Get to know: Marc de Beunje

Having worked at Plantronics, Belkin and Ashley, Marc de Beunje is now helping computer accessories vendor ICIDU develop a channel in the Middle East. We thought it was time to get his views on the regional market.

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By  Administrator Published  November 22, 2008

Having worked at Plantronics, Belkin and Ashley, Marc de Beunje is now helping computer accessories vendor ICIDU develop a channel in the Middle East. We thought it was time to get his views on the regional market.

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

The IT market in the Middle East is only just beginning and there is a lot of opportunity for development. With only a handful of IT distributors, it remains a serve-on-demand situation. There are enough possibilities and avenues in the market to grow. It is a very big market, but there is only a handful of experienced personnel out there and we all know each other.

What is the best deal you have ever closed?

In a previous job at a vendor I worked very closely with our distributors and closed some very big deals on OEM laptop bags. Both the vendor and distributors still benefit from this deal, even after all these years.

What is the most valuable business lesson that you have learnt from working in IT?

As a European working in the Middle East I have learned that the market is full of different nationalities and ways of doing business. In order to get what you need to do the job, you need to understand this and be able to adapt to the methods that are used in the market.

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

Working in an emerging IT market and not having enough educated and experienced manpower is also being spoiled by low profit and margins. Even though the distribution and retail channels are growing very fast it is not the best market to be in at the moment. With the current living situation and salaries it is hard to find good staff.

Which figure do you admire most in the IT industry?

I admire Ashish Panjabi [COO at Jacky's Electronics] the most. This gentleman is showing all of us how you can be a king in your field and still educate others. It shows that you can be small in your field and still show you're the best in quality and service.

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

Dubai is to set an example for all other Middle East countries. The best tip I can give the channel is to hire experienced manpower, offer good packages and work with vendors and retailers that are dedicated to the long-term. Keep in mind the importance of healthy margins, good growth and, most of all, quality and support.

How would you describe your management style?

Coming from a completely different world in terms of education and work methods, I learned to observe the way business is done. After that, I tried to gradually improve the processes myself. It is very important to explain your actions and analyse the business. It's a ‘kill or be killed' market style and this is changing the way we need to do business instead of getting the best deals.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?

I like to spend time with my family and be outdoors as much as possible before. I enjoy going diving, skiing and desert driving. Due to being in the IT business I also like to read and test the latest gadgets, as well as play new games.

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