Exclusive Networks has just announced details of its third acquisition in APAC, significantly increasing our presence in Hong Kong. But what does bringing JJNET HK into the Exclusive family mean for vendor partners, reseller customers and our people? And how does it fit into our wider strategy for the region and globally?
First things first, Hong Kong is a very important APAC market in its own right. Others with larger populations and land mass are still orders of magnitude smaller than the size of Hong Kong’s economy. At almost $50,000, it has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world. It has one of the 10 largest stock exchanges in the world and is a global centre for financial services. It is also home for the global or regional headquarters of many organisations across all sectors.
Having begun our APAC journey with the acquisition of WhiteGold in Australia and New Zealand in 2014, and Transition Systems in 2016 (Singapore, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand), Exclusive Networks started a local office in Hong Kong in 2019 as part of a strategy to expand further northwards across the region. With South East Asia largely established, there is clearly significant potential in expanding into new markets in North East Asia too – but we have been consistently prudent and patient in reaching this point and will always pursue further expansion opportunities when the timing is right.
We committed to the Hong Kong market in 2019 and, while there has been social and political unrest and a global pandemic outbreak since then, our fledgling office here has been remarkably resilient. We decided then that our commitment to Hong Kong is long term, and the opportunity to scale would inevitably come as a combination of organic growth and acquisition.
The acquisition of JJNET HK strengthens our commitment to Hong Kong and the wider APAC region and – by integrating with our existing Exclusive Networks Hong Kong office – provides immediate scale, in-country partner relationships and portfolio synergies to support our growth objectives.
We strongly believe that partners and their customers will be positively impacted by this news, and able to quickly take advantage of our enlarged in-country presence, extensive value-added services and solutions portfolio, and access to strategic partnerships. We see this as a fantastic opportunity for partners to extend sales with greater access to the Hong Kong market.
Why JJNET HK? Because they are a great business. They bring scale, skills and track record. JJNET HK is a cyber-security VAD that include vendors such as CyberArk, Microfocus and Pulse Secure in its portfolio (as well as those in adjacent market segments in networking and infrastructure, such as Ruckus and A10 Networks). By integrating the two businesses, we intend to broaden the vendor portfolio to reflect our global proposition – accelerating opportunities at a local and global level both for strategic vendor partners and GSIs – and capitalise on a consolidated footprint of 200-300 reseller partners.
What’s at least as important to us is JJNET HK’s shared DNA with Exclusive’s. They exactly match our target profile of a value-centric, disruptive market operator with a solid track record and entrepreneurial flair. Crucially, having successfully conducted many acquisitions and subsequent mergers and integrations with VADs around the world, we believe the people within JJNET HK hold the same kind of professional outlook as people at Exclusive Networks (our “L’Esprit Exclusive”), which we believe will enable us to align culturally as well as operationally.
Key members of the JJNET HK executive team, led by General Manager Jimmy Lok, are taking up management positions in the newly combined business, and are invested and fully committed to its long-term success. Jimmy becomes Country Manager for Exclusive Networks Hong Kong, reporting to Exclusive’s APAC division based out of Singapore, led by SVP APAC Brad Gray, while his colleagues will continue in their current roles and responsibilities. The combined Exclusive Networks Hong Kong team will be nearly 30 people strong.
Business operations will continue without disruption and we intend to continue investing locally to achieve strong organic growth. This could mean positive net recruitment, especially in customer facing and support roles.
Time after time, we have demonstrated a proven approach to onboarding and integrating newly acquired VAD businesses in a way that embraces their own unique recipes for success while adding value from the best practices of the global group.
This is another exciting chapter in the continuing expansion of Exclusive Networks, not just in APAC but on the global stage. We are confident that Hong Kong will continue this legacy!