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Mon 1 Jan 2007 06:02 PM

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Netgear reviews KSA

Networking vendor promises to strengthen its channel structure in Saudi Arabia to take advantage of growth

Networking manufacturer Netgear is planning to unveil a new channel structure in Saudi Arabia this year as it looks to increase the volume of sales that it generates from the country.

Ahmed Zeidan, channel sales manager at Netgear Middle East, suggests the company's new strategy will be based on balancing geographical coverage with a presence among all the major firsttier channels.

"It is well known that there are three major areas in the Kingdom - namely east, west and central," he said. "At the same time, we are trying to address the different market needs including the retail segment - which contributes to 30% of our business there - and the enterprise and corporate segment which is targeted at system integrators and solution providers. That contributes to 40% of our sales," he added.

The final pillar of Netgear's business comes from the ISP sector, which generates the same proportion of Netgear's business as the retail channel.

At the moment, the Saudi market accounts for just 5% of Netgear's Middle East sales, but Zeidan is confident that this figure will rise once it has strengthened its presence in the market. "Saudi Arabia is about 35% to 40% of the business of almost every vendor or business in the Middle East," he observed. "We are working on increasing our business in Saudi to about 10% to 15% during the next year and hope to position our brand third in the local market."

The UAE market - where Netgear has its Middle East base - still represents the company's primary market in the region with Egypt also contributing a large chunk. Netgear launched its Middle East operations last summer and quickly moved to build up a partner network.

In July 2006 it signed up Ashley as a distribution partner and then penned a deal with Emitac a month later.

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