Get to know: Kamlesh Lal, Aptec

Kamlesh Lal, marketing manager at Aptec Distribution, explains why IT companies need to stop shifting the blame, e-mails from Steve Ballmer make him happy and dune bashing is the ideal way to let off steam after a hard week...

Tags: Aptec DistributionMicrosoft CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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Get to know: Kamlesh Lal, Aptec (ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  April 7, 2010 Channel Middle East Logo

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

I was born and brought up in Dubai so I have been here for 30 years. I did my MBA, specialising in marketing. I started working at the age of 17 with a market research firm, got a break with Philip Morris International (Marlboro) and then entered the IT industry with Microsoft, handling retail products and channel marketing. I am currently working as marketing manager for Aptec, where I have been for six years. 

How would you describe your management style?

Be straight to the point, say what you mean. I have a policy of ‘never say no until you are sure it’s not possible, but again there is nothing which is impossible’. We are in the distribution business and marketing is an essential part of our business. Our customers and partners are what make us; we are here because of them. You must listen and cater to your customers’ needs.

What is your proudest moment to date?

Getting an e-mail from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer congratulating me for achieving the whole Middle East retail products target in a record seven months at Microsoft Gulf. 

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

It is fast and extremely dynamic. The pace at which the IT industry revolves is amazing. As a marketing manager you need to cater to what the market needs at that given time. You need to know what the market requirements are and blend products, solutions and promotions accordingly.

What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?

Walk the extra mile. If the channel wants to make more money then we need to work that bit extra and in a way that is beyond the ordinary. My tips are to sell proactively, focus on services and add value to a deal by offering something extra which will help the customer and the channel make extra money. And above all, work with ethics.

What do you dislike most about working in the market?

The blame game. Here you will see vendors blaming the distributor, the distributor blaming the channel, the channel blaming the end-user...there is no solution to this problem. We all need to work together to achieve each and everyone’s goals. This is changing now as the recession has hit the market and people have realised that they need to work together to survive. Other than that, the Middle East IT market is the best place to be and I love working here.

Which IT industry figure do you admire most and why?

I learned a lot from Tarun Nandi at Bluebell Computers when I entered the IT industry and I really respect his never-give-up attitude. I admire Ali Baghdadi, CEO at Aptec, for his vision has created history and it is an honour working under him, as well as Bahaa Salah, MD at Aptec, who is behind the scenes making things happen.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?

Weekends are for relaxing so I play cricket, go dune bashing or have a game of snooker or billiards with friends. I also like to go to the beach or movies with my family.

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