Toshiba poised to sign new distribution deals

Middle East notebook PC market leader Toshiba is poised to announce distribution deals in Iraq, Yemen and several more countries in Africa as the vendor expands its channel reach across the MEA region.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 15, 2006

Middle East notebook PC market leader Toshiba is poised to announce distribution deals in Iraq, Yemen and several more countries in Africa as the vendor looks to expand its channel reach in the region. Ahmed Khalil, general manager at Toshiba computer systems division Middle East and Africa (MEA), said: “We believe in the value of in-country distribution and want to appoint distributors to serve new markets such as Iraq, Yemen and more countries in Africa. We are looking at establishing distribution channels in nine new countries in the next six months.” “In terms of distributors for Yemen and Iraq, we hope to make an announcement within a month. We already have Interdist in Lebanon serving Nigeria and Ghana and they will now start to cover Libya as well,” he added. Toshiba currently has established channels in 15 countries in MEA, working closely with just 13 distributors to serve these markets. The company remains a firm believer in the value of genuine in-country distribution. “Pursuing a multiple distribution strategy is not our direction and this has proven to be correct. Our objective in every market we operate in is to get at least 20% market share for Toshiba notebooks,” added Khalil. “In 2005 there was a 77% growth in the overall number of notebooks shipped in the Middle East. Toshiba continues to evolve the notebook PC and we believe there is more room for growth. Government initiatives to promote PC ownership in Saudi Arabia are now looking at notebooks rather than just desktops. Last year the overall market for notebook PCs in the Kingdom doubled,” he continued. Toshiba picked up top spot in the Middle East vendor rankings for notebook shipments in the fourth quarter of 2005. The vendor has no intentions of relinquishing this position in 2006 and has set out some ambitious growth targets for the year ahead. “Toshiba plans to grow its notebook sales by 100% in 2006,” explained Khalil. “The first quarter has so far seen strong sequential and year-on-year growth. This should allow us to confirm our number one position in the market. We have a strong commitment to our channel partners and run programmes with back-end rebate incentives for resellers. One of the key aims is to make sure that we widen this second tier reseller base.” Toshiba has worked hard to build up its channel in East Africa, working with PC World in Kenya and also taking advantage of Al Futtaim’s in-country presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to capitalise on sales opportunities in these fast-growing markets.

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