Get to know: Khwaja Saifuddin

As a veteran of the vendor and channel scene, Khwaja Saifuddin is a well-known face in the regional IT market -he's also just completed his first full year in the WD Middle East hotseat

Tags: United Arab EmiratesWestern Digital Corporation
  • E-Mail
Get to know: Khwaja Saifuddin hwaja Saifuddin, Director Sales MEA, Western Digital. (Dmitry Dolzhanskiy/ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  February 21, 2009 Channel Middle East Logo

What's your career history in the industry to date?
I began my professional career in Dubai and have enjoyed a long and successful industry track record of more than 11 years in various sales positions at regional and multinational companies such as Emitac and Samsung.

In mid-2004, I joined Western Digital as a senior sales manager. I am currently responsible for the region's strategies, planning and implementation, holding the position of director of sales for the Middle East and Africa region.

What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?
I believe that companies should develop their core business as opposed to simply going after the tactical opportunities. The focus needs to remain on the activities, business growth and consolidation of your core strengths. That means building business relationships on mutual trust and respect, being open to new technologies and ideas, and maximising profits as well as keeping costs to an absolute minimum.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?
I would say that the most relaxing thing for me is spending time with my family.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?
The dynamism and potential of the Middle East IT market makes it an exciting and challenging experience. I also enjoy working across various segments and interacting with people from different cultures.

Which individual in the IT industry do you most admire?
Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO of Apple. What I really admire most about him is the way he differentiates himself and his committed belief in his ideas. On a personal front there have been a few individuals from the Middle East IT industry who I admire after having the experience of working with them.

One of them is Suhail Issa, the CEO of Emitac during my tenure there. He taught me to never let the fear of failure stop me from striving for the best, and also encouraged me to make bold decisions and to trust my instincts in doing so.

What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market?
Every industry tends to have its pros and cons, but fortunately I don't particularly dislike anything about the Middle East IT market. Having said that, working in this type of environment always presents a challenge when it comes to finding the right balance between work and life.

What is the best deal you have ever closed?
I strongly believe that deals are very short term. Hence I concentrate more on strengthening customer relationships.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
Several career highlights spring to mind, however the most recent one was my promotion to director of sales MEA at WD.

What is the most valuable business lesson you've learnt?
Passion, transparency, commitment, loyalty and determination towards your brand and clients are key values that always deliver.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code