Belkin which owns the Linksys brand is keen to continue the two brand focus because both brands have their inherent strengths.
Belkin which owns the Linksys brand is keen to continue the two brand focus because both brands have their inherent strengths. However, the company has restructured with one team handling operations of both brands.
Amanullah Khan, Regional Director – Emerging Markets – Linksys & Belkin says,“ Initially, we were managing to brands via the two teams. In December last year, we integrated the teams. We have one team managing the entire Business now.”
The company also looks set to make efforts at rationalizing the distribution channel.
Khan adds, “In terms of channel, we continue as before with existing distribution partners. There has been limited overlap and the two brands had two different sets of distributors. As of now, we haven’t offered Linksys portfolio rights to the Belkin Distributors and likewise, haven’t offered Belkin portfolio to the Linksys distributors. However, I am also not saying that we won’t do that in future and this will be judged very objectively in response to needs of the market.”
Khan believes it would be cost effective if some of the smaller distributors buy from a master distributor. However as they make the efforts towards achieving that balance, the focus would also be ensure there are no adverse impacts and that the end result would be maximum market coverage with better profitability for the partners.
He says, “On the Belkin side, there might be a need to rationalize the distribution. There were good reasons to have that many distributors but now market dynamics have changed and we believe there is a need to relook. We will consolidate and have started the process already. When we are consolidating, we want to make sure that our channel isn’t affected and we want to make sure we don’t reduce our market reach. We will also want to ensure that the focus of the distributor on our Business goes higher and he makes necessary investments into that Business. “
He also opines that the product portfolios of Belkin and Linksys complement each other quite effectively.
Khan adds, “There are two different sets of customers. Linksys products are more for the prosumers, users who are higher performance oriented. Belkin products are more for everyday use. So we will continue to have a two brand strategy. Apart from the networking range, there is hardly any overlap. In fact, the combination is complementary. Belkin focuses on mobile accessories. Linksys will continue to focus on home networking products but at the same time, we have brought back the SMB focus with products announced.”
In addition he says, “Belkin has a huge portfolio of products that is enterprise focused. So we see a massive synergy between the Business portfolio of Linksys and Belkin enterprise range. So all that wider portfolio is going to be accessible to our partners.
In the Saudi market, the company is keen to add a distributor for the Belkin range while it expands its relationship with Al Jamaz.
Khan comments, “We have Al Jamaz as a distributor – they will also distribute Linksys Business products. On the Belkin front, we have Jarir Bookstore as a direct partner. There is a huge market for Belkin products in KSA where we believe there is a gap to appoint a distributor.”