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Member Spotlight: SB Technology

An interview with Beshair Tharadra

Member Spotlight: SB Technology

Firstly, for those of us who don’t know, could you tell us a bit about SB Technology and what your role entails?

SB Technology was started in 2012 in NYC by me, after almost a decade in the industry. I started my career in the industry in 2002 primarily doing VAR services for smaller carriers. That quickly turned into trading mobile phones. I went to my first CEBIT in 2003, where I met Ed Elliot-Square. He insisted I join IPT to expand my vendor base. I was hesitant at first, but he introduced me to a few people at the show (outside the Orangerie). For years to come those contacts became my primary suppliers into the US.

By 2012 I had segued into more IT and consumer electronics and SB was created to be “sound byte’ technology with specialization in both IT (HP and Apple).

In 2018 we moved our headquarters from NYC to Miami with our main focus on Latin America. Today we represent six brands where we are direct distributors and are authorized resellers for more than a dozen other brands. Our focus is ‘in channel’ but we still trade with our friends all over the world and continue to seek out reliable trading partners in new markets.

We have our core team of a staff of 12 people in Miami, USA and a sales team of 3 overseas. We are constantly looking for talent, and are always open to new verticals in our business, as it's a constantly changing canvas.

Our main products are smart home, audio, tablets, and gaming products. We are also always on top of trends and have done a fair bit of health and fitness and also hardware for currency mining. Due to the current staff issues, I wear many hats from day to day, but my main role in the company is 'the deal maker’, buyer and problem solver.

SB Technology is amongst the most reliable names in the industry. How do you think your company has earned this reputation? What is it that sets SB Technology apart from the rest?

Integrity, integrity, integrity. Our business is challenging, sometimes even with the best partners deals can go wrong. Delays happen and price changes can cause anxiety and frustration. Our philosophy of win-win strategies gives our customers and vendors the assurance that we will work through any challenges. Profit is secondary and it is assured, but only after trust.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a company in the current climate and what improvements do you think could be made to further develop the consumer electronics market?

At the moment the biggest challenge has been supply chain disruptions. The end customer of our products are clueless and refuse to pay premiums, while the margins keep getting squeezed. Working with partners who are talking directly to the manufacturers and retailers to get the pulse of the market is essential. This can ensure forecasting is done specially for ‘just-in-time' inventory.

It has been a disruptive year with Covid-19 wreaking havoc on global economies. How are SB Technology faring with the challenges this year has thrown its way? What measures are you taking to secure your company’s success in these challenging times?

We’ve had a strong year from June 2020 - today. We’ve seen growth in some areas like hardware and IT products to support work from home and distanced learning. With more vaccination roll out globally we do see some normalcy with seasonality returning, but are still being conservative in some markets in Latin America, primarily due to the policy changes. We are going to continue to ’stay lean’ but still have enough inventory to deal with shortages and other logistical disruptions due to the impact of COVID19.

Over the past year, there has been significant growth in the home appliances market, how have you managed to keep up with the demand?’ It's been challenging. But we’ve been put in touch with some reliable trading partners by the IPT team and we continue to look for more vendors to increase our buying.

Moving forward what trends do you see forming or continuing in 2021? What does the future hold for SB Technology?

We see a lot more consumers accepting to purchase goods online. Most of them were hesitant but were forced to do so due to lockdowns. That trend will continue and we are sure e-commerce will thrive to compete and keep innovating. Also, we’ve seen a comeback in the bricks and mortar retailers. As vaccinations continue and people feel safer, we can deduct that many consumers will go back to retail to be able to ’audition’ products again. We see discount retailers headed in that direction and even online we see ‘event retail’, Specialty shops and other non-direct channels growing.

We are hopeful for a record 2021 and many successful years ahead. If there is one constant in the business, it is true partnerships. We consider our vendors and customers to be our partners and we will do whatever it takes to keep those relationships for life.

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