ATI plans to open a Middle East office

Graphics giant ATI has revealed that it is considering opening a regional Middle East office in the near future.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  April 24, 2004

Graphics giant ATI has revealed that it is considering opening a regional Middle East office in the near future. The company, which has an indirect presence through local distributors, sees the region as a market with huge potential for graphics solutions, particularly in the retail sector. The announcement marks a dramatic moment in ATI’s strategy regarding the Middle East. The vendor had been supplying various computer colossi such as Asus, Sapphire and Creative who were selling in the Middle East. With the announcement that ATI is looking to work here directly, it is acknowledging that the region is a market which should prove to be both promising and profitable. “The market is dynamic, it has huge potential in terms of growth, and is a place where ATI has to be. I am excited about being here in Dubai and the wider area,” commented Sven Rathjen, ATI’s sales director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. A Middle East base would be a logical step for ATI, which recently expanded into Russia where the company recently set up a regional office, establishing a direct presence and intensifying operations. “We looked at the Russian market, and then we opened an office in January this year. We are more than convinced that we can only do business if we have people on the ground. It doesn’t work on a remote level. That is our plan, to establish an ATI office, and that is what we need to do here, in order for us to have a long term foothold in the Middle East,” Rathjen added. Speaking about ATI’s strategy, Rathjen said, “Our plan is to evaluate the Middle East market and expand with the relevant channel partners, be it a systems integrator or a distributor. Our first task is to evaluate the market, then open the office, look at the channel and then view each channel individually.” Of special interest to ATI is the consumer sector. ATI has no retail channel in the Middle East, and a base here would open up endless possibilities for the company and for retailers who stand to gain much from selling ATI’s range of graphics solutions to consumers. “Retail is vital for visibility in terms of branding the product. Our key partners will definitely be retailers. We already have a very good relationship with key retailers in Western Europe, many of whom are already present here. Also we are going to have some hot products coming out in various areas, including for desktops and integrated markets.” surmised Rathjen. “Two years ago a competitor dominated the Middle East market and margins were very tight because of a virtual monopoly,” added Rathjen. “When companies began to use our products, it was a breath of fresh air for distributors as they were given a choice. So I think that retail will also benefit from the choice and make better margins on our products than on our competitors, especially as the upgrade market is huge.” “The Middle East is a key are of growth,” concluded Rathjen. “Our key commitment is to have local people, to have a local support structure, for sales, press, market and technical assistance. Whenever there are support requirements we can act on a local level. Our intention is to work with customers on a partner basis, and we are open to suggestions for how to do business here.” The suggestion that distributors and customers should be making to ATI is, ‘get over here!’ Simply having presence in the Middle East should be enough to boost ATI’s branding among customers, and increase market share. Then there are the benefits of sales, marketing and tech support. ATI will reap the rewards of having local expertise and being able to react to events in real time, instead of being remote managed. All that remains is for ATI’s good ideas to be put into action.

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