INTERVIEW: Sergey Fomin, Marvel Distribution
by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 2 June 2016
DISTREE Russia is the annual channel event where the country’s biggest technology distributors congregate to meet both new and existing suppliers, as well as top resellers and retailers. This year’s DISTREE Russia, which takes place from the 22-23rd June 2016 in St. Petersburg, will cover both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) channels. Channel EMEA caught up with Sergey Fomin, strategic development director CIS at Marvel Distribution, to find out more about the company’s plans for the event.
Channel EMEA (CE): What does Marvel want to achieve at DISTREE Russia 2016? What are your key goals for the event?
Sergey Fomin (SF): We consider DISTREE Russia a source of new ideas and market insight and a convenient meeting place. In current conditions, the industry requires strong dialogue between all players, so DISTREE Russia provides an excellent opportunity for this.
Marvel, founded in 1991, is one of the largest broadline IT-distributors in Russia & CIS. Marvel Distribution supplies products from more than 120 world leading manufacturers such as Acer, AMD, APC, Asus, Avaya, Canon, Cisco, D-Link, Extreme Networks, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, HTC, Juniper, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, Nikon, Oracle, PocketBook, Powercom, Polycom, Samsung, Sony, JBL, and others. This year we plan to display the new interesting brand in our portfolio - BQ from Spain - which produces innovative smartphones, 3D printing and robotics products.
CE: Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for Marvel?
SF: In spite of economic recession and negative IT market trends in 2015, Marvel showed 16% sales growth in local currency. Marvel also won a major award, picking up the Russia & CIS Distributor of the Year accolade at the ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2016 Awards’ in Monaco. This was the second year in a row Marvel won this award.
New vendors, which joined Marvel in 2015, brought 18% of turnover in total. Both volume and value distribution segments become more sensitive to new innovative products and complex solutions, which will be drivers for business growth in upcoming years.
CE: Which customer segments and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in Russia?
SF: As a broadline distributor Marvel is dedicated to serve all the major segments and channels in the market. In 2015 the best results were achieved in in the field of networking and telecommunications, server and data storage equipment, notebooks and smartphones.
CE: What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?
SF: We offer a unique innovation-driven product mix and value-added services. An important part of our identity is an absence of affiliated retail or integration companies. We do not compete with our partners which gives them assurance of our sincere interest in every partner’s success.
CE: Do you have a structured channel programme? Does Marvel offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?
SF: Channel margin generation and channel construction are basic principles of our work, which help us to build up long-term mutually beneficial relationship with our partners. Another crucial feature of our channel approach is customisation. We have specifically designed teams of professionals and procedures to serve different types of partners.
CE: What sort of support do you offer in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?
SF: Marvel arranges different kinds of marketing activities such as ATL, BTL, PR and incentive programmes. With a skilled combination of creativity and effectiveness we deliver a wide range of partner events from regional multivendor conferences to educational seminars and foreign trips.
CE: How quickly is your business growing in Russia?
SF: In Russia, Marvel is an established top three player, consistently showing dynamics better than market average. Currently, the total number of retailers and system integrators is becoming a little smaller, but they are getting bigger in terms of business volume. What we see is a concentration of IT business continuing to gather pace.
CE: What are your overall channel goals and aims for 2016 in Russia?
SF: Our main goal in the current economic situation is to maintain our assets: partner network, business reputation and vendor relationships. We are exploring new market possibilities and constantly improving the effectiveness of our processes. We give great importance to new niches and new vendor development, plus new instruments for partners, like B2B systems and API services.
Marvel has been a flexible and reliable partner for 25 years straight, combining best-on-market product portfolio with most needed instruments for business development. We are always on the edge of industry progress with customised offerings for each partner type we work with - both vendors and resellers.