Priyanka Pugaokar
Rushabh Shah Channel Associations are the backbone of the channel fraternity. IT associations have played a very critical role in the nourishment of the channel community. Channel associations are not only a forum of channel partners, but also key drivers of the channel business. IT associations have always raised their voice for their partners and fought to safeguard the interest of the brick and mortal. Whether it is predatory pricing or issues related to taxation, IT associations have always united against injustice with small partners.

As a leading Channel publication, Channel Times recognizes the value IT Associations are bringing in the Channel business in India. In this special series, Channel Times highlights and recognizes the contribution of prominent IT associations in the country.

Founded in March 1996, with an aim to resolve parity in taxation and curb growing menace of the grey market, Mumbai based Trade Association of Information Technology, commonly known as TAIT, has today grown to represent over 300 IT partners comprising of IT distributors, resellers, system integrators, ISVs, VARs etc. TAIT is one of those few channel associations which united the unorganized hardware assembly sector and raised voice against unethical business practices. Today, TAIT is one of the well-known IT associations in the country.

Contribution For Channel

TAIT was established at a time when the high duties and taxes was adversely affecting the growth of the computer hardware industry. TAIT furiously fought uniformity in taxation. At a time when software piracy was on at its peak, TAIT collaborated with Microsoft to educate resellers on piracy, which was a huge success in lowering the raids.

TAIT represents in various interactions with the Government Departments at State and Central level on policy and industry issues. It also works with associations like MAIT, NASSCOM, IMC, etc. on various channel related issues.

In a major achievement in 2015, TAIT became the first IT association of India to sign MoU with international association-TAITRA – Taiwan, representing body to promote business trade. Every year TAITRA invites TAIT members for business meets. TAIT provides its members all the logistics support to attend business conferences in Taiwan.

Major Initiatives

TAIT has rolled out several initiatives to make its members more profitable and enriching. The association aims to enable out of the box thinking to its members by conducting various skill enhancement programs. ‘TAIT Pathshala’ is a flagship knowledge series, which focuses on knowledge enhancement of TAIT members. The program aims at identifying opportunities, both at the local as well as international level for members.

TAIT Arbitration is the another unique initiative by TAIT that aims to resolve disputes between various stakeholders in the channel business. Relaunched in 2016, the project aims to resolve disputes between members and non-members and maintain healthy business relation in the channel business. Apart from the Arbitration, TAIT also has grievances cell that takes up complaints and helps settle trade disputes. The cell also addresses issues related to the monetization of dues, warranty followups, back ends and special deal resolution etc.

TAIT works in a professional way. The managing committee, which is elected every year, runs the association. TAIT has a dedicated portal and a fully equipped office. It is probably the first local association to have a professional PR agency for external communication. “COM IT Expo” is a flagship event of TAIT organized every year. It is one of the prestigious Technology events in the country.

CSR Activities

While leading a multi crore ICT business in Mumbai, TAIT is also committed for social cause. TAIT has always been at the forefront when it comes to social responsibility projects. The association has recently announced the ‘Education First’ initiative. Under the initiative, TAIT members contribute to the education of financially backward children.

“Under the first phase of the program, we will be doing a free distribution of long books. Books will be sent to the members of the association for the children of the less privileged staff members or any other needy children in the pursuit of their education. The same will be available at different distribution points”, said TAIT president Rushabh Shah.

TAIT has vision to distribute over 6000 books under this initiative.

Future Roadmap

TAIT has very ambitious expansion plans ahead. The association is expanding the membership program and many resellers are keen to join the association. TAIT has also planned a slew of initiatives for members which will be unveiled during this fiscal. TAIT has also built an online learning tool for members called ‘TAITeBuzz’ which will be unveiled soon.

“Over a period of time, we will refine the content to make meaningful reading for our members”, said Shah adding, “We are extremely excited that the multi-pronged thrust is yielding the right results and we are getting a lot of solution providers on-board”.

TAIT is also committed to encourage ethical trade practices in the industry.