Redington plugs holes in SMB and retail offerings

Redington has brought on board flash disk and SD card maker SanDisk to bolster the components aspect of its Middle East product portfolio

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By  Julian Pletts Published  May 7, 2009

Redington has brought on board flash disk and SD card maker SanDisk to bolster the components aspect of its Middle East product portfolio. The distributor has also expanded its SMB-focused business by signing regional rights for storage and networking vendor Netgear.

The large-scale distribution player admits components accounts for a small proportion of its business, roughly 16%, but is entirely adamant that this does not diminish from the vast retail network it can offer SanDisk across the region.

“It is not that we have not got products in the components aspect of our portfolio, we have Samsung and WD, we are just very prudent and choosy about the brands that we pick up, they should add value to what we are doing already, and secondly we should also be able to add value to the brands,” said Ashish Bharti, VP PC and Components business, at Redington Gulf. “SanDisk was one very clear choice, it is kind of underperforming in the region, and is something that Redington can add value to, so it was an instant match,” added Bharti.

He suggests that among SanDisk’s range of products, USB flash drives and SD memory cards, show the greatest potential in the Middle East market and are products that should drive SanDisk’s consumer business in the Middle East through the financial crisis.

“Redington is not present in memory as a category [until now], we do not have a brand that is represented. Unfortunately there is no concrete data available, either from IDC or anyone else, in terms of memory, but a very rough estimate would be that the market is as big as 1.6 million units a month,” explained Bharti. “That is a market ready and waiting to be captured on the SD cards, given the fact that we have not really exploited and explored the potential in many of the GCC countries.”

Bharti refused to be drawn, however, on the targets that Redington has in mind for the SanDisk range in the Middle East.

“We have not reached a stage of putting a very clear number of what we expect in the SanDisk business, but what we have said to them is that we do not want to get into this business at the expense of cannibalising another distributor’s business,” explained Bharti. “A greater part is going to be incremental business that we feel we can achieve at Redington.”

Meanwhile, the corporate-focused arm of Redington has elaborated further on details of an agreement with Netgear. Ramkumar Balakrishnan, general manager of the value business unit at Redington Gulf, says that the addition of Netgear to its arsenal means channel partners can now come to it for end-to-end solution SMB solutions.

“If you look at our portfolio, we really did not have a product on the networking and on the mass storage range for the SMB market. We have worked with other brands for certain geographies, but the UAE and Saudi were largely not covered by us in networking and mass storage.

“We can now actually give all the partners that are catering to the SMB market, them an end-to-end solution with Netgear on networking and storage, SonicWall on security — which is a very SMB product range — and then we have Nortel and Avaya,” said Balakrishnan.

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