TP-LINK in Egypt expansion drive

Roger Gong, country manager, Egypt at TP-LINK Middle East is leading China-based SOHO and SMB networking vendor on an ambitous expansion plan in Egypt.

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TP-LINK in Egypt expansion drive Gong says TP-LINK is expanding the traditional reseller partner base, where it would like solution provider partners, VARs and systems integrators to aggressively target SMBs.
By  Manda Banda Published  February 8, 2016

The IT market in Egypt has started to pick up in the last 18 months. What is TP-LINK focusing on in that country?

Indeed after a few years on internal strife in Egypt, TP-LINK has now started to expand both SOHO and SMB networking solutions offerings. We have also seen increased demand of our entry level and high end range of our products as customers see the benefits of using our solutions.


Does TP-LINK have a legal entity in Egypt that is operational?

Yes we have and the reason we had to establish an entity was to support our plans to roll out a comprehensive programme focusing on developing the channel business in-country. Also, like in most markets in the Middle East and Africa, it's important to have feet on the ground beyond the channel partners that we have onboarded. We are delighted at the fact that we have now got a team that is supporting both distributors the the channels (resellers and retailers) ensuring that our SOHO, SMB and accessories range is reaching all segments of the market.


How is TP-LINK developing its retail and SMB business in Egypt?

Through our office and team in Egypt, we are working closely with retail customers and distributors. In addition, we are also expanding our traditional reseller partner base, where we would like our solution provider partners, VARs and systems integrators to aggressively target SMBs and the midmarket space. The SMB segment in Egypt is very important and has huge growth potential for TP-LINK. By working with SMB-focused partners, we have implemented successful projects relating to high-end management gigabit switches. In fact, we're now expanding our partner programme to specifically cater to the SMB category. With retail partners, we have put lots of effort on marketing to bring more attention and exposure of our new high-end consumer and SOHO offerings. This year we are planning a range of schemes and initiatives targeting retail business.


Does TP-LINK have a distribution partners in Egypt? If so, how many and what are the names?

We have a robust distribution channel that is serving across Egypt. As confidence in the distribution channel has returned to Egypt and we would like to up the tempo so that partners can start to benefit from the business opportunities that are emerging in the country. The company is building tight alliances with channel partners and developing all our distribution partners so that they can start to position their business functions as service providers to support partners competently.


In the retail segment, which retail partners is TP-LINK working with and how is that business shaping up in that country?

We're currently working working with Radio Shack, Compume and Computer Shop and Carrefour, to name a few. The retail business is an important window for customer who looks for high-end product and best service. The company has done well in ensuring that retail partners are well trained and in the coming months, the aim is to raise the service the traditional reseller partners receive. We are happy with the brand acceptance in the Egyptian retail segment.


What retail range of products is TP-LINK selling in Egypt?

Although TP-LINK is one of the few networking brands that has the widest product portfolio including supplies Wireless solutions, ADSL, Switches, IP Cameras, Powerline Adapters, Print Servers, Media Converters,Network Adapters and accessories, our main focus product wise for Egypt is on Broadband Routers, ADSL, Range Extender, and 3G-related products.


TP-LINK has been growing so fast ever since the company set-up operations in 2011. What is TP-LINK's market share in Egypt and the whole networking in the Middle East and North Africa?

Without stating any specific numbers, the company has taken a dominant market share in Egypt and keeps leading the position for the whole MENA market with SOHO solutions. We have a strong focus on consumer and SOHO networking, but we are also eyeing greater influence among VARs that serve SMBs - a move that we believe will puts us in head to head competition with the likes of D-Link, Netgear and Cisco. We still have a lot to do to build our brand and make consumers and the channel accept our products in Egypt and beyond in other North African countries.


The retail segment is one of the most competitive sectors in Egypt. What would you attribute TP-LINK's strength to in this segment?

Our strength as a networking brand lies in the fact that we manufacture and supply quality products that are accompanied by good support for our retail customers and distributors. Also, TP-LINK always provides the widest range and reliable plug-and-play products. The fact that we own our manufacturing, it gives us a component and supply chain advantage over many of our competitors in the Egyptian market. In addition, we are able to tailor some of the products sold in Egypt only for that market.


What new products and "killer" technologies can consumers expect from TP-LINK in the retail segment in Egypt?

In 2016, TP-LINK will be launching and marketing extensively our powerline products in Egypt. Although it's early days, the feedback we have received so far is very good. Aside from the powerline array, the 4G gateway and AC technology products will also be launched specifically for that market. As Egypt is a huge market and the infrastructure is well built, all kinds of product will be in demand in the retail business.That said, what we have found is that 3G products are doing very well. We feel that it's critical to support the retail channel by broadening the range of products we can sell in the retail segment in Egypt.


What will drive TP-LINK's growth in 2016 and beyond in Egypt?

Our SMB category of offerings including products, services and accessory array will drive majority of our commercial business in Egypt this year. In addition, we have mapped out a plan for 2016, as the company intends to bring more affordable medium level products that will help TP-LINK to continue developing the business together with partners in Egypt.

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