Tripp Lite buoyed by Tech Data Middle East U-turn

UPS and peripherals vendor Tripp Lite claims its relationship with Tech Data Middle East continues to go from strength to strength despite their brief split earlier this year. Tripp Lite was ditched from the distributor’s portfolio during the summer period when former boss Adnan Al Falah conducted an annual review of the company’s product offering.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 15, 2006

UPS and peripherals vendor Tripp Lite claims its relationship with Tech Data Middle East continues to go from strength to strength despite their brief split earlier this year. Tripp Lite was ditched from the distributor’s portfolio during the summer period when former boss Adnan Al Falah conducted an annual review of the company’s product offering. However, Al Falah’s subsequent departure from Tech Data shortly after the decision was made led to the distributor’s new management team restoring the original agreement. Vipin Sharma, VP EEMEA at Tripp Lite, explained: “The ex-CEO [at Tech Data] had a view, and it was not only us affected — he wanted to terminate contracts with some other companies. His reasoning was that he wanted to cut down on the vendors in his portfolio and we were one of the ones selected.” As Tripp Lite's only regional distribution partner — covering 10 countries across the Middle East — Tech Data's decision threatened to have significant implications for its go-to-market strategy, but Sharma insists the company faced “just one week of turmoil” before the two firms worked out their differences. He added: “Functionally, the contract never got cancelled or anything of that sort because it was hardly a week — 10 days maximum. After Adnan left, the new management came over and we had an excellent meeting with Hanspeter Eiselt and Mike Vosper. We never had any down time in terms of stock change or stock returns. We are back again, really happy and all the team is motivated.” Tripp Lite is now attempting to make more of the high-end capabilities offered by Tech Data’s enterprise-focused Azlan division in order to strengthen its presence in the storage datacentre and power infrastructure sector. Meanwhile, the vendor has also moved to ramp up its position in the UAE retail arena by inking a distribution deal with Jumbo Electronics. “We had been looking to find a partner in the retail business because we have a notable range of retail products,” commented Sharma. “We deal with accessories, entry-level UPSs and UPSs designed specifically for home data systems. Jumbo will increase our retail penetration in the marketplace because it has something like 40 showrooms. With Gitex coming up we are launching ourselves in a major way, particularly in terms of our laptop accessories, such as bags, cooling stands and USB hubs.” Although Tech Data remains Trip Lite’s only regional wholesaler in the Middle East, the company operates an extensive in-country distribution model involving partners such as Al Jassim Electronics and Hasoub in Saudi Arabia, IBC in Lebanon, Logicom in Jordan and CEW in Yemen.

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