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Saudi AIM to start new distribution venture

Move is designed to separate HP franchise from other business lines

Saudi AIM to start new distribution venture
Bassam Abu Baker believes AIM’s new distribution entity will allow the company to maintain its focus on HP without neglecting supplementary brands.

Saudi Arabia-based Advanced Integrated Media (AIM) is preparing to launch a new distribution entity that will focus on collecting non-HP franchises and act as the group's value added distribution arm.

The new operation, which is called Gulf International for Technology (GIT), will mark its arrival in the channel by signing a distribution agreement with printer vendor Epson, in addition to harnessing the Microsoft rights that AIM already holds.

Bassam Abu Baker, group general manager at AIM, stresses that the move is in no way an attempt to dilute its HP business, but instead a means to maintain its focus on HP's volumes lines while simultaneously giving supplementary brands the attention they require.

"This step will allow us to expand the group's product basket, as it was difficult to think about other businesses while focusing on developing the HP business, and there were no available resources for any products besides HP," he explained.

"We decided to launch this company to be fair with the other products and we intend to be very selective when it comes to signing new brands. We will make sure that there is a focus on profitability and we are keen to add value to the business," said Abu Baker.

The move could make AIM more attractive to other PC vendors and may even pave the way for the distributor to open discussions with Dell - which has strong relations with its parent company NTG Group - following unsuccessful negotiations last year.

"Many parties were keen to work with us, but we were not able to make it in the past," said Abu Baker. "Now we have more options to benefit from, and the way of doing business will be totally different," he said.

Riyadh-based AIM is one of the largest distributors in Saudi Arabia with annual revenues estimated at more than US$100m.

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