Get to know: Roger El Tawil

Partners continue to overlook the importance of industry verticals and the value they can bring if they focus.

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Get to know: Roger El Tawil
By  Manda Banda Published  June 11, 2012

Partners continue to overlook the importance of industry verticals and the value they can bring if they focus.

Roger El Tawil, Executive Director, Almasa Value Distribution

What’s your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?

My family moved to Dubai in the early 70s, so Dubai has always been ‘home.’ I studied in the US and when I returned in 1993, I joined our family businesses in hospitality and dairy making. I later moved and worked for NCR and Avaya, before taking up a consultative role to develop Almasa Value Distribution 2011. That led me to this role.

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

Partners continue to overlook the importance of industry verticals. There needs to be more focus and partners need to access and explore their expertise, and deliver more industry-focused solutions.

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

Unified communications (UC). The nature of communication and collaboration is changing rapidly and unified communications solutions now include rich communication tools like video, voice, and document sharing, all working together seamlessly. With reliable applications and interconnectivity analysis, organisations across the region are recognising the benefits of utilising unified communications and the role it plays in enhancing communication experiences.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

Leading Avaya’s phenomenal growth. I was fortunate enough to be part of a burgeoning company and dynamic team, and was able to play a role in significantly increasing the company’s brand visibility and value throughout the region. I was also recognised as the industry’s Channel Executive of the year in 2010.

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

You’re only as good as your team. You need to build a strong team around you, and always go with your gut instinct, always taking your best judgment.

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

Working in an industry or a company that is growing at a rapid rate, opens one to be prone to mistakes. What’s vital is to learn from that.

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

I’m more interested in the products and solutions around business automation, transformation and CRM.

What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East IT channel?

It has to be over competitiveness and saturation. The business landscape is still marked by economic uncertainty and competitive pressures. Customer expectations are increasing, so are the opportunities to connect with them as the recovery expands. Firms need to start thinking about new ways of doing things.

What’s your favourite thing about the company you work for?

At Almasa Value Distribution we have a young, entrepreneurial, and dynamic team and we pride ourselves on our lead culture. Within the company, we foster a creative culture, we do not believe in bureaucracy.

What sort of interests do you have outside of work?

My family has always supported me and we have a solid family network. I also love to fish at the weekend, and have a passion for fast cars.

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