Get to know: Farhad Khan
The biggest challenge resellers face in the channel is the continuous price erosion on IT hardware in general as more products get more commoditised.
What’s your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?
I have 14 years of experience working in the ICT industry. I started my career working in the telecoms sector for Airtel, before working at LG and Samsung. I also had a chance to work for Jumbo Electronics, Mediatek and now XTouch. I ended up working in Dubai when an opportunity presented itself at Jumbo Electronics and haven’t looked back since.
If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
I would like to improve sell-out numbers from the channel. Although the Middle East especially Dubai is a hub for various IT exhibitions like GITEX and shopping festivals like Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises in the consumer electronics industry, channels are very particular about various promotional activities and keeping pace with these activities is a challenge.
What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market?
There is nothing in particular that I dislike. However, there is always scope for improvement and the channel should improve on the product and price matrix to create a favourable equation for vendors distributors and resellers.
What products or technology should the channel watch out for this year?
Channel partners should look out for prospects in the wearable products segment especially health and fitness related wearables. Adoption will continue to increase this years and in the near future.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
I would say working as general manager for Tecsync XTouch in MENA stands out as one of my proudest accomplishments to date. Managing the UAE and Egypt is challenging but at the same time rewarding and satisfying especially when you are seeing the business grow despite the market challenges.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East IT channel?
The biggest challenge resellers face in the channel today is the continuous price erosion on IT hardware in general as more products get commoditised. This has been exacerbated by fierce competition putting more pressure on reseller margins.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
The best piece of advice I have received is that consistency in approach and patience when dealing with business partners will always pay off.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the IT market?
It has to be not foreseeing emerging trends and envisioning the impact these trends would have on the market. Failing to stay abreast with new trends makes one a follower and not a leader.
Which IT company, other than your own, do you most admire and why?
It has to be Google its innovation and for making available Android as open operating systems (OS). This has made Android to be among the most preferred preferred mobile devices OSes in the world.
What is your favorite thing about the company that you work for?
I like the fact that XTouch is a flat organisation when it comes to management, is multi-culture and management encourages regional teams to make decisions based on facts and figures.
What sort of interests do you have outside of work?
I like to spend quality time with my family and friends when I am not at work.