Silicon 21 targets GCC

Networking value-added distributor Silicon 21 is looking to expand its GCC reseller base during 2005. With a stocking point in Jebel Ali and plans to add further product authorisations in the GCC, Silicon 21 is keen to replicate its success in North Africa and the Levant across the wider Middle East region.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  January 11, 2005

Networking value-added distributor (VAD) Silicon 21 is looking to expand its GCC reseller base during 2005. With a stocking point in Jebel Ali and plans to add further product authorisations in the GCC, Silicon 21 is keen to replicate its success in North Africa and the Levant across the wider Middle East region. Silicon 21 has distribution rights for Cisco and Linksys in North Africa and the Levant, and also has agreements in place with several other networking vendors including APC, Paradyne, Belden CPT, Fluke Networks and Rittal. The company currently uses a third party warehouse facility at Jebel Ali as a stocking point for the region and also holds product in Egypt. Silicon 21 plans to set up a wholly owned facility of its own at Jebel Ali by the end of 2005. “We want to use Dubai as the logistics centre for the entire region excluding Egypt,” explained Ahmed Magd El-Din, regional sales manager at Silicon 21. “It is very easy to do logistics and distribution from Jebel Ali because it is a free zone. We can serve multiple destinations across the whole of the GCC and North Africa and deliver product within 24 hours.” “In the last year-and-a-half we have worked hard to perfect the supply of products out of Dubai into North Africa and Levant in terms of the logistics involved and the regulations,” added El-Din. “Now we are looking at the potential for business in the local markets such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other GCC states. We are not authorised to sell certain vendors’ products in these countries but we have secondary vendors that we can sell in their place where necessary.” Silicon 21 is a major player in the Egyptian network distribution market with stock on the ground and a team of 60 people in-country. Operating as a Cisco Authorised Distributor (CAD), Silicon 21 has built an impressive reseller base in Egypt, the rest of North Africa and the Levant. As well as selling kit to resellers, Silicon 21 has also built relationships with systems integrators and service providers. “There is a market of 70 million people in Egypt and that generates a great deal of demand,” explained El-Din. “We are serving close to 700 resellers in Egypt and have another 700 across the rest of North Africa and the Levant. The personal relationship we have with our customers is vital and we make sure that we have people on the ground meeting them face-to-face.” Silicon 21 already has a joint venture in place in Kuwait and is now looking to set up a similar model in Jordan. Plans are also in place to launch an operation in Morocco to cover French-speaking Africa.

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