Parallel imports rattle Asus distributors



VINITA SUVARNA-BHATIA

Asus’ authorized Indian distributors are unhappy with the
parallel imports of company motherboards in the market. According to them, these
are sold at 10 percent lower than the company’s approved price, which eats into
their market share. The first consignment reached the Indian shores in July,
reportedly from Dubai.

Says one distributor, "The cheaper prices of these
imports unnecessarily spoil the bottomlines for those distributors who invest so
much time and effort in building the market. When we drop our prices to remain
competitive, it takes a toll on our RMA and service policies."

The problem came to light when a few systems assemblers
started complaining about bad performance of Asus motherboards. One distributor
has already received seven such complaints so far. The authorized distributors
are now planning to take strict action against the company which is dealing in
these parallel imports.

However, the parallel importer claims that it is not involved
in any illegal activity as parallel imports are very much legal. Citing reasons
for not purchasing it from the authorized distributors, the importer says,
"The distributors are selling the products at very high prices, which our
customers are unwilling to pay in the current market scenario. Therefore, we
have no other option but to import the product from Asus’ authorized
distributors in other countries."

He also adds that the products are not substandard as they
are genuine Asus products. "We merely route it through a different country.
This has no effect on the quality of product, which we have verified by getting
the products checked by our in-house team."

Sources say that most of the parallel import is done for the
motherboards that fall in the entry level price range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000,
including the CUSI-FX, CUV4X-C and P4T-M.

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