Get to know: Rachielle Araga
Rachielle Araga is a familiar face to Toshiba partners in Qatar and the UAE. We thought we’d take the opportunity to quiz her on life in the Middle East IT market.
What’s your career history in the industry to date?
My humble journey in the Emirates began in 2000 when I joined a leading electronics retailer as a sales executive. I then became an account manager with an IT distributor here in 2005. I gained vast experience handling major retailers and earned local and regional exposure dealing with clients, which paved the way for me to join Toshiba.
What is your proudest career moment to date?
The proudest moment of my career is when my hard work, self-perseverance and continuous desire to progress have been recognised not only by Toshiba, but also by leading retailers and channel partners in the region. My recent recognition from the MERA 2010 Awards is a simple reminder of the phenomenal journey I’ve embarked on.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
The most important tool, especially for women in the IT industry, is the right attitude towards dealing with partners and that the success of the business will then follow. A relationship built on trust and transparency is important. At the end of the day, ‘humanity prevails technology’.
What product or technology should the channel watch out for this year?
Toshiba celebrated the 25th anniversary of its notebook business in June. Having pioneered this segment since 1985, Toshiba has been developing a number of innovative technologies which help enhance the mobility experience. In the third quarter of this year, consumers will witness new launches from Toshiba, which incorporate the latest style and technology, and further strengthen Toshiba’s brand equity in the mobile computing segment.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the IT market?
I always look at mistakes as a challenge. In the IT industry, where everyone works in a fast-paced environment, each day proves to be a learning experience and an opportunity to improve my craft.
If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
The channel should focus more on sell-out rather than overstocking to achieve rebates. It must also prioritise a faster cash conversion cycle. Toshiba constantly creates and leads activities that cover channel management, incentive and rebates, and other brand and marketing activities - which are focused mainly on sell-out - to help add value to the channel’s business.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East channel?
For some vendors, the growing number of grey market activities is probably the biggest challenge encountered by the Middle East IT channel. This has resulted in the loss of profit margins due to reduced prices. It has affected customer confidence and it has impacted brands.
What sort of interests do you have outside of work?
I love travelling and getting to see new places, meeting different types of personalities and learning various cultures. I am also fond of social networks and I constantly look out for new gadgets. I am also a foodie and enjoy trying new dishes.