Dun & Bradstreet enters the Middle East market

The US$1.4 billion Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) the world’s largest commercial database provider with information on 83 million businesses has set shop in the Middle East. The move comes after signing a major deal with the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  September 21, 2004

The US$1.4 billion Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) the world’s largest commercial database provider with information on 83 million businesses has set shop in the Middle East, with a regional office in the UAE. The move comes after signing a major deal with the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai. D&B will supply business data to DED and help operate its new credit bureau. Dun & Bradstreet will operate in the region as D&B SAME (South Asia & Middle East) from its Dubai office. The new operations will cover UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and the Indian sub-continent. “D&B SAME is excited about establishing a strong presence in the Middle East. After the DED deal, we are actively talking to some of the region’s largest banks and other businesses. In fact most of the multinational companies here are already our customers,” says Rajesh Mirchandani, managing director, D&B SAME. The 163-year old company offers risk management solutions to mitigate risk, sales & marketing services and supply management solutions to identify purchasing savings, and ensure compliance within the supply base. “Our direct market presence has been overdue in the region. Having a physical presence in the market will make a difference and contribute significantly to the economies and the business of the region,” says David Emery, president, D&B international alliances. At the heart of D&B’s operations is the company’s commercial database with information on 83 million companies, which runs on D&B’s proprietary DUNS Right technology. The business information is gathered in 214 countries, in 95 languages or dialects, covering 181 monetary currencies. The database is refreshed nearly one million times a day serving more than 100,000 customers globally through its 6600 employees. By mining its extensive database, D&B offers customised and generic reports to its customers, which include stock exchanges, financial institutions, banks, credit rating agencies and businesses and research firms. “As the Middle East begins to integrate itself more closely into the international economic system and international trade agreements begin to take effect, the availability of high quality information on business activities becomes increasingly essential,” says Dr. Manoj Vaish President- Financial Practice, D&B SAME. Of its global database of 83 million businesses of all sizes, D&B SAME only has around 25,000 Middle East companies. “We intend to expand this database to 250-300,000 companies in the coming quarters. But to do this companies should be more proactive in sharing their information,” says Mirchandani. This could be a considerable challenge for D&B, considering that most Middle East companies do not have legal compulsions to disclose data and the publicly listed companies information is freely available on the internet. But Mirchandani says besides providing companies’ instant access to such vast amounts of vital business information, D&B provides the value in its analysis, services and experience in the business for over 160 years — not offered by search engines or business websites. The business information vendor's reports are available over the internet for an annual subscription fee and priced in the range of US$75 to US$100. The American information provider says it will also focus on its business education services in the Middle East and offer high-end training in the area of financial risk management and credit control to companies, banks and financial institutions. D&B SAME plans to establish offices in Bahrain and the Levant by the year’s end.

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