Rahul Joshi, Director-Channel Sales Partner of BD Soft, India shared channel strategies, schemes and training offering for Indian partners.
Highlight the overall end-point security market in India?
The overall market in India specifically in terms of security, the concern is very vast. The end-point is a part of that particular security which is a very informal part of it. One cannot ignore the end-points across the offices and across the network. They may be having a lot of high-level security and other things but the end-point security has its own importance. And as for India, yes, the end-point market is still growing although cloud is coming but enterprises and cloud technology, both are in sync together and we see a lot of growth as far as the security market is concerned.
Any specific vertical where you see a major shift coming down?
The major shift is coming as far as the cloud is concerned, there are many private cloud holders and other people are also there. If we look at that perspective then yes, people are willing to shift towards the cloud technology although it may take some time, approx. 2-3 years. By that time, we’ll see a lot of requirement of end-point security also and the concerns will also come up.
What is the BD Software market share in Indian Market?
As far as the BD Market is concerned and especially if you look at Bitdefender as a brand, it’s a global brand and it’s one of the major OEMs for many global brands. So including India also, if you talk about QuickHeal, e-Scan and many other players are using Bitdefender’s engine to simplify their capabilities. As far as bitdefender is concerned, being a global brand, through BD Soft, we are trying to spread and grow the channels through the end consumers. When we talk about quality, we’ve a wide range of product line.
What are the recent developments done by Bitdefender in terms of their product line?
We can cater to many verticals like consumers can use the products, SMBs, corporates, the enterprises can also be targeted. Along with that, the mobile security market is also coming up. So we cater to these 4 verticals with all kinds of solution.
How many products do you’ve in the mobile security segment?
If you talk about retail SMEs, there are more than 50 products available to cater to the needs of the people out there which includes SKUs, Family pack, etc. So, there are an array of products with a validity of 1,2& 3 years according to the licenses which is an added advantage.
What is the GTM Strategy?
I’ve worked with Quick-Heal, e-scan and their products for that matter so I know how retail market works, how to set it up, the channel partners, etc. If you look at any competitor, they go to the market and start aligning the products on one level, move to the next level and so on and so forth; it’s like a supply-chain kind of a module.
Now the scenario is like the distributor is carrying an inventory of more than 5-6 months. If you talk about the leading product in the market and if you stop that, it is definitely going to bring a slight halt in the market. If somebody is investing and not earning X amount of margin, what’s the need of the same? It’s the brand pool that they’ve created in the market and that’s the reason why they need to keep that kind of inventory. But how many times would they do that? First quarter, second quarter and third quarter max. We need to understand that we are basically trying to address this scenario. As and when there’s any partner that comes in, we are trying to design a different model, a pretty flat structure so that we can address each and every partner personally, an assured margin so for instance, whenever he’s selling the bitdefender pack/products, we are giving a particular guarantee to that partner, he’ll be getting an X amount of percentage and the training programme also works well.
What are the training programs that you are providing to your channel partners?
Whenever software is being designed, it has got some features, some capabilities to do a lot of things. But when it gets installed in the consumers or clients’ place, the main question arises which is how many of them are using the software to an optimal level. If a survey is conducted, it turns out that there are a very few people. If you talk about Bitdefender 22 security, it has a vulnerability scanner, a password keeper, etc, many features inbuilt into the software. So, we prefer that our partner who is going to sell Bitdefender should also educate the customers so that they are aware about its usage and can use the software to the optimal level. That’s one concern. When we educate our partners we make sure that they understand the product line, our key points and the unique selling point. Also, the technical scenario and communication with the support center, etc. We also educate them on how to tackle with the problems; a ransomware or virus attack. After the training, we certify them as Bitdefender certified engineer. In this way, they also get some kind of confidence while taking care of the client’s machine.
Tell us about your channel structure in India.
At the moment, we are in an expansion mode. The number is large but the people who are doing Bitdefender are very less. So, according to my experience of more than 25 years, I know many channels and distributors across the country. So my main focus will be on getting the partners on board who are capable, technically smart, sound people.
As you mentioned, you are planning to expand the company, is there anything in specific schemes that you are offering?
As far as the retail market is concerned, we’ve already launched a scheme wherein we’ll be offering some backpacks in as less as Rs.2000/-, Rs.5500/-, we’ll be offering Amazon gift vouchers & in Rs.17, 000 /- a trip to Thailand, etc. This is on a purchase base. And whenever there is reseller activity or product, they’ll be getting a chance to earn one license key free if any reseller activates 5 keys for customers. So in a way, he’ll be earning good amount of margin in that one key as well. There are many schemes. We are not just restricting ourselves to one scheme. So, according to the particular area, we are customizing our schemes accordingly.
What is the future road map in the next 12-13 months?
I’ll be driving the entire channel field across the nation including retail & SMEs specifically. Zakir Hussain will be looking at the enterprise level specifically. We can go to the market and see to it that Bitdefender captures a particular share in the Market. This year we’ll be structuring the entire supply chain for Bitdefender in Retail SMB & Enterprise Space.