NetApp finally appoints country head for Malaysia, Brunei
By Edwin Yapp November 4, 2013
- Ex-Schneider Electric VP heads business in Malaysia & Brunei; began work Oct 29
- Needs to understand company strengths/weaknesses; reacquaint with customers, partners
A FORMER senior executive at Schneider Electric has taken over the reins as the country manager of NetApp Malaysia amd Brunei, according to an industry insider familiar with the matter.
Digital News Asia (DNA) has learnt that Low Kai Chin, a former senior executive at French multinational Schneider Electric, began work as NetApp’s country head for Malaysia and Brunei on Oct 29.
In his role, he will be in charge of all of Malaysia's and Brunei’s sales and marketing for NetApp, as well as channel and partner development. Low will report to Scott Morris, vice president and general manager, NetApp Asean.
Better known in IT industry circles as K.C. Low, the new country head's tasks, among others, would be to come up with effective strategies to grow the Sunnyvale, California-based enterprise storage player’s business here in Malaysia and in Brunei.
He will also have to ensure the smooth execution of its sales, marketing and technical implementations in the wake of increasing competition from larger rivals such as HDS and EMC, said the insider.
The search for NetApp’s country head position began as soon as its former head Andy Khoo left in May this year to take up a position at HP Malaysia.
Khoo was brought in as the country manager of enterprise and public sector accounts for the Palo Alto, California-based computing giant, after the company promoted Thiyagu Letchumanan to HP Malaysia managing director earlier this year.
Prior to his appointment, Low, who is a Singaporean citizen, held a global role at Schneider Electric and was most recently vice president for learning and development at the multinational which specialises in electricity distribution and automation, and energy management.
Before that, Low was the Thailand country manager of American Power Conversion Corporation (APC), a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies, electronics peripherals and data centre products. APC was bought over by Schneider Electric in 2007.
Low, who is in his late 40s, first started out in the IT business as an entrepreneur and was founder and chief executive of Iverson Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based, Microsoft-certified IT training company.
According to the insider, in June at least seven names were suggested to fill Khoo’s shoes but by July, three were shortlisted. At the end of August, Low got the nod as the best candidate to fill Khoo’s vacated position.
DNA also learnt that Low is said to have succeeded in getting the job because of his familiarity with Malaysia during his stints at APC and Iverson, his strategic and planning experience while at Schneider, and because of his entrepreneurial spirit in building Iverson from scratch.
That said, Low’s new role with NetApp Malaysia and Brunei will be no cakewalk as he is expected to reacquaint himself with local staff and partners, identify the strengths and weaknesses of his team and business operations, and figure out the best strategy to grow NetApp’s business in the two countries he’s in charge of.
He will also need to get closer to local customers, in both the private and public sectors, and ensure that he’s able to keep recurring business growing especially from the bigger accounts that NetApp has, the insider said.
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