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Reflections on canalys channels forum – channel management leadership panel

Amar Babu
Amar BabuVice President and Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific at Lenovo
My priority is to drive the next phase of growth for Lenovo. I currently holds the title of Chief Operating Officer for Lenovo Asia Pacific and I am also the Chairman of Lenovo India. My focus is on product diversification, especially in smart, connected devices, while still maintaining the company's leadership in PCs. I was previously Managing Director of Lenovo India, during which time the subsidiary saw phenomenal growth in the PC market. Market share grew from 8.3% to 19.8% in less than a decade, and the company became a strong contender in the smartphone and tablet categories.

Follow me on Twitter @abrk

Originally published on LinkedIn

Canalys was a very constructive and positive experience in terms of meeting existing contacts, making new friends, and having a series of productive conversations with our business partner community.

In particular, I had an interesting panel conversation covering strategies to help our partners achieve their goals and run profitable businesses in Asia Pacific. Part of that included guidance around what we’re doing at Lenovo on two fronts. Namely, in how we’re building a lot of new capabilities ourselves, but also in the strategic partnerships we’ve entered into with Nutanix for hyperconvergence solutions, and with Nimble Storage to bolster our flash storage capabilities.

Mirror our partnerships strategy to assist your own in the channel

Now, I believe the very same logic applies to our business partners. I’d advise this: think about what your customers typically need, and measure that against your own core competencies and capabilities. From there, look at what you want to invest in further as an in-house offering, then build fruitful partnerships with the businesses that help you deliver a fully rounded, attractive and competitive solution – and take that to market. This is more or less how we’ve approached our own solutions partnership strategy at Lenovo.

When it comes to profitability as a whole, I think as an industry, it’s very important that we look at the entire ‘chain of profitability’. That means making sure there are no structural barriers to profitability or obstacles hindering us from taking the best solutions to market – from the vendor level through to distributors to business partners to customers. For example, at Lenovo, I want to ensure that as a vendor we help our partners by smoothing out the buying process so they can focus on the selling and servicing part of their business to enhance their own success and profitability.

On loyalty, trust, and being an extension of Lenovo

I’m optimistic about what partners have been telling me at Canalys. I see plenty of progress and opportunity across the region. And if there’s one message I was mindful to express most clearly – it’s the vision that our close partners are really true extensions of our organisation, our external arms if you like. Aligned to our strategy, end-to-end, and focused on loyalty and trust, which are two sides of the same coin, and something that certainly goes both ways. Here’s to exciting opportunities as we go forward together!

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