Get To Know: Ashok Kumar

One of computer street’s snappiest dressers, Ashok Kumar heads up the operation at networking reseller New Trend Computers. With his knack for winning cars from vendors and a great track record in business, New Trend’s networking business is booming. Channel Middle East dropped in to find out a few of his business secrets and what makes him tick...

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By  Andy Tillett Published  May 1, 2006

|~|Kumar-Ashok200.gif|~|Ashok Kumar, managing director at New Trend Computers |~|One of computer street’s snappiest dressers, Ashok Kumar heads up the operation at networking reseller New Trend Computers. With his knack for winning cars from vendors and a great track record in business, New Trend’s networking business is booming. Channel Middle East dropped in to find out a few of his business secrets and what makes him tick...

CME: What is your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?

Ashok Kumar: I qualified as an engineer specialised in IT and networking in Karachi and when I finished my studies I moved straight over to Dubai, six years ago. I feel that the region has a massive amount of opportunity and scope, and is a dynamic environment. It has been a very good lesson for me, and taught me how to keep up with product and market activities.

CME: What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?

AK: The Middle East is a region with very fast growing demand. There is a large market to address, and it is very receptive to new technologies being introduced to the market. I really enjoy being at the cutting edge of technology, working with the very latest products and components and being able to offer the very best freshest specifications to my customers.

CME: What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market?

AK: There is nothing that I really dislike, but because of the high supply of some IT products, the margins on them can be really low — this is why at New Trend we have worked very hard to build up channels in niche products and to focus on value adds. We are also now trying very hard in the retail space, because we see great potential in it.

CME: What is the best deal you have ever closed?

AK: I have sealed many deals at New Trend, and we have done tremendous business in the wireless, broadband, multimedia and security product areas. The best deals for me are the ones where we have taken products to remote customers who have not been aware of the technologies or what they can do, and convinced them why they should invest.

CME: How would you describe your management style?

AK: At New Trend I try to create a very friendly environment, where each member of the team can perform independently and takes responsibility for managing their role and achieving their targets. But we are still a team though, so we are all working to the same targets, and if there is a mistake, we will all work together to correct it.

CME: What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

AK: New Trend has won a host of fantastic prizes from our vendors over the last few years. We have been given gold partner awards and many certificates of recognition and achievement from Linksys, 3Com and US Robotics. The biggest prize we ever got was the car we won from D-link. That was fabulous and probably the most proud of our work I have ever been.

CME: What is the most valuable business lesson you have learnt?

AK: To give proper support to our channel partners and our out-of-city customers, and to get proper feedback from the market and take it on board. It all helps to boost our long-term channel relationships with our partners, customers and vendors. I have also learned a great deal about providing proper value added services to our customer base.

CME: What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?

AK: I see a number of opportunities arising in the UAE, GCC and African countries that need to be explored. The channel needs to work to actively promote its offering through a host of marketing activities, product promotions and by using channel tours, seminars and training days to get to the resellers in these countries, increase sales and meet the full market demand.
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