cartridge works initially, it is going to work well; otherwise it needs to be replaced.”

Profitability to Channel Partners
Good profitability is essential to motivate and retain partners. Regarding this, Tejpal asserts, “We are directly buying from the manufacturers from Korea and China so we have cost advantage compared to those who buy from the traders. That gives us a buffer margin which we can transfer to partners. Coming to partners, we are already into toner business for many years so have already have well-connected partner and distribution network. Our partners have already been making money.”

IT Systems: Prominent Distributor
IT Systems are in the imaging and printer industry as a prominent distributor for the past 23 years. They are the main distributors of Brother printers and also inks, toners and other spares for Brother Printers. They also sell compatible cartridges for printers of many other brands including HP, Samsung and Brother. Recently they have launched their own brand Tonink for inks and toners.

Today printer business has changed a lot. Earlier vendors and distributors were selling only products, but today one has to offer solutions as well. In this context, Tejpal Singh, says, “We are already doing well with Brother Printers—they have the cheapest and good quality laser printer in India. Its running costs are also less. Brother also gives good solutions. Also for Brother Inkjet printers, you can use ink from any good brand—not limited to HP, Epson, Canon, etc. Regarding warranty, Brother does not give warranty and also as distributors we too do not give warranty, but dealers provide warranty on their own terms.”

Inkjet Printers are Making a Comeback with Expanding Home Segment
How big is the inkject market in India? Earlier people thought laser printers will finish the inkjet printer market. Tejpal explains, “Earlier we thought laser printers will overtake inject printers. With big vendors like Brother, Epson, Canon, etc giving solution-based packages for inkjet printers, these printers are making a comeback particularly in the home segment. Home segment is one of the biggest segments in India. Students who are preparing projects at homes and those bringing some home work often need to print prefer to have these solution-based inkjet printers, because laser printer cartridges are rather costly. Of course, initially they have to pay a little more on inkjet printers, then running costs are less. If you take a solution-based inkjet printer, they give 400 mL of ink free which can last for 1 whole year for an average home user.”

Exploring New Markets During Economic Slowdown
Innovative businessmen always creatively locate unexplored markets. That is what differentiates a winner from a mere survivor. On this Tejpal says, “We are focusing on small labs. For instance, if they have an ultrasound machine in the lab, to get a quality print out, they do not have to buy a costly printer; they can buy a printer that costs Rs 7000-8000 and can get a good printouts. We marketed such printers at small labs successfully in Delhi. Soon we are going to have a dealers’ meet where we will focus on our plans to take idea to other regions in the country as well. Regarding challenges, overall IT-market has slowed down a lot. We are waiting for the elections, after which we hope the markets will pick up momentum.”

Brand Positioning and Future Goals
Regarding brand positioning and future goals, Tejpal opines, “Since we have just started, it won’t be appropriate to talk much in name of brand, but as I said quality and value-addition will be our main selling points. Going by our background we are No 1 distributors in the toner and cartridge segment. So far we have been selling for other brands. Whatever we did so far we did successfully. Naturally when we launch our own brand, we will make extra effort to establish it. Let us hope the best.”

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