Al-Falak Electronic Equipment & Supplies is a leading distributor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ahmed Ashadawi – CEO and President, Al-Falak Electronic Equipment & Supplies discusses how the distributor continues to reap success by being focused on providing value to its loyalist channel
Discuss your outlook for the rest of the year in view of the first quarter performance. Was the first quarter a growth period for the distribution business?
Al Falak was able to render excellent performance during the first quarter of the year, which has given us a more upbeat attitude in expecting stable and continuous growth till the end of 2014. As such, the increase in volume is normal and can be attributed to the recent adjustments that the market has witnessed. Al Falak managed to maintain key business performance due to the stability of its supply chain combined with its proficiency and experience in the market.
Do you see the channel sell out being challenged by larger retailers? Please elaborate if you see rising shipments from power retailers from your business point of view?
Amidst the growth experienced across some sectors of the market, these are not what some industry analysts have expected—proving how the market can be unpredictable at times. Despite this, Al Falak sees that there is room to gain more share in the market. With reference to large retailers, these businesses are giving less than 10 per cent of their space to IT, in spite of the draw these items have for the public. Nevertheless, we expect them to dedicate more space to IT this coming year.
Discuss current brands that you are associated with in your distribution business? Has there been a restructuring of volume and value business?
Al Falak currently distributes a full range of Microsoft products, which includes licenses, OEM, Xbox, Cloud, Retail and SDA-Hardware & Accessories. In addition to the Microsoft range, we also distribute major brands like Symantec, Adobe, Eaton, Targus, Hawk, and most recently, Kensington.
Al Falak, in terms of business operations, does not segregate value and volume. We treat the whole business with the same attention and we concentrate on breadth. We are very successful with our traditional account management and are happy to continue with the same model.
On the other hand, distribution is not selling to one or ten persons and making your numbers. Accordingly, we are happy selling to 500 small customers and helping them grow. We have dedicated teams that offer our resellers customer care and technical assistance. Al Falak is a Value Added Distributer (VAD); we help our resellers in pre-configuration, site visits, delivery, installation, handover, and maintenance.
Mobility and Tablets in particular have been so dominant. Has this focus been included in your plans? Discuss any partnerships to this effect.
Keeping up with the latest technology is how we maintain our leading edge. Mobility is no exception as Al Falak’s portfolio of vendors already includes top tier manufacturers and industry leaders in this market segment.
What were the major highlights of the company over last year in the distribution Business?
While the market was shrinking due to the new business environment, we were still able to increase our customer base. In fact, we achieved close to 30 per cent healthy growth and we were also able to connect with over 600 resellers.