SMB Barrage

Mohammed Meraj Hoda, vice president, Linksys International, outlines the company’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) roadmap and how it is rebuilding its networking and solutions business for the SOHO and SMB segment.

Tags: Linksys (www.linksys.com)
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SMB Barrage
By  Manda Banda Published  December 23, 2013

Mohammed Meraj Hoda, vice president, Linksys International, outlines the company’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) roadmap and how it is rebuilding its networking and solutions business for the SOHO and SMB segment.

Channel: What is Linksys’ new channel strategy for the Middle East region?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: The channel strategy for Linksys on the consumer side of the business doesn’t change. What is new is that we will bring back a full business portfolio under the Linksys brand. The first ever Linksys product was called the Multishare, a product to connect multiple computers to a printer. The following 20 years Linksys has been present in this market with business connectivity solutions.

After being acquired by Cisco in 2003 the Linksys business products were merged with the Cisco’s commercial business offering and Linksys continued as the consumer division of Cisco. Earlier this year Linksys was acquired by Belkin and one of the strategic initiatives is now to enter the business market. Linksys is coming back to rebuild the whole networking and solutions side of the business, not just for consumers but for SMBs.

Channel: How have you segmented your channel business in the Middle East region now that you are a Belkin brand?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: We have very strong presence with Linksys in the retail space already and also have solid presence in the channel. With our rollout of business solutions our ties with the channel business will become even stronger, as we will collaborate with distributors and resellers to develop this market.

Channel: What is your vision for the Middle East networking and wireless solutions market?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: The Middle East region is a prime market for networking and wireless solutions, with many countries in the top rankings of broadband connectivity and average speed. The market is ready for connected home solutions where all devices are connected and you can access content anytime on any device. The same for businesses very connected and advance compared to many other markets.

Channel: How do you plan on covering this massive geography now that you are part of Belkin?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: There is no change in our geographical coverage model as we continue to drive the regions and countries without any change. In fact we are planning to go much deeper in key markets like the Gulf region and especially the KSA.

Channel: What has been Linksys’ focus for 2013 with your channel partners (distributors & resellers) in the Middle East region?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: Up until now, we have mainly focused on our retail and selected reseller channels by expanding our portfolio for consumer products, our next step is entering the business market together with our broadline product distributors, Internet service providers (ISP) and resellers. We have more than 10 distributors across MEA covering all the major consumer segments and SOHO portfolio. With our investment into the SMB product line, we will be further developing our channel and growing the ecosystem into the business segment.

Channel: What can your Middle East channel partners expect from Linksys in the 2014 and beyond?

Mohammed Meraj Hoda: Next to a premium product portfolio for both consumers and businesses we will make sure that partners can do profitable business with us, which for many is a critical issue today with the over competition in the market. We will make sure the right tools are in place to support our partners, like the Linksys Partner Rewards (www.linksyspartnerrewards.com). In this tiered partner scheme, our partners will be able to find marketing assets, get educated on our solutions and get incentives for being successful in the market.

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