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ASCII Group, a U.S.-based collective of small-business VARs and systems integrators, has launched an India affiliate—ASCII Group India—to connect with U.S. vendors with on the subcontinent.

The Indian organization, a partnership between ASCII Group, of Bethesda, Md., and Cyber Learning, a Washington-based IT training advocate, aims to bring U.S. education and training standards to the VARs of India and serve as an outlet for U.S. manufacturers trying to reach the Indian market through small resellers and SIs, said Alan Weinberger, chairman and CEO of ASCII Group.

The endeavor also has the support of several U.S. vendors, the largest of which is CA, ASCII said.

“It is about making inroads to the smaller organizations in the Indian IT market,” Weinberg said. “These companies, they know the top 100 VARs in India. They don’t need any help there. But this is reaching the masses and in an efficient way.”

Eventually, Weinberg envisions Indian manufacturers tapping ASCII (and its 2,000 members) to reach small U.S. VARs in a similar fashion.

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Approximately 200 Indian VARs have begun participating in online forums, meetings and training, as the group works toward an initial goal of 1,000 in 12 months, ASCII said.