When was INTUIT founded and what has been the predominant belief that has driven the company’s success?
Intuit was formed in 2005 as a retail distribution house but slowly transformed in to a Value Add Distribution company. Our vision is to "Earn money from customer happiness" with the belief that when customers are happy they are loyal. The success of all our customers is very important to us and is the primary goal of our company.
Your portfolio seems to be storage heavy. Please detail your strengths in this segment
Our primary focus area is Storage. That is where we are very strong in and we also do internal testing as well as make significant R&D efforts to ensure we are a step ahead of our competition.
INTUIT has done extensive research in providing best possible end to end storage solution for SMB and SOHO segments at the best price points. This include storage products from 1TB up-to 128TB on Desktop, 1U, 2U, 3U or 5U rackmount models with OS Choices of Windows, Unix/Linux & Mac network. We provide readily available NAS, Direct Attach and iSCSI products that are not only cost effective but also robust and highly reliable products chosen based on in-depth research.
INTUIT has distribution rights for IOmega B2B products and 3Gen Data Storage products in the Middle East. We have partnerships with many US brands to offer solutions from a simple client backup to disaster recovery, bare metal backup, High availability and Data replication options.
As a team, we are technically competent in storage technologies. We have products that can serve an individual to the product that can serve large corporate customers. We don’t want to leave any gaps in between and once a customer comes to us, all their storage requirements are taken care off.
We have NAS that’s starting from AED 5,000 which is used by a SOHO to 100’s of terabytes NAS that can serve a government department. We also have SAN that can be used by a single server to a high throughput, high availability SAN that can serve a multi server virtual environment data centres.
Would you describe yourself as a VAD? What are the services you provide?
Yes we are truly a VAD because we provide comprehensive technical expertise on products that we carry and support even at end user level. We are involved in pre-sales, sales and post-sales along with our channels to be sure that we don’t let the end customer down at any point. If the end customer is satisfied and the channel in between has also benefited, that’s how we would be earning our loyalty.
What are the products that you have distribution rights to for the Middle East region specifically, including the UAE?
We are very selective about the brands that we choose to work with. At the moment we distribute Data Robotics, Iomega B2B, 3Gen Data, BakBone, Sonnet Technology, Studio Networks in the Middle East.
What are the products that you distribute to the African markets?
All our storage brands are available for distribution into African Markets.
You have a long standing relationship with Wacom. How important is this brand to your overall business?
Since we are very strong in storage, major portion of the storage goes to media industry. So Wacom is a complimenting product to us. Our long and close relationship with Wacom Germany helps us to distribute the product along with our Storage offering. It’s one of the important brands for us and it contributes 15-20% of our overall business.
How do you see the slowdown impacting the businesses of your customers among the reseller community?
It’s indeed a challenging period, but we see it as a positive change for SMB’s. Most affected are the large companies with huge overheads. For smaller growing companies it’s an advantage and they could benefit in many ways. It’s also major problem for broad-liners and the trading community. VADs and VARs are challenged but least affected.
Has there been a credit squeeze in the channel and has this affected you at all as a distributor?
Yes of course, credit issues are a challenge but we work very closely with our channel, keeping ourselves in the loop on every deal and work it out deal by deal. We can’t apply a generic rule at the same time we can’t leave it open too. We have to know who we deal with and keep transparent communication with the channel and end customer and agree on terms that work for all.
What are your plans for 2009 to consolidate the business in the face of the bigger challenges because of slowing economies?
In early 2008 we somehow estimated that 2009 will be a slow year, so we made plans for 2010. What we have not known was the speed in which it came and the depth of the crisis. This year will be the year of development and we have planned to hone internal and external skills. We will continue our R&D efforts and continue to build a stronger platform so that we are ready for next year.
Do you plan to open more offices?
We have our affiliated offices in Belgium and Turkey already, but INTUIT on itself will open offices in 2010 as per current plans.
Reseller World Middle East speaks with Giri Raj, MD, INTUIT Technology for more insights on the company?s growing business in the region