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C4 Pathways adds clout to channel professionals

Channel Strategy

AMD’s North American channel chief Hanif Mawji became the first executive to successful complete the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4) Pathways program.

The Toronto-based channel professional passed the Pathways exam last week. Pathways is an extensive accreditation program designed in consultation with some of Canada’s senior channel leaders.

Mawji, who is in the midst of enjoying a long and distinguished career in the IT sector, decided to improve his skill set even though he has a quarter-century of experience and has seen it all.

Even with his deep base of channel knowledge, Mawji still prepared for the C4 Pathways exam. “I’m actually happy that I did prepare for it because the questions require depth of knowledge to answer,” he said.

Hanif Mawji

Hanif Mawji

The C4 examiner went into great detail during the 90-minute exam, Mawji said. “This is not a cake walk.”

Areas that Mawji found particularly challenging required walk-through strategy that involves executive strategy, and partner financing. “I appreciate it that it was tough,” he added.

The C4 Pathways program is an important step in Mawji’s career development as a channel professional and leader. He believes Pathways can speed up the process for younger channel professionals in terms of career development.

“In my career I have been doing a lot of self-learning and basically through discussions with others I would pick up things and over time I knew what types of strategies to use. Pathways is a good way to summarize all those things I learned that took a long time,” he said.

In particular questions such as how to drive a hyper-performance sales team and building and executing a marketing stream are areas that Mawji works on today at AMD.

“From a career point of view C4 Pathways is a great designation to have and I think it can build on your own personal brand. Going through Pathways I believe makes me more relevant in the marketplace and it gave me insights on what I need to do with folks coming into the industry,” he said.

According to Mawji, the Pathways program builds structure and a framework for skills development. “This is cutting edge the fact that C4 formalized it you are going to have people who will take the initiative and go through the program so they can become more valuable in the industry. “I saw a lot of value in it for my career getting this designation gives me more clout,” he said.

Mawji added that he sees channel professionals who don’t have his experience wanting go through Pathways because it will mean a lot more to them.

Internally at AMD Mawji is planning on promoting Pathways to the channel team at the chip-making giant. He sees gaps in channel skills not just at his company but across the board. “Pathways provides structure in how to run a channel business that goes down to the account level, while improving business-level strategy and the overall thought process for a channel professional. It gets analytical too. This is truly beneficial because I don’t see too much training happening in the channel. Its more product training over account management training, for example,” he said.

Since Mawji completed Pathways Tara Fine the Canadian Channel Chief for Dell successfully passed the exam.