Shankar steps in after Thomas switches to Dell

Redington Gulf CEO Raj Shankar will now take over operational duties previously handled by Mathew Thomas

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 20, 2009

Redington Gulf CEO Raj Shankar has taken on the operational duties handled by Mathew Thomas prior to his recent departure to Dell, where he is managing the PC vendor’s Middle East’s distribution strategy.

Although Shankar remains the most senior figure for Redington in the MEA region, Thomas was widely regarded as the man on the ground at its Dubai HQ, serving as the vertical head for its IT distribution division and overseeing relationships with key vendors such as Acer, HP, Samsung and Canon.

Shankar says the company is unlikely to appoint a permanent replacement between now and the end of its financial year in March, leaving Thomas’ duties to be managed by himself and other team members.

“We have institutionalised our business model so fortunately we are able to have the next rung of people quickly take on these responsibilities for the strategic business unit,” explained Shankar. “For now I am stepping in and playing the role of leading the company as the CEO as well as taking on a certain amount of operational work.”

India-listed Redington’s financial accounts show that it generated MEA revenues of $1.03 billion last year and while Shankar admits the company won’t be chasing the kind of aggressive sales growth it has done in previous years, it remains upbeat about its prospects.

The volume distributor recently raised US$98m from the sale of a 36% stake in its Middle East arm to Bahraini private equity firm Investcorp — a move that provides it with the funds to mount an acquisition offensive.

“The Investcorp money has not consummated into any inorganic activity yet, but there are some prospects,” revealed Shankar. “We are currently in discussions — I guess you could say this is the silent period — and we hope that during the year we will see some progress in this direction. We definitely want to look at acquisition opportunities, but in terms of the kind of business and geography there are lots of variables to it.”

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