Renaissance’s Johnstone takes broader view

Renaissance’s Johnstone takes broader view

STEPPING back from the day-to-day operations of running Renaissance’s Apple division has already paid off for the group, says managing director Paul Johnstone.

Johnstone passed the mantle of general manger of the Apple division to former Toshiba country manager Steve Ford last month.

This has allowed Johnstone to step back and take a look at the company to explore new business opportunities and areas of development and to spend more time with other units in the company.

“When you are in the middle of the everyday operational side, it is difficult to step back and have a look at the bigger picture,” he says. “Steve has got his feet under the desk now and is bringing in new ideas, so I can now focus on bolstering other parts of the business and am seeing the benefits.”

One of the most immediate tasks that will occupy Johnstone is managing the launch of the Gizmondo, a new handheld entertainment device for which Renaissance holds exclusive distribution rights in New Zealand and Australia. The product is being launched in the UK this month and locally in the first quarter of next year.

While Johnstone is not revealing details of his other plans, he says this could include investing in new business units or adding new product lines to the distributor’s existing range. “We would look at products that fit our value-add model and complement what we are already doing.”

Johnstone says he is keeping an open mind about where the opportunities come from and states that the Renaissance business is healthy overall with all divisions run by good managers.

Renaissance Corporation is made up of five business units: the Apple Division, IT distribution unit Renaissance Brands, e-commerce subsidiary Conduit International, PC assembler Insite and education reseller Itas.

Last month the company gained full ownership of Conduit by acquiring a 16.67% stake held by DBS Nominees Private. In return for the Conduit shares, DBS received 476,321 fully-paid ordinary shares at a price of $0.68 per share in Renaissance.

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