Benq down, not out

Benq down, not out

Hardware manufacturer Benq is making a substantial u-turn in its New Zealand operation in order to increase revenue.

Country manager Rick Jansen says the missive from Benq headquarters is clear — every region must make a profit.

“It honestly is business as usual. I will still be representing the company and the distributors will stay the same. It’s just that Benq has changed direction,” he says.

Benq appointed Jansen to his position in January 2005. He subsequently grew the company’s revenue by 2,000% — from $200,000 in 2004 to over $4 million last year.

Despite that success, Benq is now downsizing by reducing its body count and marketing spend.

Rather than close the New Zealand operation, the company has retained Jansen to represent it.

“New Zealand is a finite market and Benq just can’t afford to invest endless dollars in small countries for a limited return. In fact, for many overseas companies it just isn’t viable to pay for bodies on the ground here,” says Jansen.

Alongside Benq Jansen will offer representation to other vendors drawing on the experience he has gained as country manager and his previous consumer division management role at Tech Pacific.

“There is a real need for a business to represent and market overseas vendors. If you aren’t one of the big brands then distributors tend not to promote the product well so vendors are missing out on end-user marketing.”

But he says he intends to give Benq his full attention for the next few months before signing any additional vendors.

“I really don’t want what’s happening to affect what is a fantastic brand with a great future. [Although] we’re reshuffling behind the scenes, nothing has changed.”

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