Jimmy’s back

Jimmy Davlouros is back at the helm of BenQ Canada after a brief stint running the North American operation as executive vice-president, based in Los Angeles.

Davlouros moved to the California area in April of this year to help the company achieve the type of brand awareness he created from the Canadian subsidiary.

However, according to Davlouros, BenQ Canada entered into a sales tailspin soon after his departure.

As a result BenQ Canada was forced to layoff nine employees from its Toronto headquarters. BenQ Canada had 27 employees earlier this year and is now down to 18. “It is unfortunate, but business is business,” Davlouros said.

As for his plans for building up the U.S. division, Davlouros said BenQ will be a major contender for market share in the U.S., but that it take more time to build those accounts and the brand.

“We cannot afford for (the Canadian) business to disappear and so the business model in the U.S. is going to take some time and I will be back in Canada,” he added.Davlouros said, BenQ Canada reported more than US$120 million in its first year of operations, which was last year.

While in the U.S., Davlouros was able to make business arrangements with Staples and Best Buy. He said BenQ was in 6,000 retail locations in America.

Even though he is back in Canada, the plan to make BenQ a billion dollar entity in North America is still the goal, Davlouros said.

He added that 33 per cent of that billion would be contributed by Canada. That is more than $300 million.”We can do that,” Davlouros said.

“We need to make money and we will. That pie that BenQ wants to bake for everyone to share in the next year is valued at $330 million. That is the goal,” he said.

Davlouros said that be plans on strengthening BenQ’s VAR channel in Canada, which is roughly more than 800 in Canada.

He also wants to promote the BenQ technology more. For example, he said very few people know that BenQ monitors are the only product that met the required specifications for Quebec hospitals.

He also believes that finding a replacement for Canadian GM in April, when he left for the U.S. was not a factor for BenQ sudden sales drop.

“Individuals do not make or break a brand,” he said.

Now that he is back at BenQ Canada, he is focusing his energies on bringing the JoyBook notebook to this market, bring out new optical drives, a 20-inch wide monitor for the Windows XP Media Centre PCs, and sold burn technology. He also wants to streamline the inventory pipeline and make sure BenQ Canada has an efficient supply chain.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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