That came forth in a Panel Discussion that was called “We are in the same boat, brother!” This had to do with the ongoing crisis in a major section of the Telecom industry that has to with the selling of electronic items including smartphones. The crisis, which seems to be snowballing by the day to near unmanageable proportions, has been caused by the impact of the arbitrary moves of the major players online versus the struggling and hardworking and relatively small players offline. Matters have come to such a pass that even with the Union Ministries of Industry and Commerce not responding as they were expected to resolve the crisis, the proverbial panic button has virtually been pressed. The need of the hour was for everyone offline player to stay united and follow a well-crafted strategy. Indeed, if those online announce ridiculous discounts etc., how can those offline stay in business? The concern manifested in an over packed hall. Retailers, Distributors and Company representatives were all there. The seven panellists spoke with passion. The Moderator, Mr. Mohan Bajoria, did an enviable job under unenviable circumstances. For him, no praise would be enough. Finally, as “an eminent personality”, I was, invited to express my feelings on the entire issue being discussed. I was not one to mince my words since I always call a spade, a spade. I had all my sympathy and support for those struggling offline. This crisis has now assumed critical proportions. And, the sooner the Government steps in to ensure justice and fair play, the better. By Utpal Chatterjee*


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