Ricoh SA and Rectron South Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE Securities Exchange-listed Mustek Limited Group, have inked an exclusive two-year distribution agreement for Ricoh’s consumer, small office home office (SOHO) and small business printers, multifunction printers, consumables and solutions.
The agreement signals Ricoh SA’s first step into the South African IT distribution channel and a broadening of Rectron South Africa’s printer portfolio. Ricoh SA will extend the channel business into other African countries using South Africa as the base of operations.
“Rectron is a premier distributor in South Africa with a broad national footprint and strong credentials,” says Richard Pinker, MD of Ricoh SA. “The worldwide market for printers and multifunction devices at this level was worth over 11 million units in 2011 and we believe the total local market is around 150 000 units, which is a conservative estimate based on South Africa typically representing 1% of global markets.”
“We expect that this partnership with Ricoh will enable us to double our volumes in the printer portion of Rectron’s business,” says David Kan, CEO, co-founder and major shareholder in Mustek Limited Group. “This is the first indirect model Ricoh SA has embarked on in the IT distribution channel and we have an exclusive agreement with them. By working together we believe the market will support significant growth for our printer division in the first year.”
“This decision supports Rectron’s philosophy of being a value added distributor and partner to our reseller channel, bringing them the best technology, service and price structures to aid them in diversifying and building their business,” says Lindi Shortt, MD of Rectron. “The technology and strength of the long-standing Ricoh brand will open up new opportunities in the market.”
The agreement will see Rectron distribute, amongst others, Ricoh’s SP and SPC printer range, catering specifically to the intended market and including the GELJET printers that have a small footprint, full front access and easy connectivity including WiFi. They feature Ricoh’s fast-drying liquid gel technology to simplify colour printing.
“The rollout includes an intensive distributor education and development programme, as well as reseller launch event where our new channel partners can experience and interact with the Ricoh technology,” says Jacques van Wyk, executive GM of indirect operations at Ricoh SA.
“One of the biggest deciding factors that cemented our decision to partner with Rectron was that they are in fact focused on building an established and versatile printing division, they see the print solution as the technology enabler, assisting resellers to truly understand the value add opportunities in the South African print market,” he adds.
Ricoh SA will also provide a Web portal for Rectron product managers and resellers through which they will gain access to the latest product information, new technologies and marketing materials to assist them with opportunity management.