After months of seeming inactivity and uncertainty in the region, chip manufacturer AMD has been roused from its slumber and has come up with a plan of action that should see its business transformed in South Africa.

Less than three months into his job as MD of AMD's Middle East, Africa and Pakistan region, vice-president of sales and marketing, Gautam Srivastava has wasted no time in reassuring partners and customers that the company is finally ready to up its commitment to South Africa and is here for the long-haul.
"AMD has traditionally been viewed as a one-man operation in South Africa, but I'm here to change that – to create a team and to lay the foundation whereby we can grow revenues and our presence here," Srivastava says. "And, after talking to partners and customers, I'm confident we can achieve our goals – there is a definite interest in AMD in this market."
Srivastava says that he is currently viewing properties on his visit with a view to opening a local AMD office, and that a candidate as its country manager has already been identified. He was, however, cautious about pre-empting this announcement.
"For me, it will be unacceptable if we haven't opened an office [in Johannesburg] within the next two to three months," he says. "We had the strongest Q1 in this region that we've ever experienced and this was largely due to the performance of South Africa – in particular, the South African channel."
Regarding rumours in the local channel about AMD cutting down on the number of its distributors, Srivastava says this is sheer speculation. He says the company has a number of smaller distributors alongside its more established partners – Asbis, Legend, Rectron and Sahara.
"There are a lot of assumptions out in the marketplace, but we haven't made any decisions to cut any distributors here, " he bluntly states.
He adds that AMD won't necessarily rush into a local agreement with its international distribution partner Ingram Micro which is due to open a South African office in June.
"We have worldwide distribution agreements with the likes of Ingram Micro and Avnet and we're aware that Ingram is entering the South African market," he says. "But this doesn't mean that Ingram will be the strongest distributor in this region. We wouldn't just jump into an agreement because an announcement has been made. Just like they would probably want to see proof points from us, we'd like to see proof points from them before making any decisions."