Empa hires ex-TDME components team

Ten former members of TDME's components team have joined rival distributor Empa Middle East.

Ten former members of TDME's components team have joined rival distributor Empa Middle East. The list of employees hired by Jebel Ali-based Empa includes Shahood Khan, who quit his position as head of TDME's components division last week.

Khan had been heading the ex-Tech Data division since it fell into the hands of Aptec Holdings earlier this year, but today began the post of sales and marketing director with Empa after resigning from TDME last week.

Channel Middle East can exclusively reveal that nine of Khan's former Tech Data Middle East and TDME colleagues have joined him at Empa, where they are taking up a variety of sales, product and operational roles within an enlarged components team that oversees brands such as Asus, Kingston, Lite-on and MSI.

This includes Nasir Habib and Chandan Das, who worked as TDME product managers for Intel and Samsung respectively, as well as senior account manager Pramila Mendez. Maha Hamdan, who looked after the Saudi and Kuwait territories, and Walid Abu Hassan - previously inventory, planning and procurement controller at TDME - are also among those who have joined Empa.

"The number one thing we were looking at was the growth plan and Empa has a strong growth plan," commented Khan. "Secondly, it can do a real in-country operation. We used to face a lot of issues in Tech Data because we could not have a local sponsor, but Empa doesn't have these kinds of issues. They are financially sound and have a very good reputation in the market. They have got a smaller operation, but the company is quite solid and there is a lot of growth potential," added Khan.

Rahb Hamidaddin, president at Empa, confirmed the addition of 10 new employees, all of whom took up their new posts today. "Empa has swiftly recognised the need to scale up its operation and to avail most of the vacuum created by Tech Data's exit, as well as the need for additional resources to make that scaling up successful and fruitful," he said.

Hamidaddin continued: "In all businesses, people are the most important resource and we feel that we have employed a very competent and experienced team that will work hand in hand with our existing people to take Empa to another level. This level will require reaching a wider channel breadth as well as adding key vendor distributorships to align its business with the new targets."

The resignation of Khan and certain members of his components team from TDME further dilutes the number of ex-Tech Data Middle East staff working for the organisation. Back in April, the boss of TDME's enterprise unit, Ali Fayez, exited the company and subsequently joined Anis, the systems integration wing of Bahraini telecoms operator Batelco. Hassan Al Ass, sales manager for components at TDME, is also understood to have departed the company within the past month.

Ali Bagdadi, chairman and CEO at parent Aptec Holdings, said it was not company policy to comment on staff leaving, but claimed the 500-strong distribution group enjoys one of the highest staff stability rates in the industry.

He added: "While the TDME Enterprise group is up and running and the Cisco team well in place to absorb our ambitious plans, some delays in signing up with some components vendors led to a few resignations within the team. However, we are planning a fully-fledged components operation before the last calendar quarter with immediate expansion plans for our current components vendors."

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