Esquire is sharing its 22nd birthday cheer with its reseller partners, promoting a wide range of products.
Many successful IT businesses started in a garage, but Esquire had its beginnings on the dining room table of their family home when brothers Mahomed Cassim and Asgar Mahomed started building and selling PCs.
As they describe it, they soon spilled over into the rest of the house, which is when they realised they needed to formalise the reseller business.
Moving into distribution was a natural next step and so Esquire Technologies was born, catering mainly to SME and dealer/reseller partners.
Esquire offers a large range of computers, components and networking equipment, and complements these with a host of lifestyle and office products as well.
The last two years have been a challenging time as Esquire, along with other South African IT businesses, had to battle the twin difficulties of supply disruptions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Richard Watters, group purchasing manager at Esquire, puts the last two years in context: “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster in terms of stockholding, pricing and consistency of stock.”
While Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns have driven increasing demand for IT equipment, global shortages and supply chain issues mean that South African supplies have been patchy, he adds.
“So we are celebrating our 22nd birthday in a difficult environment,” Watters says.
Fortunately, Esquire is nothing if not innovative, and when the Covid-19 shutdown took effect in 2020, it was able to quickly pivot to supplying well-priced personal protective equipment (PPE) alongside its traditional offerings.
As it marks the milestone of 22 years in business, the company is ready to take on the year ahead and welcomes the support of its vendor partners.
Partnering with HP
Watters explains that Esquire has had a distribution relationship with HP for about a decade, and has been particularly active with the brand for the last two to three years.
“We have a good relationship with HP: it is a vendor that understands our business and what we want to achieve.”
Supply challenges are still a reality in the local IT industry but Watters says when stock is available Esquire has no difficulty achieving good numbers with HP.
As part of its 22nd birthday celebrations, Esquire is promoting the HP ProBook 250 notebook range and the HP 290 desktop computers.
Watters describes the HP ProBook 250 as “an easy product to sell”, aimed at the consumer or entry-level business market.
The product comes standard with Microsoft Windows 10 Home and occasionally Windows 10 Pro as well, if users are looking at using them for as a work/business machine.
The HP ProBook 250 comes in Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 as well as AMD Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 versions, and have a basic configuration of a processor, 4GB DDR4-2666 SO-DIMM memory and either a standard 2.5” or SSD drive, there are also upgrade options on both the memory and storage.
With a 15,6-inch WXGA HD (1366 x 768 resolution) LED Backlit Display and Intel Iris Plus Graphics, the HP ProBook 250 is a good all-round workhorse.
Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11ac Wireless Lan, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN and Bluetooth. Built-in accessories include a webcam, 3-cell battery, standard US keyboard, two USB 3.1 ports and a USB2.0 port, 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C® 5Gbps signaling rate, HDMI output, DTS Studio Sound HD audio, and an SD card reader.
The HP 290 G3 microtower desktop PC also targets the consumer with an Intel Celeron G5905 3.5GHz 4MB SmartCache Dual Core Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 610 and 4GB DDR4-2666 memory.
The PC includes a 1TB hard disk drive, and a DVD writer optical drive. It comes with an HP USB standard US keyboard and HP USB optical mouse. The HP 290 comes with Microsoft Windows 10 Home pre-installed.
Esquire also carries a number of HP printers, including the LaserJet 137 FNW and M130FW, the LaserJet Pro four-in-one and a number of OfficeJet and DeskJet SKUs.
The Esquire value-add
Innovation is at the heart of Esquire’s businesses, with the founders still hands-on and constantly looking for new ways to add value.
“Our resellers know that they can get the latest technology from Esquire as quickly or even quicker than anyone else,” Watters says.
The distributor is also ahead of the game when it comes to online selling, having launched its Virtual Reseller Network (VRN) program more than 5 years ago.
This means the system, whereby resellers’ e-commerce web sites are linked directly to Esquire’s inventory, ordering and dispatch systems, is well-established.
In fact, the online business now accounts for about 20% of Esquire’s turnover and Watters expects this to grow to about 30% within the next year.
“Under the VRN program, we will build and maintain resellers’ e-commerce shopfronts, updating stock every few minutes,” he explains. “We take care of all of the backend processes, including delivery, using our own in-house courier company.
“This is a major value-add, and just one of the innovative ways that Esquire is trying to stay ahead of the pack.”
Esquire was also the first distributor in South Africa to open a retail shop for resellers. The Express store has naturally seen less traffic during the time of Covid, but is still popular.
“The shop is open on Saturdays and most public holidays, so it’s really convenient for resellers who want to look at products. Vendors also have booths in the store, which they use to display merchandise and new technology, which is yet another way that resellers can stay informed about new technologies.”
Covid-19 may have slowed the pace at which new innovations can be rolled out but at Esquire they never stop, Watters says, hinting at new and exciting announcements coming soon.
“Watch this space,” he concludes.
For more information about Esquire’s HP offerings, click here.