Get to know – Mohammed Owais

With products like the iPod and iPad, Apple singlehandedly created new segments and in doing so forced an entire ecosystem to be built around it.

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Get to know – Mohammed Owais
By  Manda Banda Published  April 16, 2014

With products like the iPod and iPad, Apple singlehandedly created new segments and in doing so forced an entire ecosystem to be built around it.

Mohammed Owais, Sales Director, Middle East & Africa, WD

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

I first arrived in Dubai back in 1998 and began the Middle East leg of my career in an IT distribution company named ACI Asiacom. I managed their local sales for three years and then, for a period of two years, oversaw the UAE subsidiary. I joined FDC next, which is one of the major IT distribution companies in the region. At FDC I managed their hard disk drive business for four years. I joined WD in 2008 and I am now responsible for the components business in MEA region.

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

The Middle East is a highly fragmented and geographically diverse market, so reaching out to partners can be a challenge at times. Beyond this the IT channel is slow to absorb knowledge about current and future products and the focus hasn’t yet shifted from moving boxes to selling solutions that add value to an end customer’s  business or life.

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

The WD Purple and WD Red drives which are designed for mainstream surveillance applications and, home and small office NAS devices, respectively, are game changers. With AllFrame technology WD Purple is the ultimate drive for mainstream surveillance systems with up to eight drive bays.

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

You have to fully believe and commit to what you do in order to be successful, and that focus, conviction and determination gets you what you want.

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

It has to be underestimating the market potential and the opportunities that exist within some of the smaller markets in the MEA region. This was also a learning experience as I now never misjudge any of the markets that fall under the territory I am responsible for.

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

I would like to improve the discipline of channel players in terms of the margins that are made on products. This is top of my list.

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

Without any doubt I would have to say Apple. With products like the iPod and iPad, Apple singlehandedly created new segments and in doing so forced an entire ecosystem to be built around it. It’s amazing to see how big the market is for accessories and add-ons that are designed specifically for Apple products.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

I’m of the opinion that, in sales, there is not one moment that you can be proud of. That said, I still fondly remember and cherish the moment where I was entrusted with the responsibility of the MEA region after spending just two and a half years in the organisation.

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

WD fully trusts its regional employees and empowers them to run their regions. The management places a great deal of trust in the teams responsible for each of the regions.

What sort of interests do you have outside of work?

Above all, I greatly enjoy spending quality time with my family. I am also a traveller at heart and enjoy watching latest movies.

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