How channel partners can stay relevant in the future: K Vaitheeswaran

At the 10th anniversary of ChannelWorld Premier100, K Vaitheeswaran sheds light on how channel partners can establish their relevance in this rapidly advancing environment.

The data created in the last one year is much more than the data created in the last 5,000 years. In an era where AI, ML, RPA, cloud computing and many more are evolving at such a quick pace, what can channel partners do to stay relavant? K. Vaitheeswaran, the father of e-commerce, answers this question by stressing on one point: to stay calm!

Watch the extended version: Staying relevant for the future: K. Vaitheeswaran, father of Indian eCommerce

Not on all, work on a few

Don’t work on all of them, instead just work on a few- this is the first piece of advice Vaitheeswaran wants to share. With brands on one side and customers on the other, Vaitheeswaran advises all channel partners to stay calm. He believes that even though one misses a change this year, there are many more changes coming up next year. Given their strengths, partners should pick a few things, which are relevant to their customers and just work more on them.

Watch the entire session here

Large standardization, minimum customization

“Try and add a layer of services that’s just yours”, is Vaitheeswaran’s second piece of advice to all the channel partners. “In a world where information is freely available, a customer will choose you only if you layer services that are unique. Offer services that are standardized, yet customized.” He believes that whatever complete solution one wants to deliver, a minimum of 80 percent of it should be standardized and around 10-15 percent must be customized.

Read…like crazy!

In a world where everything evolves at a rapid speed, one way you can keep up with the pace is by reading, says Vaitheeswaran. Pick your area of interest, relevant sites, blog posts, and influencers, and follow them. Reading is the best solution for the problem of inadequacy. “This is one way where your competitive advantage is not going to come from price,” said Vaitheeswaran.

Technologies change, soft skills don’t

Vaitheeswaran believes that the industry needs to spend a lot more in training their people in terms of softskills, as hard skills is something they’ll pick up eventually. Training younger people is very essential as in this world where technology changes every now and then, they can keep a better track of it. He believes that soft skills is the way to future. “It’s better to have trained people leaving you rather than having untrained people staying with you,” Vaitheeswaran points out.

Vaitheeswaran concluded the session by stating that 'no matter how many years pass on, the fact that there will always be a customer' will never change. He also says that though customer will continue to remain very significant, channel partners are the most important people between a brand and customer. “The ability to influence a customer’s relationship and behavior is in a channel partner’s hands,” Vaitheeswaran sums up.