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Q&A: Avnet's Rick Hamada and William Chu

Julia Talevski | June 27, 2013
Hamada and Chu talk about the distributor's plans for the year ahead and further growth in Asia-Pacific.

What areas of the business are you banking on to help drive growth?
WC: There are a few areas in the Asia Pacific where we see opportunities. We have expanded very rapidly within the past four years and we're now present in 11 different locations in the Asia Pacific. We are one of the well represented value solutions distributors in the region , but we will not rest on our laurels. We're continuously looking at opportunities for us to grow organically as well as by acquisition. Also how do we continue to develop our value proposition with our suppliers and continue to support them across different countries so that we can support our global partners across all continents.

Another thing is geographical expansion in markets such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam. There are a lot of untapped cities that we can potentially grow into, and many of our suppliers aren't represented there, so we can provide them with support to go into those cities.

Any new countries within Asia that you'll be looking to expand into?
WC: There are still markets that we're currently not present in such as Japan, Korea, Philippines and developing countries like Myanmar, everyone wants to go there. But at the same time, we need to balance risk with opportunities. Many suppliers are asking us to do that, and we're considering it very seriously. Whether we want to do it organically, or if there's a potential acquisition target, we have not yet set a target, but there is potential and we will be interested to look at opportunities as they come along.

Rick, you've been in the distribution game for a long time, how have you seen the distribution landscape shift and change throughout the years?
RH:I'll celebrate 30 years with Avnet in November. I still can't believe it. It was my second job out of college and it's been an amazing journey. The thought that crosses my mind is that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Distribution in my entire 30 years, has been a high velocity, high activity, very dynamic business and industry, but there are still some constants regarding the quality of our relationship management with our suppliers and customers and the quality of our engagement with our team.

We don't believe it's an accident that if you take really good care of your team, they'll take really good care of your customers, which leads to great results. In the midst of technology which is changing the world for the better in many ways and we have all devices that we didn't know we needed 10 years ago, there are some constants that still make sense. Finding ways to still make sense of those core values of our business, but still responding quickly to the needs of our current customers and suppliers and finding new ways of helping accelerate their success in the marketplace and provide them with the coverage, reach, development and enablement of the ecosystems to help get those technologies to market faster. That's what gets me up everyday and keeps me passionate about it. There's nothing boring about this business. We've been in business for about 92 years, and I would like to make sure that I make a contribution for a bright future for Avnet for many years to come.


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