Namibia often gets accused of being a backwater … the phrase; “We can’t have nice things because we live in Namibia,” well that is simply not true. There’s very little you can think of that you will not be able to purchase, rent or acquire in Namibia. The only difference is, you won’t be able to walk into a branded shop that only sells a certain brand, or a flagship store like you would in another country. We work through distributors and resellers in this country and reap amazing benefits especially because we work through this retail model.
Whether you are looking to purchase a car, a watch, branded clothes or even ICT software, hardware or pretty much anything. We dream of shiny stores we saw whilst in South Africa or further afield. From Levi’s jeans, Kitchen Aid mixers to Rolex watches, Porsche automobiles or even furniture in Namibia you will have to go to a reseller. This may make it feel like Namibia is a blind spot on the globe when it comes to famous brands, but it simply isn’t the case. All the products and services are available locally, right here in Namibia, mostly across the whole country. There’re jewellery shops that sell very high-end watches. For luxury vehicles there’s Pupkewitz, Spes Bona and a raft of other distributors. That’s right, the car dealerships in this country are all resellers. The only thing is that whichever retailer, wholesaler or company sells the product also sells other brands. They are specialised in specific products and services and often have years of experience.
This has proven to be a great model and one that is very underrated. Around the world, resellers and representatives of major brands, products and services fly the flag for large international organisations. Creating access to these products when they may otherwise not have been available in a country. Brands look at the bottom line and see if they can shift enough units of their product or service to warrant having a fully-fledged presence in the country. If this is not the case, then resellers and distributors who are active in their particular sector often become the ‘official reseller’ or partner. Companies like Microsoft, HP and many major ICT brands base almost their whole sales activities on using resellers and partners for their sales channels.
The reason organisations do this is because a large American, Japanese or Chinese-based company may have the right software for a locally-based Namibian company, but they will not know the local specifics and needs of a Namibian client. A Namibian reseller or Microsoft partner will. The local reseller has the network and contacts to assist you immediately when the need occurs. There are no difficult international customer care centres to try and call, or log your query on a website. Just pick up your telephone and contact your local contact. Now that more and more services are moving online, from software to cloud storage, having a local player right here is worth its weight in gold.
From distributing cloud solution products and enabling locally automated services, software, the reseller speaks your language, figuratively and literally. However, we as Namibian organisations can become even stronger if we develop our own products, host our own services such as websites, content and software. This will in turn also take away some of the worries of having to pay things in foreign currency for example.
Being locally based, locally hosted and local products, mean that payments can be done locally in local currency. Much less costly for everyone involved whilst giving the Namibian companies access to world leading automation platforms that Namibians deserve. An added benefit is that the money stays in the country and is reinvested and or spent right here in Namibia.
Therefore, having local resellers is something to treasure and embrace, much like the reseller and local partner should be embracing its local customers. Making sure that local companies and individuals receive the highest level of service locally, whilst still having access to that internationally known and acclaimed product or service.
*Jurgen Isaacs is the Automation Manager at Technology Warehouse