Alan Cantwell has vowed that Intec Microsystems will come out of its shell as he takes the reins of the distributor in the wake of its private equity takeover.
Talking to IT Channel Oxygen, the channel veteran admitted “if you Google Intec, there’s not a mention of it anywhere” as he talked up the opportunity for the £80m-revenue, Birmingham-based outfit.
“They’re like a best-kept secret, which is bonkers,” he said.
“The vehicles to let clients know they exist are out there, so to not try to get Intec front and centre is crazy.”
Chiltern in charge
Cantwell has been brought in by Intec’s new majority owner, Chiltern Capital, to run the business alongside existing management. Intec’s previous majority shareholder, Dean Leather, who founded the business in 2003, has stepped aside. Chiltern counts IT, cloud and data analytics services outfit Cybit among its other portfolio companies.
Traditionally a broker, Intec also now has direct relationships with a range of vendors such as Zxyel, Targus, Iquila, Riello UPS and Ubiquiti, an activity Cantwell has vowed to grow as he targets £100m turnover by next year.
“It’s DNA is the broking side, but the mix is going to be far more tier-one, direct vendor relationships,” he explained.
“In the next 12 months, I suspect that all of our growth will come from the direct channel,” he said, emphasising that Intec is currently in talks with several prospective vendor partners.
Intec divides its business into a broking team and a team which works directly with vendors.
“The vendor team generally work with vendors who don’t get the time of day or buy in from the Tech Datas, Westcoasts and Ingrams of this world. They might do £0.5m, £1m, £2m in the UK,” Cantwell said.
“The big guys don’t actively promote them. They don’t reach out to the reseller base and go ‘we’ve got a promotion on x y and z’ – they rely on them to go on the website and place an order. We are far more proactive than a lot of disties.
“Intec’s proportion of account management and sales people to clients is much higher than any of the other distributors. This is their USP: resellers love them because they can phone up and speak to a person and say ‘I’ve got a client who wants x, what do you think?’.
“Effectively, Intec become almost an extension of their pre-sales team.”
Gunning for growth
Cantwell regularly bought from Intec himself when he ran reseller Selection Services (which was sold in 2011), stressing that he has known Leather for 35 years.
“Dean was my first account manager when I set up Selection Services in 1988 or 1989,” he said.
“When I phoned him up, he was like the oracle.”
Cantwell has taken an equity stake in the business alongside existing directors Andy Russell, Ian Whatton, John Lester and Stuart Hall.
“I’m an MBI, and they’re an MBO,” he explained.
Having turned over £67m in calendar 2021, Intec’s revenues stood at around £75m-£76m in 2022 and are currently tracking at £85m, Cantwell indicated. Intec’s growth plans should see it hit the £100m mark next year, he predicted.
To support this, plans are afoot to swell the size of its sales team by a fifth by September and run a digital advertising campaign to raise awareness in the reseller base, Cantwell revealed.
Intec currently trades with 600-700 resellers a month, a number Cantwell is eager to boost quickly.
“I don’t want to be never heard of. I want new and existing vendors to take us seriously and I want the resellers to want to do business with us,” he concluded.