Get to know – Husam Alif

Husam Alif, General Manager, Concentration Computer Company (CCC).

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 22, 2008

Husam Alif, General Manager, Concentration Computer Company (CCC).

What is your career history to date?

After graduating from university in Jordan and working in Jordan for a small period of time, I decided to move to Dubai to run my own distribution company.

DRAM and external HDD distributor CCC continues to prosper from the data storage boom gripping the market. We therefore thought it was time to ‘get to know’ its boss, Husam Alif, and talk margins, making money and Man Utd.

After looking for the right brand for quite a while, CCC and SimpleTech found each other in September 2000. We then started as SimpleTech's first authorised regional distributor in the Middle East with the aim of establishing SimpleTech as a dominant player in the market.

What is the best deal you have ever closed?

The best deal that we ever closed was to run three back-to-back promotions with Sharaf DG within only two months, moving more than 1,500 units of SimpleTech external HDDs and establishing ourselves as a huge player in the UAE retail market.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?

When I manage to find some free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two young kids. Other than that, I enjoy going to the gym or to the beach to keep in shape. If I find any additional time then I also like to follow football on TV as I am a big Manchester United supporter.

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

I like the fact that the Middle East is a very fast-moving market. The fact that the HDD market is booming in the region has allowed CCC to increase its revenue by more than five times over the last couple of years, for example. I also enjoy the fact that companies are more flexible here in finalising deals quickly than in other parts of the world.

Which figure do you admire most in the IT industry?

Michael Dell, without a doubt - a man whose energy and enterprise have played a significant part in the social, cultural and technological revolutions of the late twentieth century. The phenomenal success that Dell has had stemmed from his innovative direct-marketing approach.

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

I don't like the fact that disties, resellers and even retailers indulge in price wars instead of making more margin. Unfortunately, we have to fight against the mentality of box-moving where people are more worried about having the biggest business than the most profitable one. I also don't like the fact that customers sometimes feel they only have to make a payment once they have collected money from their customer rather than when their payment is actually due.

What is the most valuable business lesson you have learnt?

That you do not need to have the biggest brand to be successful. As long as you are determined and loyal to your brand, you will be redeemed. Patience is also vital. Success cannot be achieved in one day.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Seeing CCC among the three biggest external HDD distributors in the Middle East. During the same period, I also managed to establish successful relationships with 15 UAE retailers, despite mainly being a components distributor in the past.

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