Iqua outlines regional ambitions

European mobile accessories vendor Iqua will roll out its complete product portfolio in the Middle East over the next 12 months, commencing with the UAE in August.

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By  Michael Thorne Published  June 7, 2006

European mobile accessories vendor Iqua will roll out its complete product portfolio in the Middle East over the next 12 months, commencing with the UAE in August. The company, which designs and markets a range of bluetooth-enabled mobile phone accessories catering to volume and niche markets, is seeking new retail partners in the region through its UAE distributor Al Fajer Establishment. “There is major potential for these products in the Middle East,” Iqua director Isto Pankakoski told ECN. “Having been responsible for Nokia’s Europe, Middle East and Africa markets in the past, I am acutely aware of the commercial potential that lies in this region.” Pankakoski is one of five former Nokia employees that left the company in 2004 to establish Iqua. The company launched its first range of bluetooth-enabled mobile accessories in Europe in 2005. Pankakoski said Iqua was determined to establish a major commercial presence in the Middle East starting with the UAE. “We have major ambitions for this market [the UAE] in addition to others including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Kuwait and Pakistan,” he said. “We market a combination of volume and high-end products, which cater to the specific requirements of consumers in the workplace, at home and on the move. “We have also established our supply chain to cope with any sudden increase in demand from retailers in the Middle East, regardless of which country they are based in.” Al Fajer Establishment’s business development manager, Sari Azzam Abdul Razzak, told ECN that the company was looking to establish partnerships with local mobile phone retailers such as Axiom in a bid to raise Iqua’s profile in the market. “We are being very selective in our approach to developing commercial relationships with specific retailers,” he said. “For example, we are not placing great emphasis on hypermarkets specifically because we believe that getting involved in this sector would ultimately decrease our brand equity.” Headquartered in Finland, Iqua is solely responsible for the design and development of its bluetooth range. The company maintains partnerships with OEM third parties based in China, Taiwan and Finland.

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