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Asbis to build mobility business

Broadline distributor moves to take advantage of IT and mobile convergence

Asbis to build mobility business
Tantawi says Asbis has focused on enhancing its retail strategy.

IT distribution powerhouse, Asbis Middle East has revealed that it has launched a new mobility division, as part of the company's broader strategy to take advantage of the convergence between IT and mobile sector.

The move by Asbis does not come as a surprise as most Dubai-based broadline IT distributors have broadened their horizons to embrace mobility devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Recent data from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) says more smartphones are forecast to be shipped globally than feature phones in 2013, the first such occurrence in the mobile phone market on an annual basis.  According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors will ship 918.6m smartphones this year, or 50.1% of the total mobile phone shipments worldwide.

Asbis said with the rapid growth witnessed in the mobility space with smartphones and tablets, the company sees this segment to be important for its business strategy for the Middle East going forward. The company said its mobile division has been built around the Prestigio brand and is bringing on board other complementary offerings. 

Hesham Tantawi, VP Middle East Turkey and Africa (META) at Asbis, said the company started to build its tablet business 18 months ago. "We have been investing quite heavily in mobility solutions. The investment has focused on enhancing the retail strategy and strengthening the internal retail team to support the growing retail business across the Middle East and Africa," he said.

Aside from the mobility push, Tantawi said the new mobile division will focus on the education, telecoms and retail sectors of the market. "We have already started working with telecom providers especially in Africa with the aim of developing them into a specialised route to market. "We have also started working with Intel in the smartphone market, developing this sector by working with telecom providers in MEA," he said.

Tantawi said in addition to the retail focus, the company has also invested in an ERP system all aimed at improving stock holding, inventory and sales forecasting. "We have rolled out the ERP system to improve efficiencies in our supply channel. We are upbeat that this will help Asbis to have better understanding to evaluate sales data on a weekly basis - not monthly - and give the company the much needed insight to pay attention to shipping cycles," he said.

Tantawi said currently, the Asbis Mobile Division has Prestigio as the flagship brand offering smartphones, tablets, eReaders and GPS. "We have other brands that include AOC, Point of View and Gigabyte," he said.

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