ESET India goes for Smart Expansion

ESS Distribution, established in 2008, is an exclu­sive distributor of ESET’s products in India. Founded in 1992, ESET is a global security solutions provider for businesses and consumers. Its flagship products include ESET NOD32 anti-virus, ESET Smart Security and ESET cybersecurity.
Growing at the rate of more than 100% every year, ESS Distribution is continuously investing in a range of marketing activities, both channel and end-user oriented. In order to stay afloat in today’s cutting-edge competition, it works with its three main departments that include sales, marketing, and technical. The company’s main operational office with the core sales team is located in Mumbai. ESS Distribution’s director, Pankaj Jain is leading the national sales team. Under him, there are four area sales managers responsible for driving the sales in the North, West, South, and East regions. Then there are regional managers, who are
responsible for supporting existing partners working in corporate segment, and regional distributors working in retail segment. These regional managers also work towards establishing business with new partners.
All sales managers are techno-commercial and handle pre-sales meetings with clients. All marketing activities are organized by EET’s marketing team based in Mumbai. From time-to-time, channel partners organize various marketing activities, which are coordinated by marketing department and supported by sales managers.

Management Split
The company sells only ESET products through its channel network. Its product sale is divided into three verticals, ie, paper license, retail, and online. Currently, the company is in the developing stage, and all its verticals are headed by the director, who gets support from the sales, marketing, PR, SEO, and support departments. “As the business is growing, we will be expanding our team in 2012, which will include better hierarchy by segregating paper license and retail teams. We will be adding more sales people in the retail segment, and also in the pre-sales and support departments at
regional levels,” says Jain.

Channel Model
ESET’s entire business is performed through channel partners in India. For paper license, it has two-tier channels, ie, a partner buys products from the company and sells it to end-users. Whereas in retail, it has distributors, who sell ESET retail boxes to resellers.
The company has deeply improved and extended its distribution network during the last 1 year. In 2011, it appointed new retail distributors in North, East, and South India including KK Software, Delhi; Galaxy Computech, Kolkata; SAS Enterprises, Patna; Creative Compu World, Bengaluru; Maruthi Enterprises, Cochin; and Soft Solution Link, Coimbatore. In West India, Software Mart, Mumbai is working aggressively to sell and promote ESET’s retail products in the market. As client network, responses, number of leads and business are increasing, it is planning to double the team size at the earliest.
At present, the company has a network of over 200 direct channel partners for paper license business. In the retail segment, it has 6 regional/zonal distributors, and each of them are equipped with vast channel network in their respective regions, having association with over 2,000 resellers spread across India.
While choosing channel partners for paper license business, it concentrates on companies, which have sound knowledge of security products and have
resources to provide technical assistance and support to end- customers. However, while choosing a retail partner, it checks the credibility and reputation of the partner in the market, channel network of the potential partner and most importantly his capability to give sincere and genuine effort to sell and promote ESET products.
This year, the company is penetrating into new markets. “Till 2011, our channel marketing activities were mostly targeted at class-A cities. From this year, we will be focusing on class-B and -C cities as well, as we see high potential in smaller cities due to increase in buying capacity and larger IT penetration,” Jain says.
The company is also expanding its tie-ups with VARs, solution service providers, OEMs and other organizations to explore the extensive range of partnership opportunities.

Training and Schemes
ESS Distribution provides online training and certification programs through ESET University. During the training program, reseller engineers and implementation managers are exposed to the latest technology and deployment techniques. The partner’s technical staff is also offered with free certifications for the successful completion of the training program. The company also offers basic sales and technical training via remote sessions. Online and offline trainings as well as certifications are its top priorities in improving its channel strength.
Channel schemes have always been an important part of channel marketing activities, though it does not just rely on schemes to retain partners. It believes in being the most technically sound vendor, providing the best product to its partners, and above all, at very competitive margins and with clear policies.
Last year, it supported the partner scheme ‘Drive Smart with ESET,’ organized by regional distributors which proved that every partner working with
ESET can benefit from incentive programs and rebates. This year, it is planning to launch new channel schemes for partners and resellers in every
cities across India.
For channel partners, the priority is always on ethical business with higher profitability. And to ensure continuation in business and best technical assistance to end-user, it will be improving and broadening online and offline trainings and certification programs.
ESET provides partners full access to marketing tools and a broad line of collateral materials, product presentations, case comparison studies, and innovative marketing campaigns. Moreover, ESET partner’s educational programs provide staff with latest training tools, both offline and online. ESET partners and resellers can access the knowledge base to effectively support and market ESET security solutions. And, of course, they also get technical support whenever they need to close a sale, implement a solution or just maintain relationship with customers.

Future Plans
ESET installation base in India has grown up to approximately 25,000,000 licenses, which gives ESET a significant marketshare in India. To cater the growing market and to achieve the goal to capture 10% marketshare within the next couple of years, it has started and will be constantly increasing its sales and technical team in every region.
“We have been quite active in the enterprise, SMB, government and educational segments, which brings up to 70% of business. The main factor of our success is that our clients stay with us for years. The renewal ration is over 80%,” adds Jain.
From the last 1 year, it is targeting consumer, SOHO and SMB segments aggressively. This market is highly competitive, with more than 20 players, and very price sensitive. To achieve the position in top-5 security brands in India, the company is trying different marketing activities targeting both channel partners and end-users throughout the years.

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