“Online sales have definitely started hitting the offline business”

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Parag Mehta, partner, Component Masters

A clear understanding of customer requirements and an always-stocked inventory are what Component Masters, a Mumbai based distributor of electronic components, suggests customers need to evaluate prior to selecting their component distributors. Parag Mehta, partner, Component Masters, talks to Baishakhi Dutta about the firm’s strategy to cater to customers better.

EB: What unique aspect of your firm makes it beneficial for customers to do business with you?
We have been offering the widest range of excellent quality semiconductors (approximately 35,000 line parts) for the last 40 years to more than 1500 satisfied customers. Technical knowledge, excellent sourcing, in-house quality control and fast delivery are our USPs.

EB: What’s your strategy with respect to keeping ready the stock of in-demand products for your customers?
We stock 60 days inventory for our regular clients and have a re-order level system in place. We keep standard pack quantity stocks of all the running and obsolete products. We can arrange for any part within a week.

EB: Do you cater to startups that may not have orders matching your MoQs? If so, how do you handle this?
Yes, we have a big retail outlet that caters to small quantity orders. We have a dedicated team to handle retail orders. For us, every customer matters; so we never treat them according to the volume of their orders. We believe a relationship is much more important than business volume.

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EB: Which cities do you have offices in? How do you cater to customers located far from the cities your offices are in?
We are a Mumbai based company with office, retail outlets and warehouses in this city only. Yet we cater to customers all over India, in the Gulf and in South Africa. With the support of express courier services and the latest communication technologies we are efficiently delivering parts within 24 hours all over India.

EB: Do you provide samples to customers who may want to try them out in their designs?
We certainly support the delivery of samples to customers. Many of our customers are design houses, R&D labs and development engineers.

EB: Do you have a team to help customers in designing their products?
We do not have an in-house design team, but we do introduce our customers to professional product designers, who are also our customers.

EB: What are the top three things you would advise customers to look for while choosing the right sourcing partner?
The technical capability to understand customer requirements, a focus on quality, and the availability of a wide range of products—these are definitely the things companies should look for while choosing the right sourcing partner.

EB: How do you see the role of online sales affecting the component distribution business? Have you started tapping this segment too?
Online sales are growing in India. Most of the worldwide distributors already offer buying options in Indian rupees. Online sales have definitely started hitting the offline business. We set up our online portal in 2015 but it did not generate sufficient revenue due to various reasons; so we closed it.

EB: How has your organisation grown in the last two years? And how do you view its performance in this financial year?
We are growing 15-20 per cent year on year. This year we are targeting 25-30 per cent growth.

EB: What’s your leadership style? What are the best management practices that you have adopted?
I follow the leadership style of a coach. We have all the systems and processes in place to provide the best service to our customers. Feedback systems, weekly meetings, KPAs, KRAs, process excellence, quality control measures and HR systems have been implemented at Component Masters.

EB: Have there been any major initiatives that you’ve taken up in the last financial year that you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, certainly. To begin with, we completed the process excellence programme to put Component Masters on auto pilot mode. Next, our organisation has been restructured for better performance. And we have also restructured the inventory management system.

EB: What are your key focus areas for the next financial year?
For the next financial year, we are primarily focusing on strengthening our sourcing along with working with international brands to distribute their products.

EB: Any views on the current government policies related to import-export, GST and electronics manufacturing?
To promote ‘Make in India’ the government should levy high custom duty on finished products that already have a huge manufacturing base and market in India. Innovations must be encouraged on a larger scale so that Indian manufacturers can gain a good market share in technology products.

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