Building new avenues

Channel Middle East finds out from a market personality about their role, their routine and what inspires them to come into work each day.

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Building new avenues
By  Manda Banda Published  February 23, 2014

Channel Middle East finds out from a market personality about their role, their routine and what inspires them to come into work each day.

Name: Ahmad Alkhatib
Company: Shifra
Job title: Managing Partner
Years in the role: 7 years
Years at the company: 7 years
Previous companies: Watchguard, Sophos and Checkpoint

How would you summarise your role?

I oversee the smooth operation of our value added distribution business from sales, channel, logistics and finance.

What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office each day?

I always begin my day by saying hello to the employees and make sure that no one has any problems or pending issues that need my intervention to be resolved. The human factor in motivating our team is very important.

What does a typical day entail for you?

Making sure that we have happy customers (our channel) is my most important concern and every day I want to make certain that we are providing the value we promise to our reseller and vendor partners.

 What skills or qualities do you need to do your job?

One needs to pay attention to detail and that can make the difference between being good and great. At the same time, one should be able to remove oneself from those details when you are thinking about the bigger picture and your strategy.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

What I like about this job is being able to bring new technology to the region that helps organisations to provide better, secure and reliable services to their end-user clients.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Having to deal with an unhappy customer is always the hardest thing in this sector. I always want to make sure their grievances are addressed and resolved although at times the resolution might be out of my control. However, I always welcome challenges and don’t expect everything to be easy.

What criteria do you measure your performance on?

My performance and certainly for the whole company is measured by how happy our channel partners and vendors are when dealing with us. If we are delivering the customer experience they need from us in a timely manner then we are doing right.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your current role?

Our rapid expansion has meant that we are moving offices almost every two years to accommodate the growing number of employees. Walking in our new office once we completed recently made me proud as I was thinking of the very humble service desk in Dubai Internet City (DIC) where it all started seven years ago.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Had you asked me five years ago if I would be in the position I am now, I would never have guessed it. The great thing about our region is that the “sky is the limit” and if you are bold to take some calculated risks, the rewards are always phenomenal.

How much time do you spend out of the office each week?

I would say around 60% of my time is spent out of the office travelling around the region to meet with our local sales team and channel partners, as well as end-users.

What do you get up to during your lunch hour?

I usually have lunch in Dubai Internet City either with a partner or an employee. I have found that people are more relaxed discussing personal matters over a meal, which is always beneficial in building stronger relationships internally and with clients.

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