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DISTREE Africa 2014 drives ICT & CE channel collaboration at inaugural regional event

by Stuart Wilson, Saturday 21 June 2014

DISTREE Africa 2014 draws to a close today after a hugely successful launch event in Nairobi, Kenya. DISTREE Africa offered technology and consumer electronics (CE) brands and suppliers an opportunity to pre-schedule one-on-one meetings with senior executives from Africa’s leading distributors, resellers and retailers in one place at one time.

Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, said: “DISTREE Africa is uniquely positioned as a vendor-neutral event. We are here to support all African channel stakeholders in their transition to healthier and more profitable business relationships. DISTREE Africa has created a platform for an exchange of ideas between vendors and channel partners, allowing them to address market issues. Many people were unsure how well the DISTREE event format would work in Africa, but it has been extremely well received. Planning is already underway for DISTREE Africa 2015.”

More than one thousand pre-scheduled meetings took place between delegates at DISTREE Africa, with each delegate using DISTREE Events’ powerful online planning tools prior to the event, to set-up meetings as part of a personalised agenda relevant to their precise business needs.

“For African channel partners, DISTREE Africa is an opportunity to meet both potential new suppliers and existing partners at one single event. It is a highly efficient business platform where channel partners can decide – in advance – which companies they want to meet,” explained Hemraj.

More than 300 delegates attended DISTREE Africa, including 140-plus vendor and distributor executives, representatives from more than 90 key African resellers, and senior management from more than 30 top regional retailers.

“For ICT & CE brands, DISTREE Africa is the most efficient platform for managing, building or launching channels across Africa’s fast-growing markets. We look forward to welcoming even more companies to DISTREE Africa 2015,” Hemraj added.

Presentations at the event included Live@DISTREE speeches from Quantum, Acer, Energy Sistem and Xtouch. Channel delegates from across Africa also attended speeches by Sabrina Dar, General Manager East Africa at Cisco; Robert Ngeru, VP & COO East Africa at Samsung; Mariam Abdullahi, Operator Channel Manager for West, East and Central Africa at Microsoft, and Santosh Varghese, General Manager Middle East & Africa at Toshiba.

Chioma Chimere, Managing Director Sales & Marketing at business partner Technology Distributions from Nigeria, commented: “We were provided with lots of information before we arrived at DISTREE Africa. This helped us research and select the right vendors to meet with at the event. We were pleased that this event took place in Africa and have met some very interesting vendors.”

Mark Sale, Regional Sales Manager at Bullitt Mobile, the global licensee for CAT Phones, said: “This is a great event for us. It is focused and segmented and gave us the opportunity to meet the right persons to do business with. There were a couple of resellers and distributors that we were trying to meet and DISTREE Africa gave us the opportunity to do just that. The event has brought in some serious buyers.”

The DISTREE Africa 2014 conference programme included the debut of the popular ‘60 Seconds to Convince’ awards in the region, giving dozens of brands the chance to deliver a one minute pitch for their latest product. CAT Phones picked up the Best Design award for its B15Q device, with WD receiving the Best Innovation award for its My Cloud solutions. Storage vendor Strontium received the Best Presentation award.

DISTREE Africa 2014 was supported by Platinum Sponsor Quantum; Gold Sponsors Acer, Despec and IBS; plus Silver Sponsors Brother, Energy Sistem, Sandisk, Seagate, Strontium, Toshiba and WD. This year’s Technical Sponsors are Acer and Brother. The event was supported by Distributor Partner Despec and Media Partners from across the region. This year’s Channel Academy workshop programme offered insight and data from Event Partner GfK and Content Providers Expandi Group and RIC Ltd.

Channel EMEA is an official Media Partner for DISTREE Africa 2014

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