Khalil reaps reward of taking Toshiba to regional market leadership

Ahmed Khalil, the man who is credited with steering Toshiba computers from a 10 per cent Middle East market share to 28 per cent, has been promoted to regional manager of the company’s computer systems division.

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By  David Cass Published  November 20, 2002

Ahmed Khalil, the man who is credited with steering Toshiba computers from a 10 per cent Middle East market share to 28 per cent, has been promoted to regional manager of the company’s computer systems division. The improvement has all been made during Khalil's two years as the regional marketing manager.

Starting virtually from scratch, Toshiba has since October 2000, established itself as the market leader for mobile computers in Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, and Jordan and is running a close second in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

“Our aim is to be number one across the entire region and we’re on the way to achieving that,” says Khalil.

The company's growth was triggered by a decision to focus on the Middle East as a prime growth market. As a result, control of the region was shifted in April 2000, from Singapore to the European headquarters in Germany, thus shortening the supply chain and moving closer to customers.

Khalil joined in October that year and has since been responsible for launching a succession of innovative new products and setting up a network of service partnerships across the region, catapulting Toshiba to market prominence.

“These three factors have been critical to our success,” says Khalil. “Although Toshiba is the world leader in mobile computers, our market share in the Middle East is now higher than the international figure.

“Being part of the European operation slashes lead times and shipping costs, our series of new products deliver unprecedented mobile computing performance across the market spectrum, and our growing network of authorised distributors means that customers have full back-up service.”

The various models in Toshiba’s Tecra, Satellite, and Portege series cater for entry-level users up to high-end mobile performance that outstrips or matches bulky desktop systems. Wireless connectivity is a big plus-point, enabling users to have computer access wherever they may be.

“Internationally, the trend is towards mobility and even more so in the Middle East,” says Khalil. “Sales of desktop computers everywhere are static or declining, but to a large extent the Middle East has skipped the desktop phase altogether – going straight to mobile models.

“The logic is self-evident – why be tied to a desk-bound computer when you can put the same facility in your brief case and have ‘anytime, anywhere’ access?”

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