Avnet bets on Middle East with local office and stocking

UAE facility to help Avnet build enterprise and components business in the Middle East

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 25, 2008

US-based components and enterprise storage distribution powerhouse Avnet has vowed to continue investing in the Middle East after recently enhancing its presence here.

The company’s HP, IBM and components business units are now all under one roof in Dubai Internet City as part of a move to cross-sell its portfolio to regional customers and keep operating costs lean.

Avnet has also begun implementing local stockholding for certain brands, such as AMD and Hitachi, in Jebel Ali, as opposed to relying entirely on its hub in Europe for shipments.

“The benefits this brings are reduced freight costs and lead times to our customers,” explained Christopher Green, Middle East team leader sales at Avnet Computing Components. “It shows our customers that we are committed to the region with this increased presence. We can now take full advantage of both the European and Middle East working weeks and inventory locations.”

While the departure of Tech Data last year brought to light some of the challenges facing a US-listed distributor operating in the Middle East, Avnet believes its status can offer it advantages over local competitors, especially in terms of utilising global manufacturer relationships.

“Being a $17.95 billion company gives us the financial strength to have very strong credit facilities with our vendors, which some of the privately-owned local companies may not have,” suggested Green. “Avnet is a financially strong company and will continue to invest in regions where it makes sense to do so. On a local level we have already put the new office and local stocking facilities into place and there are plans to open an office in Saudi Arabia. We will expand our business activities and recruitment as and when needed.”

Globally, Avnet splits its business into four units, including electronics marketing, technology solutions, logistics and corporate services.

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