Elite has been around for a long time, but doesn’t speak out very often.
Since the company’s birth, it has moved away from connecting airtime towards handsets, accessories and Sim card distribution.
However, it has carved a niche for itself in the market and continues to see growth in the segments it works in. It does business in its own way and is confident on its position in the market, explains Elite CEO Ajay Gokani.
Mobile: How long has Elite been established?
Gokani: We have been established for 16 years – we have been trading since 1994. We initially started doing connections on mobile phones and saw there was a market opportunity for accessories because it was so difficult to buy them at that time.
What are the main areas of focus for your business?
We concentrate on accessories, handsets, prepay handsets and Sim cards. We have seen growth throughout the entire category.
Who is your main type of customer?
We do fulfilment for retailers, online retailers and dealers. We will work with anyone from a one-man dealer right the way up to people like Carphone Warehouse, which has 800 shops.
Where are you based?
We are based in Wembley and Stoke-on-Trent, and we supply all over the world.
Which networks do you work with?
We work with all the networks, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, O2, Virgin, Lycamobile, Lebara and Nomi.
What makes you different from other distributors?
We are a one-stop shop – that is the key thing. They call us and we carry the full range, and have the availability of products. We carry a huge range of products, which is part of our customer service. We have a customer service team and have people looking after returns and picking up stock for dealers. We also have a national account sales team.
How has the mobile industry changed?
The mobile industry changes all the time. The market has always been a very dynamic place. Our product line is constantly changing and that’s what excites us in the industry.
How has the accessories market changed?
We are seeing a little bit of change in accessories off the back of BlackBerry and the iPhone. Accessories are coming back to the market, and different, more innovative products are coming through.
How has Elite changed over the last year?
We have not done a restructure, but we are continuously recruiting people from salespeople through to logistics and customer services.
How effective are incentives?
We regularly run incentives. We had one last year based on points where dealers could win a holiday and other prizes such as TVs.
Would you launch a ‘premier’ dealer programme?
We look after all our dealers and don’t want to brand a customer as something they won’t be happy with. We don’t want to box a customer as something small, as they could all of a sudden become much bigger.
How important is online as a business tool?
Online is very important and it has increasingly become more of a focus.