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Iranian tiger arises

The start of 2005 has heralded the formation of a distribution giant that aims to dominate Iran and the GCC region. The joint venture, headed by Dubai distributor Comtronix, is forging ahead with aggressive promotion plans for its Neo5 brand, and is also looking for vendors to hop on board.

The start of 2005 has heralded the formation of a distribution giant that aims to dominate Iran and the GCC region. The joint venture, headed by Dubai distributor Comtronix, is forging ahead with aggressive promotion plans for its Neo5 brand, and is also looking for vendors to hop on board.

“This new company, consisting of five Iranian distributors under the Comtronix umbrella, will have access to a dealer network of 600 traders in Iran alone,” explained Mahmoud Ebrahimi, managing director of the new group. “Our reach will extend to all over Iran, the CIS and the GCC, with expansion plans in place for the wider Middle East and Africa region.”

The group’s initial targets are both uncompromising and optimistic — a 50% market share for the VGA, hard drive, memory and motherboard segments in Iran and 20% market share in the GCC. “At present our Neo5 brand covers four product areas, but this will also change over 2005. We will be introducing several product ranges, including peripherals, optical disk drives, monitors, and digital goods such as cameras, and offering 25 different segments to our channels,” added Hossein Gharavi Ram, business development manager for the Comtronix group.

Ebrahimi believes that pushing the Neo5 brand will yield a number of advantages, not least in the fight against grey importing. “With an brand name, you can control how many pieces are being sold into a market, how the product is being distributed and margins. Vendors don’t care about what gets dumped into Iran, but grey can hurt our business. Neo5 will change all that, and expect to more than double our revenues, from US$60m in 2004 to $150m for 2005.”

The group is also in the final stages of negotiations with a host of distributors across the Middle East and Africa for its Neo5 brand. “We are expecting to conclude agreements soon, in the next month or two with companies as far away as Egypt and South Africa,” said Jafary Nejad, marketing manager at the Comtronix group. “Several of the companies that now form part of the new distributor have been doing business in these territories for some time, and we are confident of partnering with the right people.”

But Ebrahimi and the gang are not stopping there. “We are still on the lookout for components vendors, especially in the hard drive and memory space. I want resellers to see us as a one-stop shop for IT kit, and that is how we intend to move forward,” he concluded.

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