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HOME FEATURES › INTERVIEW: Leo Prozument, Wexler

INTERVIEW: Leo Prozument, Wexler

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 5 March 2014

Device vendor Wexler expanded into the smartphone space in 2013. As the company’s portfolio expands, so too do its channel ambitions, with the vendor keen to identify additional partners in its target markets across Eastern Europe and the CIS. Wexler attended last month’s DISTREE EMEA channel event. CEO Leo Prozument, discussed the vendor’s plans and business objectives with Channel EMEA.

Channel EMEA (CE): What did Wexler want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2014? What were your key goals for the event?

Leo Prozument (LP): Our goals and objectives were very straightforward and direct. We wanted to establish partnerships with key distributors who could successfully market and sell our products in CIS and Eastern European markets. In 2014, as opposed to previous years, we were ready to utilise our resources in finding the right partners to grow Wexler brand

We have a number of new products with unique features. We showcased all of the new models, so that retailers and distributors understood that Wexler has a full range of mobile products that can be sold next to primary, as well as local brands.

2013 was a landmark year for Wexler - we entered into the smartphone market. Our first smartphone, Wexler.Zen 5, was unveiled. During its development, we have taken into account all the basic needs of our users. The smartphone is made in a thin casing with rugged quality materials, within which we placed a powerful hardware platform that can meet the demands of our customers.

Wexler.Zen 5 has the most advanced features, among which, stands out its 5” IPS screen with full HD 1920x1080 resolution, as well as quad-core processor with a frequency of 1.5 GHz, which supports two active SIM cards. The phone comes equipped with 13 MP rear camera with autofocus, flash and face detection. We also have another version of this phone, Wexler.Zen 5+, with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM. In addition, we have recently introduced the Wexler.Zen 4.7, which comes with a 4.7” display, 4-core processor, 2 active SIM cards and other advanced features.

In the near future, we will introduce Wexler.Terra, based on a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor. We will have two models, with 7” and 10” displays. Nvidia Tegra 4 uses a powerful ARM Cortex-A15 processor with 1.9 GHz, and has an additional energy efficient fifth core, which ensures the highest level of performance and battery life. With the powerful 72-core GeForce GPU, users can enjoy the best mobile games, including advanced graphics, assembled in Annex Nvidia TegraZone.

Tablet growth

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 your business?

LP: We have seen tremendous growth in the tablet market, where e-readers have lost significant market share almost overnight. Today, the two key trends are tablets and smartphones, with 3G and LTE devices taking the most demand from the market.

The main focus in the next few years will be on tablets and smartphones, which are developing rapidly, not only in Russia, but throughout the world. In this regard, Wexler will significantly enhance its range of new devices, based on advanced technologies available today. Another priority for the Wexler brand is the development of a full line of accessories, which includes covers, jackets and power adapters for tablets and smartphones.

CE: Which geographic areas and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA?

LP: Definitely retail and IT channels are very attractive to us. Currently, we are well represented in countries of CIS, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. However, we also see tremendous growth in Eastern European markets, as more consumers are able to afford to buy both tablets and smartphones, and have very strong awareness and brand recognition of the latest trends available today.

CE: Why should distributors focus on your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

LP: Our value-added proposition is that we work with top manufacturers such as Foxconn and chipset partners such as Nvidia. When we develop our products, we strive for implementing unique features that are user-friendly and are based on the demands of the market. We pay great attention to what our customers say, and we adapt our products to their needs. Most importantly, our products have one of the lowest defect rates on the market.

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

LP: Depending on the channel, we offer custom pricing that allows our customers to make the highest margin possible. Of course this depends on case-by-case situation, and the benefit of working with us is that we are extremely flexible once we have full analysis of the competition and market demand.

Marketing support

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

LP: We have a very strong marketing team, which offers support in providing catalogues, brochures and various marketing materials. Again, depending on the market and partners, we are ready to commit to investing in the growth of our brand, and most importantly allowing our partners to grow their sales.

CE: How quickly is Wexler’s business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

LP: To be honest, it is not growing at a pace we were expecting. Competition is very fierce, and we understood that the EMEA market is quite different from other markets we sell in. We found that barriers of entry are more difficult to conquer when it comes to EMEA, but we are now ready to act accordingly.

Quite simply, we are a company that offers high quality mobile devices. By minimising defect rate of return, we are able to save our partners many headaches and financial resources. Ultimately, working with us increases your bottom line, and eliminates any unnecessary problems that are associated with Asian manufacturing.

We are fairly new to the market, so want to first and foremost establish our brand awareness. We offer very cool and hip designs with the latest technology, so our products tend to be unique and out among many brands in the same retail space.

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

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