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DCG moves to clamp down on counterfeit IT products

Local IT trade body seeks close cooperation from distributors and vendors

DCG moves to clamp down on counterfeit IT products
Representatives from the local IT distribution sector at the DCG roundtable discussion.

The Dubai Computer Group (DCG) has revealed that it is putting measures in place that are aimed at clamping down on counterfeit IT products finding the way into authorised channels of distribution in the local channel.

The announcement was made at the first DCG-Disty Symposium 2014 held at the Capital Club, DIFC in Dubai recently. The roundtable discussion, which was held to promote ethical business conduct and forge close cooperation between DCG members and local distributors in the Dubai channel, highlighted the need for vendors, distributors and high street resellers to wipe out fake IT goods and grey imports in Dubai.

Suchit Kumar, a DCG working committee member, said, as the local channel has come under so much pressure with hardware margins being squeezed, some dealers have started to engage in malpractices of dealing in counterfeit IT products or grey imports to offset the business challenges they are facing.

Kumar said as DCG, the association is seeking help and ways on how this can be tackled by all involved in the local IT channel. "We want to work closely with all authorised distributors in terms of sharing information on companies that are promoting this illegal practise," he said. "We seek your help and from us as a registered IT association, the next step will be to invite vendors to a similar discussion where we would look at the role they can play in curbing counterfeit products being sold in authorised channels locally."

Rajesh Aiyar, head, IT Distribution at Jumbo IT Distribution, said grey marketing and counterfeit products have flourished in the local channel because high street dealers are looking for the easier way to make money.

Aiyar said if one looks at the local power retail sector, one is encouraged by the brand they have created for the vendors whose products they resell and the consumers they serve. "The same cannot be said about high street dealers and it's no surprise that vices like counterfeit products are being sold by authorised dealers in the Dubai channel," he noted.

Aiyar said if traditional IT resellers need to win over the confidence of vendors and distributors, there is need for them to improve their business conduct and create for themselves a brand that will be associated with ethical and legal business behaviour.

Dharmendra Sawlani, general secretary, DCG, concurred and added that the local IT trade body is already developing a Website which will go live soon. Sawlani added that the site will be used to promote all the legal activities that DCG and its memebers are engaged in. "We believe this will help in promoting resellers' ethical conduct to both vendors and distributors. As an association, we owe it to our members to clean up the channel of this scourge. If we want to promote Dubai as the IT hub of the Middle East, there is need for all involved in the local channel to work together to purge out rogue IT dealers that are damaging the image of the local IT business," he said.

Khalaf Al Otaiba, chairman at DCG, said the issue of trust and building a positive image for the local IT trade cannot be understated. "Being under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an advantage to all IT dealers that are DCG members as we have through this representation, been able to engage positively with various government bodies and authorities," Al Otaiba said.

He reiterated that members under the DCG banner cannot knowingly engage in reselling counterfeit products. "From a compliance perspective, we must all strive to do business ethically as doing so will help in building confidence, trust and promote Dubai as a city that endorses the sale of genuine IT products," he said.

The DCG-Disty Symposium 2014 was arranged to help promote ethical business conduct in the Dubai channel and find ways of increasing DCG's membership from the more than 4,000 IT and consumer electronics resellers operating in the Dubai IT market.

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