Top 50 Channel Champions

The Middle East movers and shakers you need to know.

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Top 50 Channel Champions
By  Andrew Seymour Published  October 25, 2010

The Middle East channel community has expanded massively in recent years, but it still retains an intimacy rarely seen in other markets around the world. In many ways, the old adage, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ could have been constructed for the Middle East channel, where the frequent movement of executives between vendors and channel companies — as well as the dependence on indirect partnerships — creates an environment which breeds familiarity.

Over the coming pages, we’ve attempted to pinpoint 50 Middle East ‘Channel Champions’ — executives that are playing a major role in the development of the regional IT market and whose actions have a direct influence over the success of the channel.

So, how did we go about selecting these top 50? Well, we set ourselves a few ground rules for a start. First of all, the executives featured in this list are all employed by vendors or distributors — the very companies that resellers and retailers depend on for support on a daily basis.

For the purposes of consistency, the list is comprised of executives who are based in Dubai, although virtually all of them have a much wider remit covering the Middle East and even Africa. They also work for what we would term ‘classic’ IT companies, therefore you will not see any representation from mobile phone providers, such as Nokia, or electronics vendors, such as Sony, even though the channel managers of these organisation would be worthy of inclusion on any other occasion.

In addition, we have kept to a policy of only selecting one executive per company, even though the scale and presence of some firms could probably have justified more than one entry. For example, with HP we have selected the channel chief of its enormous imaging and printing business, even though Salim Ziade, the boss of its PSG unit and a familiar channel figure, is equally deserved of recognition. Again, with Redington Gulf, we have singled out the head of the company’s fast-growing value division, but that is certainly not designed to overshadow the role of somebody like Ashish Bharti, who oversees the distributor’s volume business.

Above all though, when selecting our top 50 we’ve attempted to take into consideration the influence of each individual and their company over the wider channel community, taking into consideration factors such as channel engagement, expertise and visibility.

There are many more ‘channel champions’ in the Middle East beyond the 50 we have identified. As a starting point, however, this list offers a solid guide to the movers and shakers who are making their mark on the Middle East channel. If you don’t already known them, get out and meet them!

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