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INTERVIEW: Jihad Youssef, Promate Technologies

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 11 April 2014

Retail brands are getting ready for next month’s DISTREE Middle East 2014. The three-day event has become the ‘must attend’ annual platform for face-to-face meetings with senior executives and top buyers the region’s leading technology retailers and e-tailers. Jihad Y. Youssef (JY), general manager sales and marketing Middle East and Africa at device and accessories brand Promate Technologies, spoke to Channel EMEA about the company’s regional retail strategy.

Channel EMEA (CE): Why should retailers consider making Promate part of their product mix?

Jihad Youssef (JY): Promate started with an idea and that is now a reality - a technology lifestyle, made for retail brand, which is incorporating technology in our everyday lives. We have always been a leader in mobility and lifestyle technology solutions through our unique and wide range of innovative products, which we are constantly improving and developing.

CE: What are the three main reasons for attending DISTREE Middle East? What does Promate hope to achieve at the event?

JY: DISTREE Middle East is an excellent platform for vendors and retailers. We joined the event because we want to connect and reconnect with new and old partners alike. We believe the event will be a good way to build bridges, network for business opportunities and strengthen our relationship with retail partners. It will also be a good platform for us to launch our products, especially our new collection for the season. Promate launches fresh SKUs almost on a monthly basis.

CE: Which countries, customer types and retail channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for Promate in the Middle East?

JY: I strongly believe that the UAE has already proven itself to be the leader for opportunity and growth for the companies in the Middle East, because of the wide cultural variety and availability. Since day one, we established ourselves in Dubai by building strong business relationships built on trust. Growing together with our partners is one of our basic mantras. I also believe that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain are already on the move as the availability of demand in these countries is increasing. We basically see all markets as great opportunities for us as we can capitalise on the common denominator, which is growing demand for technology products.

Total solutions provider

CE: Why should retailers stock Pormate? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

JY: I can say that we at Promate are a ‘total solutions provider’, which most of the companies here cannot offer. We take pride on our advanced and aggressive approach when it comes to product innovation. We always make sure that we are on our toes in product development to keep ourselves in step with fast-moving market trends.

CE: Does Promate have a structured retail channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your retail partners?

JY: Our expertise and dedication in retail makes the structure healthy, as we always treat our retailers as partners as well. We invest on our relationship with our partners, we are always involved with everything that they would need, making sure that growth is steady and the business is going in the right direction. Our strong belief of growing together with our partners is always there - that is why I think our margin proposition is a very healthy structure.

CE: What sort of support do you offer retailers in terms of marketing, promotions and POS activities?

JY: Our support is constant, providing indoor promotion and marketing, plus bundle offers from time to time. We also provide dedicated stands, which have adequate space and compliment the specification of our products to help catch the attention of buyers. We also provide retailers with after-sales support for any problems. We provide them with whatever support they need and we really see to it that we are always there for them.

CE: What have been the major developments for Promate in the Middle East in the last year? What do you have planned for full year 2014?

JY: 2013 was big for us, winning design awards for our BluTrend, Blupen, Ovally, Syntax and Lumitab products. During the last quarter of 2013, we successfully established an office in Europe with Kenneth Pedersen in charge. We also penetrated untapped markets in the African region.

2014 is looking good so far with product design already for BluTrend and Ovally. We are also breaking in to the duty free market. Promate is now listed and very active in more than 55 duty free retailers worldwide. We are now very active and visible across the entire MEA region, with excellent growth in African markets. I am also proud to say that we are getting very positive feedback.

Now we are planning to be more aggressive in the markets that we started to penetrate in the last quarter of 2013 and expand in South East Asia. Just recently we had our products launched in the Philippines. We are really seeing positive growth for the first quarter of the year and hopefully we can capitalise on our strong start.

Made for retail

CE: How quickly is Promate’s business growing in the Middle East Region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your product segment?

JY: The Middle East is a fast growing market. We can already see stores and areas - even in the hypermarket - that are dedicated only for mobility and IT products. This tells us that the demand is growing continuously. There is an incredible diverse range of new IT and mobility products currently being launched in a relatively short space of time, which benefits us. We are the only company that can provide total solutions for every IT and mobility need of consumers - that is the area where I believe no other brand can match us.

CE: Is Promate a channel-friendly company?

JY: We always treat our retailers as our partners, and with that said, we see to it that support is always there from us. That is our benchmark when it comes to our partners - be it a small partner or a big one. We want always to have good relationships with them, getting feedback from them and always letting each other know how the business can go to another level; how we can constantly improve and develop. We make sure that growth is always on the horizon for both of the parties.

CE: What other key messages do you want to get across to retailers attending DISTREE Middle East about Promate?

JY: We at Promate will provide them with nothing but the best of the best. We are made for retail and with our dedication to the retail business, we will always make sure we are there for any support that they need. We will try to fulfill every customer’s mobility and lifestyle need, to bring footfall in their shops and create happy customers.

Channel EMEA is an official media partner for DISTREE Middle East 2014.

DISTREE Middle East 2014

Channel EMEA is an official global media partner of DISTREE Events, including DISTREE Middle East.

DISTREE Middle East is the ultimate professional networking event for senior executives from the consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel in the Middle East region. DISTREE Middle East is a focused event for retail executives based on the successful concept of bringing high-level buyers from emerging markets into productive contact with vendors.

Not only is DISTREE Middle East a powerful business platform, it is also an annual networking function allowing vendors to meet face-to-face with both existing and potential new retail partners from across the Middle East, plus North Africa and the CIS region.

DISTREE Middle East 2014 is scheduled to take place on May 20-22nd at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE. or more information and to secure your place at the region’s number one retail channel event, contact fhemraj@distreevents.com quoting code DME14.

For retail executives, attending DISTREE Middle East is time well spent. In just three days you can hold dozens of face-to-face meetings with existing and potential new vendors, meet with your peers from across the region, find out more about the latest industry trends and market data. All this at one exclusive event: DISTREE Middle East - the ‘must-attend’ event for vendors and retailers associated with the region’s consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products channel. www.distree-me.com

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