NEC CI prepares Middle East Packard Bell push

Senior executives from NEC Computers International have pledged to expand the vendor’s retail channel-to-market in the Middle East and boost awareness of the Packard Bell brand.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  June 1, 2005

Senior executives from NEC Computers International (CI) have pledged to expand the vendor’s retail channel-to-market in the Middle East and boost awareness of the Packard Bell brand. Speaking at the recent Digital Consumer Channel event in Fujeirah, Lenia Iacovides, managing director at interFrontiers, NEC CI’s business development partner for the Middle East, explained: “This is an opportunity for us to meet with more prospective retailers and distributors in the region who can work with either the NEC or Packard Bell brand. One of the main reasons we are here is to expand the retail reach that we already have in the region across many more countries including Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.” Promoting its Packard Bell PC brand, which is already a well-established brand in the UK market, is high on NEC CI’s Middle East agenda. “This is one of the reasons why we are here,” said David Bourillon, sales and marketing manager at Packard Bell International. “We are working hard to make the Packard Bell brand available in this region. It provides a clear alternative for retailers to work with. We have a good story to tell, specific technologies and a focus on specific areas such as warranties that is really appreciated by IT retailers.” Iacovides claims that NEC CI products offer a compelling margin proposition for the channel: “If you choose to go with a brand that is more widely distributed then you have to contend with the fact that the prices are deflated and the margins are squeezed. If you choose a product that is not widely distributed, offers a new story for the market to hear, then you can control prices and margins to a greater extent.” NEC CI remains committed to building up its presence and brand equity in all countries in the Middle East. At present, the vendor has not invested on building up a direct staff presence on the ground. “interFrontiers is working with NEC CI to expand the market presence to justify local investment,” adds Iacovides. “Rather than investing heavily in one country by setting up an office, we decided to make small investments in every country. We believe this will help us grow faster overall and when we have taken this first step, then we will look at the second and third steps such as where to invest locally.” “We have some new and exciting products that are not yet widely available in the region. We want to work with the retail channel to increase availability and use a model that allows NEC CI and its partners to be successful,” she concluded.

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