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XXL INTERVIEW: Oman Fofor, Ghana

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 22 December 2009

DISTREE XXL attracts hundreds of distributors from 80-plus countries across the EMEA region. As part of the build-up to EMEA’s premier channel event, we bring you exclusive interviews with some of the distributors making the journey to Monaco in February 2010. First up is Vivian Baitie, managing director at Ghana-based distributor and reseller Oman Fofor.

Oman Fofor is an authorised Canon distributor in Ghana and also resells a variety of kit from other A-brand vendors including Microsoft, APC, Symantec, Lenovo and Dell. The company provides comprehensive post-sales support and supplies spare parts and consumables.

Vivian Baitie, managing director at Oman Fofor, will attend DISTREE XXL 2010 to meet fellow distributor and vendor executives. Baitie also expects the event to enhance her market development strategies for 2010 and enhance the reputation of Oman Fofor on an international channel stage.

“In Ghana, ICT knowledge has increased in the past two decades giving rise to demand in various sectors of the economy,” she said. “This phenomenon has provided unprecedented opportunities to tap into new market. Competition in the IT channel has dramatically increased from both traditional adversaries and new entrants.”

Baitie claims that there are already some 1,500 IT related companies – be they vendors, distributors or resellers of some kind – plying their trade within the Ghanaian channel. All of these players are fighting hard for a slice of the action in an IT market that continues to grow at 8% per annum.

“The free market system in Ghana has seen vendors from the Middle East, China and India all entering the market,” she added.

With more and more companies entering the market, the need to provide a quality service to customers is now an imperative. “What has gained importance in this new business environment is the quality of products and effective after-sales service,” she added. “Organisation must build a corporate culture around quality and service to satisfy customer demands.”

The government sector remains a major buyer of IT products and services in Ghana. All contracts awarded by public institutions must go through a bidding process as outlined by the Public Procurement Act of 2003. While Ghana is clearly still an emerging market, many of the issues influencing the development of the distribution sector are familiar to all those that have worked in the EMEA channel.

“In Ghana and most other African countries south of the Sahara, there are several key issues impacting distribution including grey market competition, channel loyalty, delivery times from suppliers and the distributor-vendor relationship in terms of competitive pricing and channel support,” commented Baitie.

In 2010, Oman Fofor plans to focus its efforts on combating the growing problem of grey product flowing into Ghana. The distributor will highlight its official partner status with both Canon and Microsoft and will promote the quality of its after-sales service to customers.

“After-sales has become an imperative for sustainable purchasing, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty,” said Baitie. “It is also our strategic objective to improve our customer care policy by simplifying our sales and service procedures.”

Baitie believes that the vendor-distributor relationship dynamic remains critical to the overall development of channels within emerging markets. She also believes that vendors need to keep an eye on web-based sales channels and their potential to undermine authorised in-country partners.

“Technological advancements that give rise to internet and web-based sales have serious ramifications on channel business in Ghana - and for that matter Africa,” she explained. “With this new technology customers with credit cards and other e-commerce facilities are able to bypass the distribution channels to obtain or purchase products.”


Top distributors from across the EMEA region have been invited to attend DISTREE XXL 2010, the premier event for the regional ICT and CE channel, from February 8-11th in Monaco.

DISTREE XXL gathers 400-plus senior executives from EMEA’s Information Communications Technologies (ICT) & Consumer Electronics (CE) volume distribution channel.

During the course of the three-day event, delegates take part in thousands of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with hundreds of vendors. Each year, hundreds of new distribution agreements are struck across EMEA as a result of business relationships initiated at DISTREE XXL.

DISTREE XXL 2010 will also build on successful initiatives launched at last year’s sold out event including a regional awards ceremony. The ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2010 Awards’ will include more than a dozen awards handed out to vendors and distributors from across the region.

Follow the build-up to DISTREE XXL 2010

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