Richard Phakiso Makwela has recently been appointed as Drive Control Corporation’s (DCC) new Western Digital (WD) Product Specialist. With eight years in the retail field at Incredible Connection and experience across a range of storage media, Makwela brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his new position.
As Product Specialist, he will be tasked with managing the WD brand and driving the product into the reseller and retail markets. Makwela says he is excited about the growth opportunities that this position offers, and looks forward to educating the local consumer market about the WD product range and re-igniting WD’s South African presence.
“Taking up this position at a distributor like DCC was the next logical step for me in terms of career progression and growth. Having worked in the retail space for so many years, I was ready for a new challenge and something different. A product manager is a kind of hybrid between retail and vendor, which makes it interesting and dynamic. I am looking forward to my new role and responsibilities,” Makwela says.
Makwela will be responsible for promoting the WD brand to the South African channel as well as providing support to resellers. This involves managing and developing sales, taking control of marketing and promotional activities, and driving reseller and internal training. Part of his task will be to manage all purchasing, sales and stock forecasts and keep abreast of market trends. He will also manage the vendor relationship and ensure that the WD products are supported by strong product skills and knowledge.
Going forward, Makwela will be implementing several new strategies which he has in mind for growing the WD brand at DCC. These include revisiting retail chains and also expanding and positioning the brand into smaller retailers, an area which WD has not previously played in.
“This will assist me in achieving my second goal of creating awareness around WD and the quality of the brand. WD is a world-leading brand, but until recently it has not enjoyed a large presence in the South African market. The brand needs to be re-established and marketed in the country,” Makwela says.
“WD has an extensive product range and their products are both user-friendly and purpose built, but consumers simply do not know about them. I would like to educate the consumer. This is what I am most excited about,” he concludes.