By Andrew Seymour
Channel Middle East thought it was time to ‘get to know' a little bit more about the distribution executive.
Ahmad Qasem is celebrating a decade at Epson, NEC and ViewSonic wholesaler Al Yousuf this year, marking him out as one of the regions's most experienced distribution executives. Channel Middle East thought it was time to ‘get to know' a little bit more about him...
What is your career history to date?
I graduated from engineering college in 1990, majoring in electronics and communications engineering. I started my networking technical career in Taiwan, then moved to Jordan for another six years as the technical manager of one of the leading companies in the IT industry.
I finally decided to move into sales and joined Al Yousuf Digital in 1998, initially as territory manager before moving to the post of sales manager two years later. Since 2004 I have been the general manager.
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
The proudest moment is when I look at the stability of our organisation compared to other distributors. We have seen many giant and multinational distributors in the industry disappear from the market so we are proud of the presence that we have.
How do you relax outside of the work environment?
I usually spend time with my family during the weekend and I like to relax in quiet places that are rich in nature and where there is a clean, healthy environment such as the provinces and mountains.
What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?
The Middle East IT market is known as the fastest-growing emerging market in the industry and it has attracted most of the worldwide players to the region. This has created a number of challenges in addition to strong competition - surviving in this arena itself is a real experience.
Every day brings a new challenge and experience. It is certainly a place where you can utilise all your knowledge, techniques and expertise without any limitations.
What is the best deal you have ever closed?
The first hard drive deal I closed a few days after I join Al Yousuf. That is where I got the confidence to be successful salesman.
What do you dislike most about working in the Middle East IT market
The thing that I most dislike is the poor commitment and loyalty of some IT vendors, as well as the illegal practices of grey importing, especially counterfeit and refurbished products. This type of activity occurs with other types of product, but I'm sure it happens more frequently in IT.
How would you describe your management style?
I don't say ‘plan your work' - rather ‘work your plan'. I encourage a spirit based on teamwork and like to train people and delegate. In management it is important to make sure that you are updated on information and that you take note of all the incidents that impact the business so that you are prepared in the future. In other words, learn from your mistakes, always be close to your team and share thoughts with them - let them be part of the decision.
What is the most valuable business lesson you've learnt?
Respect everyone in the business cycle including your competition, keep up your business ethics, and do not underestimate people who you do not know very well.