Guest Author: Ravi Nair
Like the haze spread over Singapore before the start of Distree APAC 2015, channel partners who were attending this mega event had a hazy mind as to what’s in store for them this year.
This was cleared with the keynote address by Dr. Rudi Aunkofer, Global Director IT, GfK Retail and Technology, where the big message was “smart is slowly fading away and being relevance is key to success”. He further stated that although exchange rate will be challenging but it will better in 2016 In addition to this, telecom and cloud are the two areas where the pull will be. In order to stay ahead in this fiercely competitive market, innovation will be the key.
“There is a positive outlook for developed Asian market and emerging market is gradually catching up. At the consumer end, they are going back to stores after doing the due diligence on internet before they finally purchase. Already 70% of the world is using more than one device, which clearly shows an opportunity to sell multiple devicesto the same person. With more and more cloud access through smart phones and phablets, it seems cloud is slowly becoming a part of our day-to-day life,” added Aunkofer.
This was followed by different sessions like Live@Distree, which gave a couple of vendors an opportunity to showcase their products in just 10 minutes. These included sessions by Faith Hu, VP Sales & Marketing at Leapfrog Global on the topic “Brand Portfolio & Direction” and Arthur Pedida, Business Development Director at Primo Mobile on “Aston Martin Racing: A Symbol of Luxury & Elegance”.
Another interesting session was Channel Voice – a discussion between 2 vendors and 1 channel partner debating on emerging market opportunities in APAC. Featuring Ali Ashfak, Managing Director at RM Systems, Bangladesh; Ethan Nyholm, CEO at STM Bags; and Carina Chen from Patriot Memory, this discussion led to a conclusion that both vendors and partners should work together to create a win-win situation for both the parties.
DISTREE APAC 2015 also included the popular 60 Seconds to Convince Awards programme, where participating brands had the opportunity to deliver a one-minute pitch for their latest product on the main stage. The winners were determined through live electronic voting by delegates.
OaxisInkCase i6 picked up the Best Product Design award for its InkCase i6 securing 50% of the final live vote. Port Designs GOLED collected the Best Product Innovation award for the GOLED backpack, picking up 38% of the vote. LittleBigSound wowed the crowd with an entertaining pitch for its DroidAir Levitating Bluetooth Speaker to take home the Best Presentation Award.
In a workshop on APAC Retail and Emerging Technologies, a lot of smart devices were showcased and how it would benefit our life going forward. The important message for partners was that they need to fast adopt these smart technologies that will open a window of opportunities for them to excel in this market.
The 3rd annual DISTREE APAC created new channel business opportunities for participating consumer technology brands. In total, more than 250 delegates attended the 3-day event. Thousands of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings took place between delegates with vendors and distributors meeting the region’s leading channel partners, retailers and e-tailers of consumer technology products.
Toshiba was Platinum Sponsor of DISTREE APAC 2015, with Leapfrog Gold Sponsor of this year’s event, plus Mercantile, Strontium and Valore as Silver Sponsors. Apart from the main sponsor, this year alsofeatured a vendor mix, most of them new players looking to take their first steps in the APAC region.
Last day was packed with workshops and one to one meeting, where every exhibitors and partners were trying to maximise the opportunities given at this platform.
This year’s event concluded with DISTREE Diamond Awards, which recognises companies that offer a compelling channel proposition. Selected by channel partners, the DISTREE Diamond Awards showcase quality in terms of go-to-market strategy for brands that are selected to receive an award. The winners in each category were determined by a live electronic vote by retailers and e-tailers during DISTREE APAC’s Gala Dinner.
Following are the winners:
LittleBigSound (32% of live vote) – Portable Audio & Headphones: DISTREE Diamond Award
Port Designs (56%) – Cases & Bags: DISTREE Diamond Award
MyKronoz (33%) – Connected Devices & Wearables: DISTREE Diamond Award
Playseat (51%) – Gaming Accessories: DISTREE Diamond Award
Panzerglass (40%) – Mobile & Tablet Accessories: DISTREE Diamond Award
Allocacoc (62%) – Power Solutions: DISTREE Diamond Award
IRIS (73%) – Printing & Scanning: DISTREE Diamond Award
PhotoFast (32%) – Storage & Flash Memory: DISTREE Diamond Award
Toshiba (50%) – Outstanding Performance: DISTREE Diamond Award
The Author was hosted by DISTREE in Singapore.