Regional coding helps fight fakes

The Middle East is one of the three fastest growing markets worldwide for HP’s imaging and printing group (IPG), according to Herbert Koeck.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 28, 2005

The Middle East is one of the three fastest growing markets worldwide for HP’s imaging and printing group (IPG), according to Herbert Koeck, VP IPG, central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa — but there’s plenty more untapped potential still out there. “The Middle East is a top priority, not just because of its current size, but also because of its potential and the opportunities that exist,” Koeck says. Koeck took a tour of Dubai yesterday in an HP-sponsored stretch hummer limo, using the opportunity to explain the massive growth potential that still exists for HP’s IPG business in the Middle East market. However, with HP now advertising on speed cameras across Dubai, you can bet your bottom dollar that the limo driver was under strict instructions to stick to the speed limits. While HP continues to grow its IPG business in the Middle East, the giant vendor is also maximizing its efforts to combat the problem of grey and fake products finding their way into the market. “We know that a place like Dubai occupies a strategic position between the Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia-Pacific theatre and that some partners will try to maximise their profits by trading across borders,” Koeck says. “What we are doing is introducing intensive partner programmes that offer excellent and attractive benefits that really counteract this problem and make it much smaller,” he adds. HP is also introducing a new tactic to help the regional printing market flourish. Certain supplies products are now being region coded so they only work in printers that were sold into a specific territory. This means that a printer cartridge region coded for the Middle East will only work with the printer units that match that region code. “The region coding idea for printer cartridges is intended to reflect the needs of the different customer groups around the world,” Koeck says. “Combating grey trade is a side effect of this scheme, but the principal aim was to give our customers stability on certain products. It allows us to introduce specific products and programmes that are much more relevant for specific markets,” he explains.

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