Get to know: Rami El Hussein

Agreements with Microsoft, Logitech and AVG have seen Pluto supplement its renowned gaming heritage with a powerful IT offering of late. We thought it was about time to get to know the distributor’s head honcho...

Tags: Apple IncorporatedLogitech InternationalPlutoUnited Arab EmiratesXBox 360
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Get to know: Rami El Hussein Rami El Hussein, Managing Director, Pluto. (Thanos Lazopoulos/ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  December 14, 2009 Channel Middle East Logo

What's your career history in the industry to date?

I have been living in the UAE since 1987 where I initially gained three years' experience in the banking and real estate sectors. Following that, I worked in distribution management roles and prior to joining Pluto I was in the entertainment distribution business for two years.

What is the most valuable business lesson you've learnt?

Follow your instinct. If something looks too bad or too good then it most probably is. We have had lots of encounters with different clients and suppliers, and each of them managed to teach us a small piece of business. Whether it is that great deal for a cash cheque that never clears or the suddenly-lower-than-usual product you are buying that happens to stay in the warehouse forever, there is nothing that you can truly call a free lunch!

What is the best deal you have ever closed?

Capturing the Disney Interactive and Warner Bros businesses during the same week in August 2008. We succeeded in convincing both of them that Pluto games was the right partner for them in the Middle East.

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

The diversity and different experiences you are surrounded by in the IT market. I have learned and enjoyed a lot by establishing local units in KSA, Kuwait and Egypt. It is a whole different kind of experience.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Being selected as the official Xbox 360 distributor in the Middle East in January 2007. We worked so hard on drawing a vision rather than just a distribution plan. We thought we saw more in Xbox in the Middle East than others, and I was very proud Microsoft believed in us. It is a huge token of appreciation when a company like Microsoft, which has offices and employees all over the region, believes that you are capable of doing a decent job.

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

People who submit to routine, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different and increased results.

Which individual in the IT industry do you most admire?

Steve Jobs, for turning around Apple as he did. At one stage I thought that Apple might have been totally written off the map. But with Jobs' return in 1997 he brought Apple back. Also, he has had a hand in making Pixar what they are now - the world's leading animation studio.

How would you describe your management style?

I like to give people the chance to work, get creative, make mistakes and learn from them. I put my confidence in my team and expect them not to take it for granted.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?

There is nothing a good video game can't do to help you disconnect and relax.

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