Synnex CEO Murai: “We Are the Ones Investing in Canada”

Kevin Murai

Synnex CEO Kevin Murai

Taking the stage at the spring meeting of the distributor’s Varnex reseller community, Synnex CEO Kevin Murai said that his company’s purchase of Canadian IT stalwart Supercom is strong evidence of the company’s commitment to the Canadian market.

“We are the ones investing in Canada,” Murai told attendees. “We believe in the economy, and we believe in the market.”

That faith seems to be unphased by the fact that Murai, himself a Canadian, would later note that Canada has been “a negative growth market for just over a year now,” and generally speaking a tougher IT sales environment than the U.S. over the last 365.

Echoing earlier comments by Synnex Canada president Mitchell Martin, Murai said that Supercom, which did $440 million in revenue in 2012, when added to Synnex’s existing market share (which Murai ranked as second in the Canadian market) gives the distributor “significantly more scale, and more importantly, gains us some great people.”

Synnex is used to growing its Canadian business by acquisition. In fact, the company bought into the Canadian market in 2001 by purchasing the Canadian operations of the then-floundering Merisel. And just three years later, the distributor grew significantly in the Canadian market by snapping up Guelph, Ont.-based EMJ Data Systems, taking early steps in the hybrid broadline/specialty distribution model that has become the go-to model for big distributors over the last half-decade.

Murai also offered kudos to the Canadian Varnex contingency, which has grown from a nascent group in 2011 to a very mature community now. In fact, Murai quipped that if the Canadian and U.S. groups continue to grow at the rates at which they’ve been growing, there will be more Canadian Varnex members than U.S. Varnex members in about three years, despite the obvious scale differences of the two markets. In terms of attendance at this week’s event, the balance is currently 44 Canadian members, and 280 in the U.S. Given the shorter history of Varnex’s Canadian contingent, and the comparative size of the Canadian market versus the U.S., the Varnex Canada community is already “punching above its weigh