Empa ties up with Toshiba

Empa Middle East has been named as an authorised distributor for Toshiba Storage Device Division components. The distributor will sell Toshiba hard disk drives (HDDs) and optical disk drives (ODDs) across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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By  Andy Tillett Published  August 7, 2005

Empa Middle East has been named as an authorised distributor for Toshiba Storage Device Division components. The distributor will sell Toshiba hard disk drives (HDDs) and optical disk drives (ODDs) across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The agreement gives Empa non-exclusive rights to sell across the MENA region through a direct buying relationship with Toshiba. Empa says it will bring a local touch to the vendor’s channel, as Toshiba’s other distributors with MENA rights, Avnet, Ingram Micro and Asbis, have pan-European agreements, giving them a much larger number of countries to cover. “We have been solidifying our presence quarter to quarter. We have a fifteen man operation in Saudi Arabia spread across two branches. We also have our stocking point and offices in the UAE and we are hoping to establish offices in Egypt soon. As things change in the market we adjust to it. Five years ago you could serve all countries from the UAE, but now we have to give local attention to the local channel,” said Rahb M.Hamiddadin, president at Empa. “A local distributor brings more focus than a distributor covering a large area and spreading as much product as possible. With a good combination of local and pan European coverage we can reach the most people,” added Stefan Dalheimer, European sales manager, channel and integration business storage device division at Toshiba. Empa will sell the full range of 2.5” and 1.8” HDDs from Toshiba as well as new 0.85” drives, when they become available in the first half of next year. The new hard disks will be mainly used in mobile phones. Empa will also stock a full range of Toshiba’s ODDs, including products aimed at the retail market. Empa focuses on components distribution and serves markets across the GCC, Egypt and the Levant. The distributor’s main customers are local assemblers and volume focused resellers. It has been developing a relationship with Toshiba for nearly two years and has distributed the vendor’s products for six months on a trial basis prior to this agreement. “We are very close to our customers and the most important thing is that we keep them up to date with the information on availability and pricing. Our strategy is to understand the different specific needs of each country,” said Imran Khan, storage product manager at Empa. Dalheimer claims that Toshiba 2.5” HDDs hold 20% to 25% of the total addressable market (TAM) in the Middle East. The TAM of the Middle East is estimated at 90,000 units per quarter. In the ODD space Toshiba is hoping to achieve 15% to 20% of the TAM. Empa believes that the addition of Toshiba to its product portfolio will drive continued sales growth across the Middle East. In a market where economies of scale matter, Empa believes that the ability to drive revenue growth has become a critical factor. “There are a small number of distributors in the region getting the lion’s share of the market expansion, and Empa is definitely one of those. It is going to be harder for the smaller distributors, so I see that in two years from now there will be a lot less distributors in the region but stronger regional distribution players,” concluded Hamiddadin.

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