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FITAG bans HP, HCL and Acer in Gujrat

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CIOL Bureau
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AHMADABAD, INDIA: The efforts of Gujarat Urban Co-operative Banks Federation (GUCBF) to increase penetration of desktops in the state seems to have back fired.

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Federation of IT Associations of Gujarat (FITAG), an umbrella organization comprising as many as 20 IT association in the state, has imposed a ban on thee major PC brands HP, HCL and Acer.

The federation has called for the ban in protest of the state governments decision to shortlist only these three brands for the ambitious Flood IT project. By restricting the brands, the benefits of the project have also been restricted to only those resellers of HP, Acer and HCL PCs, which is causing quite a stir among the channel community in the region.

Flood IT project was launched by GUCBF in a bid to offer finance on PCs to students from kindergarten to post graduate level on zero percent interest rate.

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The initiative was targeted towards increasing the penetration of PCs across Gujarat, especially in the rural hinterlands.

All the members of FITAG, around 2,500 in the state, have been directed to stop the sales and purchase of three brands—HP, Acer and HCL.

“We have requested partners to stop all billings with distributors, regional distributors and sub distributors for these brands till further notice. If they do so, and it comes to the notice of officials of FITAG, they will issue instructions to all their members to stop doing business with that partner till March 31,” said Kaushik Pandya, President FITAG.

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FITAG's motive behind the ban is to get vendors to actively involve all its channel partners and members in the activity of Flood IT project.

“We shall not rest till we get satisfactory results where the business interest of all our members are properly and satisfactorily taken care of,” said Pandya, adding that the project was really appreciated by the industry, because through it students would get the advantage of interest free loans with a minimum amount to be invested.

According to FITAG, while it was bad enough that regional players were not being considered in the scheme, the software aspect was also being completely ignored, which could lead to an increase in piracy in the state.

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Pandaya opined that the restriction of brands in the project was also unfair for other vendors like Dell, Lenovo, Zenith and Wipro.

“If somebody want to buy a Dell laptop at a lower price and higher specification then this scheme restricts their opportunity to avail a loan,” Pandya elaborated.

The federation has also questioned the availability of post-sale services of the three brands in the remote areas of the state, as support services will be a serious issue for smaller towns.

Only local and regional players can provide effective service.

“How will customers avail service in remote locations for all three vendors when these brands don’t have local presence in Gujarat?” asked Pandya. To address these issues the organization plans to hold a meeting soon.

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