Brother Adopts Regional Distribution Model

The company switched to RD model to target partners directly with consistent MDFs, take faster decisions in large deals and to further penetrate in tier-2 and -3 cities.

Brother, the Japanese printer manufacturer, plans to increase its marketshare in mono lasers and MFPs from the present 4 percent to 10 percent in FY2013-14; the market size is estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore. The company recently revamped its distribution model, introduced new products, and enhanced its post sales support.

"In India we expect significant growth in the demand for mono laser printers, and aim to grab a share of 10 percent in FY2013-14 and 25 percent by FY2016-17," said Yoshiji Matsui, MD, Brother International (India).

The company has recorded a CAGR of 30 percent since 2007. It expects growth of 40 percent in the current fiscal.

To increase its penetration in tier-2 and -3 cities, in May 2013 the company revamped its distribution model from national to regional. Now the company bills directly to its regional distributors (called Brother Premium Partners, or BPPs) with its resellers (called Brother Select Partners, or BSPs) working directly under them.

"With the regional distribution model we will be able to approach our partners directly with consistent market development funds and take faster decisions in large deals," explained Matsui.

At present the company has 100 BPPs and 260 BSPs. While it wants to double the BPP numbers, it intends to increase the number of BSPs to 600 by the end of the current fiscal.

Brother will provide training and certification to its new partners through its new partner program called the Brother Premium Partner program and Brother Select Partner program. The training programs include product and sales training.

The company recently introduced a new range of mono lasers and MFPs comprising one single-function laser printer priced at about Rs 5,000 and two multi-function printers priced at Rs 9,090 and Rs 13,100.

To encourage its partners to push its products Brother has come out with a quarterly scheme for BSPs and a monthly scheme for BPPs based on their performance.
In order to ensure faster delivery the company set up nine new warehouses in the country in January 2013; this brings its total to 17 warehouses.

To increase its brand recall among prospective customers and the channel Brother is planning a series of road-shows in addition to high-decibel promotional activities. For this it has allocated a budget of around Rs 5 crore.

In addition, the company has enhanced its post sales support. It has close to 120 post sales service centers which cater to 260 locations. Most of its dealers and sub-dealers double as its authorized service partners.

"At present we have an average TAT of three days which we want to reduce to the next business day across cities. We have also introduced Web-based logins and email logins," Matsui informed.