Mohammed Abu Shmais is Sales, Business Development & Alliance Director at Technology Strategies Middle East (TSME). He tells us about the importance of working with capable teams and dealing with inspirational people, and how he works in a diversified market with varied business cultures.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
My role as the head of channel development in TSME, known as Alliance Development, involves building and expanding our customer and partner network in addition to increasing exposure for the brand among the target audiences across the GCC and Jordan.
A very interesting part of my role is working with the diversified market that requires me and the team to customise our approach and work differently with each customer, based on varied business cultures. This to me is not a challenge but an opportunity as it allows me to learn and understand the varied behaviours and adapt accordingly. It also requires assimilation and deeper understanding of market nuances as well as instilling agility as a core trait, while working with the ecosystem to customise offerings based on their insights and our core product offering.
Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?
We follow a simple philosophy: ‘Keep the channel of communication open!’ This simple, yet highly effective methodology, enables us to listen to them and their ways of business operations, while also empowering them to lead in their area. This two-way communication instils a relation of trust between us, thereby operating as our extended team in their region of operation. We genuinely believe in empowering them to handle the marketing for our products, support them whenever needed, shadow them in their efforts and delegate decision making to the channel in most cases for a fruitful and long-term partnership.
How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?
As our extended team, channel partners are a vital link of our operations and therefore we call them our ‘alliances’ which is self-explanatory of their value and importance to our business. With a win-win and symbiotic relationship, we work towards collaborative gain that is comprehensive for both parties.
What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?
There is major shift witnessed in channel business lately. Channel partners are immensely gaining a reputation of being service-led advisors to customers by virtue of being on ground and eventually blurring the demarcation between vendors and channels. At TSME, we have therefore given them their rightful place as our allies.
What is your management philosophy?
Leadership to me is not a strategy but I believe in operating as the head of a large family with my team. I believe in being a guide, a problem solver and a positive influence for my team, backed with trust and belief in their cumulative capabilities. In that sense, you could say I exhibit a ‘paternalistic’ management style.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
While business achievements keep one motivated to continue excelling; working with capable teams and dealing with inspirational people gives me the necessary high and motivation throughout. Over the last years of being in this role, I have accumulated a great network of colleagues, clients and friends who trust and respect me. This, I consider as my biggest achievement. Having said that, with every accomplishment or milestone, it gives me the necessary courage to accept bigger assignments and targets, resulting in a positive influence on my career graph as well as TSME’s bottom line.
What made you think of a career in technology?
Technology is intrinsic to every aspect of our lives. It is even in the simplest of our overall routines. This intrigued me and steered me towards gaining a lot of knowledge and experiences across different technologies. This fascination towards an ever-changing world, I naturally made a career in technology.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point for the next year?
Artificial Intelligence or AI will be the technology that will bring about a major disruption in 2021, particularly on how it will aid the economic recovery from COVID-19 scenarios and implications.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
Being directly connected to customers and partners, I don’t have much free time. At TSME, we are available to our partners and customers whenever they need us, due to the nature of our work. However, I love reading in the spare time on hand or spend it with my family for some quality moments with them.Click below to share this article