Get to know: Neelesh Bhatnagar

All brands that we work with are admirable. If I have to pick one, it would be Apple for sheer dynamism and innovation.

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Get to know: Neelesh Bhatnagar
By  Manda Banda Published  June 29, 2013

All brands that we work with are admirable. If I have to pick one, it would be Apple for sheer dynamism and innovation.

Neelesh Bhatnagar, Chief Executive Officer, Emax Electronics

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

A chartered accountant by profession, I worked across various multinational companies such as Xerox, Inchcape and TNT during my early days in the United Arab Emirates before joining the Landmark Group in 1988 as finance controller for the group’s Bahrain operations. I went on to become the director of Landmark Group operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 1997. I moved back to Dubai in 2005 and was appointed CEO of Emax Electronics in 2006 while simultaneously handling the Landmark Group operations in KSA. Since 2006, we have opened 37 Emax Electronics stores with aggressive plans to have 50 stores by end of 2013.

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

I would exercise better control over pricing and avoid frequent price drops, which I believe would improve financial sustainability for the entire IT supply chain.

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

New mobility and applications technology. The new 4G technology will play a pivotal role in the mobile and laptop market, and the Ultra-HD technology in televisions will be one to look out for.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

The launching of “Dome” in Jeddah in 2001 is my best. It was an abandoned building of 40,000 square metres for over 10 years. It was my personal initiative to have the courage to lease it, invest over AED30m of the Landmark Group’s money and turn it into an iconic shopping destination. To date, it is our flagship in the KSA.

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

The best piece of advice that I keep with me wherever I go is “retail is detail”.

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

We did open some very large stores for catchment markets. However, this was more of a learning opportunity that allowed us to better understand details about store layouts and merchandising.

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

All brands that we work with are admirable. If I have to name one, it would be Apple for sheer dynamism and innovation.

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

The electronics retail market is characterised by extreme competitive pressures. Customer expectations are increasing and consequently, we are constantly thinking about new ways to meet and cater to the rapidly changing consumer segment in this industry. Competition keeps us awake and it challenges us to do better everyday.

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

The passion and dynamism that our team demonstrates at work is what I value the most in our organisation. It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of this exciting “family”.

What sort of interests do you have outside of work?

I like travelling, going to movies, music and spending quality time with family.

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