SimpleTech eyes share of Egyptian retail market

External hard drive vendor SimpleTech intends to ship more than 6,000 units into the Egyptian retail channel before the end of the year after appointing its first in-country distribution partner.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  August 25, 2008

External hard drive vendor SimpleTech intends to ship more than 6,000 units into the Egyptian retail channel before the end of the year after appointing its first in-country distribution partner.

The company has handed Cairo-based Asus and Benq distributor IBS the task of growing its brand in the consumer market and strengthening its presence with the country’s leading IT and consumer electronics retailers.

SimpleTech has previously been serving Egypt through Dubai-based wholesalers Empa and eSys, as well as several sub-distribution partners. However, it admits that selling through multiple distribution layers is no longer a suitable model on its own given lengthy customs clearance procedures and the frequency of price fluctuations.

Payam Dadgar, territory and channel manager MEA at SimpleTech, insists the firm is already benefiting from the flexibility that an in-country partner such as IBS can offer. “Every order is finalised two weeks in advance so we set the pricing, we ship it, and then once the goods arrive we look at the pricing again and issue a credit note based on how the price has changed,” he explained. “That is something which we are very happy about and it has been great so far. The first two orders that we shipped to IBS have been distributed very well among the big retailers.”

SimpleTech claims to be the first storage vendor to launch a 500GB portable hard drive in the Middle East and says the fact that a consignment has already been dispatched to Egypt is a sign of the market’s potential. It is also adamant that the justification for an in-country partner will be apparent in the overall sales of external HDDs this year.

“For the fourth quarter with IBS we are targeting around 6,000 pieces of hard drives going into retail,” explained Dadgar. “If you talk about 6,000 hard drives and consider that Simpletech doesn’t have more than 5% market share in Egypt you get an idea of how big the market really is. It is a huge market and we definitely want to get a share of it.”

SimpleTech expects to follow up the appointment of IBS in Egypt by signing a distributor to specifically manage large retail accounts in Saudi Arabia. It is currently in talks with Samir2 with a view to finalising an agreement in the coming weeks.

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