Get to know: Haseeb Soleja

Dubai has become a home from home for Haseeb Soleja, a regional channel veteran who cut his teeth with Tech Data and Fujitsu Siemens and is now playing a key role for networking VAD Westcon...

Tags: Al Futtaim TechnologiesFujitsu Technology Solutions - UAESiemensTech Data CorporationWestcon Group Incorporation
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Get to know: Haseeb Soleja
By  Andrew Seymour Published  December 10, 2010

Haseeb Soleja, Product Marketing Manager, Westcon Middle East

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

I have a degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering and have worked practically all my life in Dubai — 16 years now. Before taking up my current assignment as product marketing manager at WestconME, I looked after Fujitsu Siemens’ volume product line. My other employers in the past have been Tech Data Middle East and Al Futtaim Technologies.

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the channel?

I have been very honest and upright at times. My current boss has been telling me to work more in a metaphoric sense of ‘smoke and mirrors’. Apparently, the mirrors which I carry end up in smoke! However, I have learnt from my mistakes and I definitely throw caution to the wind.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

In February 2008 I was recognised as the best product manager for Fujitsu Siemens, after only joining the company around four months earlier. I received the award at a distinguished gathering of 30 product managers from the EMEA region in Munich.

If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?

The channel business has matured in our region and the sheer number of partners has increased multi-fold, but there is a need to provide a better quality of service. I am proud to be currently associated with the Westcon Group, which understands this and has taken vast strides in that respect.

What sort of interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work my interest is my family. My kids are centre stage in my life. Being a complete extrovert, I love the desert and, weather permitting, enjoy off-road driving adventures with the family. Although I am not a native of the desert, I definitely feel like one. My work routine has kept me fit, but occasionally I do indulge in a bit of a work-out at home, as well as play squash with my friends.

What product or technology should the channel watch out for during the next year?

The big bet during the next year could be on the collaboration business; incorporating the convergence of video along with voice and data. We have such a system in our office and it is exciting to be able to do a video conference call and actually see our partners while we are talking to them.

Which IT company, other than your own, do you most admire and why?

Cisco is definitely a company to admire. There are so many companies that have had limited success trying to eat into their market share. Cisco is into everything — networking, data centres, virtualisation, security. I feel that Cisco employees do not have to work, but work is created for them. The chinks in the armour of Cisco are so well camouflaged it is difficult to penetrate.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Listen more and talk less! Those who know me would definitely vouch for the fact that it is very difficult for me to do that, but I have worked hard at curbing my enthusiasm and this has been met with partial success!

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