Mumbai-based Rajiv Sethi’s experience and team spirit has helped Liberty Automation Systems to bring out innovative marketing practices. After his success in distributing PCs and peripherals, Rajiv is planning to experiment new ideas in the networking field.
Rajiv Sethi started his career in the marketing department of IDM, which was later taken over by HCL. He moved on to set up Liberty Automation Systems in 1987, when the channel business showed a lot of promise. This however, did not mean that marking one’s space in this arena was an easy task.Â
Despite this, Rajiv decided to persevere. His perseverance has paid as Liberty was able to touch Rs 14.74 crore in 2000-2001, registering 90 percent growth over the previous fiscal.Â
Sharing and winning
|Company: Liberty Automation Systems|
Address: 4/147, Sargam, SIWS College Lane,Â
Wadala (W),Â Â
Mumbai – 400031
Tel: 022-4180350, 4133176
Start-up year: 1987
Products & services: PCs, peripherals and networking
Rajiv reveals that this success was possible largely because of the efforts of his 25 employees. And he has appreciated their labors by making them an extension of his own family. A feeling that has bound the entire Liberty team closely.
A firm believer in the motto, “United we stand, divided we fall” Rajiv has found the recipe for success. “There are many things which I can do myself and can take credit for. But, I always delegate my employees to do that. Therein lies the success of my employees and my company,” he states.
He also acknowledges the backing that he has received from his principals like HP, Compaq, IBM, Wipro and TVSE through joint sales efforts. He ensures the presence of the principal at the customers’ place as and when required. “This is important for two reasons from the customers point of view. One is the presence of the principal gives them a sense of security while buying the product. The other is a virtual commitment the customer gets from principal,” says
Principals also benefit from these events as it brings them closer to their customers. “This will definitely help the principal in his future action plans,” adds
Innovations in business
Liberty is one of a few companies that escaped the brunt of the recent economic slowdown. The credit naturally goes to Rajiv’s innovative ideas and his team’s efforts. To strengthen his business during this period, he held demos at Panvel and Nagothane at the outskirts of Mumbai, with the support from his principals.Â
At Panvel, which is a stopover point for tourists, he put up a demo center near an eatery and demonstrated HP computers. Out of the 3000 people who visited his center, he was able to convert 20 inquiries into orders. One visitor even bought five PCs.
The demo at Nagothane was held for two days at a housing colony of 2000 families. Rajiv sold 20 Compaq Presario PCs there. “The advantage of these strategies is that we could expand into newer markets. If we continue to do this, we can sell 50 PCs a month besides our regular sales.”Â
Not boxes, but services…
Box pushing has never been Rajiv’s forte. Instead he concentrates on understanding his customer’s needs. And this spirit is shared by the entire organization. Rajiv believes that service is vital for channel business. The service team is more important than sales team. He says, “Repeat orders and references are the results of customer satisfaction, which can be generated only through service. This also brings in revenue.”
In fact, as Rajiv contemplates his move into networking, he intends to put this philosophy into good use here too. Though he mainly deals with PCs and peripherals of various brands, he aims to be a solution provider in networking.
Rajiv has hit on one more mode to provide service to his customers, and that is a B2C web site. This site will help his customers get all kinds of information about Liberty and its products. He consciously put aside this plan during the dotcom boom. But now he feels that the time is right to start one.
The next milestone Rajiv has in mind is an in-house publication for his employees and customers. This will carry information about the company as well as its new schemes.
Saji MP in Mumbai