Vineeth Sebastian, Regional Sales Director, MEA, MMD and AOC, shares the company’s expansion plans and focus for the year.
AOC-MMD has worked on developing its channel strength over the last two years. Recently it has appointed Trigon as the authorised distributor for its entire range of monitors for UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iran.
According to Vineeth Sebastian, Regional Sales Director, MEA, MMD and AOC, partners can now experience a robust programme put together for the channel.
He says, “Now that we have a consistent partner in Trigon, we can strengthen our channel initiatives. In this regard, Partnernet, our partner programme, is one aspect. However, we also plan to do cash-back and rebate programmes besides our regular channel activities and loyalty programmes.”
The vendor also plans to organise activities for its partners around GITEX 2016. For the company, building its distribution base has been a priority in the last two years. Trigon was a distributor for the company’s Philips brand for over a year and continues the partnership to AOC this year. Redington Gulf continues to be a distributor partner for both Saudi and Egypt markets.
Sebastian says, “We now have solid distributors with strong financial background. We have gone across the market with single distribution to ensure partners make enough margins.
“In the coming months, we are focusing on moving deeper into the B2B segment, especially in Saudi, which is a large B2B market.”
The company believes B2B is a sustainable and a long-term business.
“This is because it is the actual requirement on the ground,” he says. “We are working on growing our share of B2B business much more. Today, we only have channel-facing people and will need to invest resources for B2B business too. We are looking at expanding into B2B with headcounts so that we can speak to B2B users directly.”
The company aims to “put technology before pricing”.
“We have many new products, which can benefit the users from a technology aspect. We need to see if B2B can sustain or increase the current levels of volumes.”
Sebastian says, unfortunately monitors do not have a big game in retail as the units occupy a large amount of shelf space and the cost of business is quite high.
“Currently, retail is not a part of our channel strategy as we need to evaluate the return on investment. That being said, we do have plans if the cost of business comes down in this segment,” he explains. “It is more about visibility when we work in retail because revenues are pretty low.”
In terms of geographies, the company is looking to develop business in Iran.
“Although the sanctions do not address all the pertaining issues yet, we are already talking to a partner to see how things will progress in Iran. It will definitely be a positive impact for us,” Sebastian says.
Egypt is another potential market for the vendor.
“The biggest issue in Egypt is that they do not have foreign currency. The government has regulated the dollar outflow in the country. However, there have been some key projects in the country that we have been a part of.”
He adds that Algeria has always been a big market for the company and will continue to be a growth factor. Although the company did explore Kenya and Nigeria, it found the market conditions to be unfavourable.
“That part of Africa continues to be a challenge and we are trying to see how we can address that. Redington is a partner for us in Nigeria and Kenya,” he says. “This year our focus is more on UAE, Saudi and GCC. UAE is maintaining a constant growth.”
In the next couple of months, we will see the vendor investing in local on-ground sales people in Iran and South Africa.
“We want to increase headcounts in South Africa because it is mostly a B2B market, which relates back to our focus on the B2B segment.”
Having experienced a successful first half of 2016, the company is expecting to close the financial year with double digits.