50 Channel Champions

The Middle East channel has continued to grow exponential over the last decade. In the highly cutthroat channel landscape, partners are always looking for alliances with the best vendors and distributors in the market. While the market continues to evolve, the objectives of the ‘Channel Champions Top 50’ list have remained unchanged

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50 Channel Champions
By  Manda Banda Published  November 23, 2012

The Middle East channel has continued to grow exponential over the last decade. In the highly cutthroat channel landscape, partners are always looking for alliances with the best vendors and distributors in the market. While the market continues to evolve, the objectives of the ‘Channel Champions Top 50’ list have remained unchanged.

The year 2012 was a year in which the technology and business model changes propelled by the cloud computing and mobility revolution made it more critical than ever for gutsy executives to step up with game-changing products, services and sales initiatives that would capture them more market share but most importantly, bring the intimacy with their channel partners, who in essence are the extension of their internal channel sales teams across the region.

To put it simply, it was not a year for the faint of heart or for a one-size-fits-all approach to the business of computing in the Middle East. With that in mind, this year’s list of the top 50 channel champions aims to shine the spotlight on not only the most influential executives in the industry today, but on the channel advocates, sales and services leaders, the channel strategists, as well as the innovators, mavericks, next-gen channel leaders and up-and-comers.

This year’s list sees a company that was onetime channel antagonist emerge so strongly in the Middle East IT market, ramping up channel activities as it leads the channel into the cloud, following a binge of acquisitions in the last 12 to 18 months.

So, how did we choose these top 50 executives? Before compiling this list of the who’s who in the Middle East channel, we set ourselves a few ground rules as a starting point. All the executives featured in this year’s list are in full-time employment with vendors and distributors, the very companies that solution providers, system integrators, VARs, resellers, system builders, software developers and retailers depend on for the success of their businesses on a daily basis.

For the purposes of uniformity, the top 50 list in 2012 like was the case last year, features executives from the UAE although almost all have much broader responsibilities covering the Middle East, markets in Eastern Europe, parts of Western Asia and Africa.

We have again retained the policy of selecting one executive per company, even though the scale of presence of some companies could probably have warranted more than one entry.

When selecting our top 50 channel champions for this year, we have attempted to take into thought the influence of each individual and their company over the broader Middle East and development, expertise and visibility they are creating for themselves, the companies they work for and the impact their authority is having on businesses of channel partners.

What we haven’t done is to base the list on market share numbers. Instead, we have looked at things like influence, effectiveness and visibility, along with business and channel initiatives impact, channel development and support, channel investment and resources, channel advocacy and visibility.

For example, with Redington Gulf, the region’s largest IT distributor by sales revenues, we have chosen the head of the company’s fast-growing Value Division, but that is certainly not intended to underrate the role of Ashish Bharti, senior VP, who oversees the IT volume business.

We are aware that the actions and decisions of these executives have a direct bearing over the wellbeing and accomplishments of the Middle East IT channel.

While we have only managed to publish 50 executives from the regional channel, we know there are more ‘channel champions’ beyond this list. Nonetheless, the compilation offers a solid guide to the movers and shakers shaping the IT channel market.

In the pages that follow, Channel Middle East features the top 50 Channel Champions for 2012.

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