Channel needs to focus on the value proposition

Channel Post speaks with Rohit Khubchandani, Regional Sales Director – Middle East, Africa & India at BCDVideo about his career in technology industry and his role in channel over the years that has enabled him to influence the channel for the betterment of his company.

Rohit Khubchandani, Regional Sales Director – Middle East, Africa & India at BCDVideo

What is your career history to date and key career achievements?
For the last 15 years I have been developing and leading the channel strategy in Dubai for some of the best of breed Video Surveillance and Infrastructure manufactures, including industry leaders such as Milestone Systems, Avigilon, Pivot3, Data Direct Networks and more recently at BCDVideo as their Regional Sales Director for Middle East, Africa & India.

I have an in-depth understanding of the channel business model in the emerging markets of Middle East, Africa & India mainly in the partner eco-system with traditional channels, and distributors, as well as, strategic and alliance partners.

What are your roles and responsibilities in the company as a channel influencer?
BCDVideo brings a strong value proposition to the channel. Our primary focus is to educate and collaborate with our existing partners as well as develop new strategic partnerships. I am responsible for leading the effort to evaluate and appoint channel partners and oversee their on-boarding process. As a channel influencer, I motivate partners on a daily basis to communicate BCDVideo Values and differentiators to the market.

I am also deeply involved with all aspects of channel engagement such as sales training, technical enablement, pricing support, supply chain management, channel marketing and joint initiatives involving channels, end-users, consultants, technology and ecosystem partners to position end to end and holistic solutions to the market.

What qualities should a channel influencer possess to lead the channel?
Trust. Over the years I have earned the trust of partners by bringing solutions with value to the market, being transparent and making sure any channel conflict is dealt with professionally.

Knowledge. It’s not enough to understand the channel. Influencers need to be able to use channel and product knowledge as tools to drive measurable business growth for the channel. Giving them the required ROI to meet and exceed their business goals.

What is your advice on finding success in the channel?
There is no fixed formula to finding success given the complex dynamics of our markets today. Start with a combination of market insights, trends, and partnership collaboration, on top of the right mix of products & technologies to build a compelling solution positioning the channel to be at the leading edge of the market. It’s important to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved such as the Customer (end-user), consultant (Key Influencer) and last but not least manufactures involved in the solution.

How would you assess the current state of channel?
The current state of the channel is very fragmented but evolving. It’s becoming more and more important to differentiate and stand out from the rest of the crowd. A key tactic is to specialize and offer a unique value proposition to the market versus mundane standard offerings that are available in abundance.

What is the biggest challenge facing the IT channel in the region?
Video systems behave very differently than IT systems. They may look the same, but if you are not familiar with why and how it works, it can be a big challenge for IT. The channel resources need to be trained not only on the product but also on how and why to use certain products and for what applications. We often see IT channels over committing and underdelivering due to lack of training. Therefore, it is extremely important to set the expectations right to make sure we deliver 100% Customer Satisfaction. After all, Customer is King.

If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
I would like to urge the channel to focus on the value proposition and key differentiators that benefit the customer rather than focus on selling the cheapest solution. Look at the total cost of ownership for the system over time for it’s intended use. It’s not just about the acquisition price. Building lasting relationships and earning the trust of the customer requires looking at the project holistically.

How can partners (vendors, distributors, resellers, and retailers) work effectively to generate growth in the channel?
Vendors, Distributors, and Resellers need to join forces to work effectively to generate growth in the channel by educating the market and thinking outside of the box. It’s truly about showing the market the power of the ecosystem and working together as a community. It’s about showing how integrated solutions can co-exist and work together to solve the customer’s problems and add more value.

What are your interests outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy traveling and exploring new places and making new friends. I enjoy cooking, reading and researching new technologies, trends and innovations. I also like magic.