Channel pioneers

Channel Middle East honours accomplishments that women executives have made and continue to make in the region’s IT channel

Tags: Enterasys Networks ( Systems Middle EastOptimus Technology and TelecomSTMETrend Micro Incorporated
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By  Manda Banda Published  February 19, 2012

Sushma Kajaria
Channel Development and Volume Sales Manager
Trend Micro Middle East
Years in the current position: 3
Years in the channel: 14

Highlights: As the anti-virus security software space continues to witness stiff competition in the Middle East region, Kajaria has been in the forefront to lead Trend Micro’s channel charges. With the major security vendors continuing to lose market share to start-ups, Kajaria has been using her extensive IT industry experience to promote Trend Micro’s breadth of solutions to the Middle East channel. Under her pioneering efforts, Trend Micro has managed to forge close ties with its distribution and reseller partners across the region.

Goals: Going forward, Kajaria would like to see Trend Micro’s dominance in the content security market in the MEA region continue to increase and it is her responsibility to ensure that she grows the company’s channel base and business. Kajaria says this is an ever changing industry where one cannot relax and stop learning.

Advice to young women: There are no shortcuts to success. Keep challenging yourself and maintain a ‘can do’ attitude, while focusing on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. It’s important to always maintain dignity and self respect at your workplace.

Pressing channel issue: The region is experiencing slower adoption rate in cloud compared to mature markets.

Houyem Zid
Channel Manager
Goodram Middle East
Years in the current position: 2
Years in the channel: 3

Highlights: Zid has been instrumental in mapping out GOODRAM’s regional expansion plans that have seen it partner with in-country distributors for its memory business which it manufactures from Poland. The company has been growing its footprint in the region and Zid has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the expansion plan goes according to schedule in the Middle East.

Goals: Zid would like GOODRAM to continue with the strategy of appointing local distributors for its memory products in the market.  Zid is also aiming at increasing GOODRAM’s activities in other Arab regional markets going forward.

Advice to young women: I believe women in general have proven a great success across all industries and not only in the IT industry. This success is great motivation for all women seeking opportunities in the cutting-edge IT industry. The key is to believe that you can bring success to yourself and the company you work for. Learn from your superiors and sharpen your skills.

Pressing channel issue: I believe low quality products and fakes. The lack of solid deterrent laws in the region as a whole makes it easy for importers or IT traders to have a quick short-term win without the consideration of the hidden long-term damage to the market.

Zeba Naqvi
Category Manager
Dell, Metra Computer Group FZCO
Years in the current position: 2
Years in the channel: 11

Highlights: As Metra is looking to strategically grow avenues of its channel business in the Middle East, Naqvi has been the channel’s link between Metra’s PC division and its broader channel ecosystem in the region. She has been involved in widening and strengthening the distributor’s channel network in the Middle East market.

Goals: Naqvi would like to use her skills in the best possible way to help Metra to continue achieving its business goals and success in the Middle East region. Extending the company’s channel reach is high on her to do list in the coming year.

Advice to young women: I believe that the secret to success is self confidence, which is the most important characteristic followed by passion for work and patience. Also, in today’s competitive environment, it is vital that one is able to multitask and juggle between many assignments at the same time.

Pressing channel issue: One of the most pressing issues facing the Middle East market in the IT sector is business sustainability. Nonetheless, the region has much strength on which to build on, as it has a dynamic and young population, vast natural resources, a large regional market, an advantageous geographic position, and access to key markets.

Simran Chhabra
Gulf Distribution Manager
Years in the current position: 2
Years in the channel: 16

Highlights: Because channel partners are the ‘heart and soul’ of Microsoft’s business, Chhabra wants partners to get closer to customers to address business solution needs and help them expand their services offerings.

Goals: Chhabra hopes to continue helping partners as they get ready for the transformation and journey into the cloud. She has been the driving force in the Microsoft Gulf’s channel ecosystem making sure that the vendor supports the broad line or the classical distribution so that they too understand the future of technology. Chhabra has contributed to Microsoft’s growth in the distribution space and has been involved in evangelising products and solutions that will define the future of the IT industry.

Advice to young women: The possibilities are endless and the doors are open. You just need to believe in yourself and be authentic and not try to be someone you’re not. Work hard. Learn to say no. And last but not the least find a job that you love.

Pressing channel issue: At this point in time it will be fair to dissect the current situation into two halves. The classical distribution business and the cloud transformation which is gaining traction both in the public and the private cloud offerings. Microsoft sees its partners playing a key role in the cloud.

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