Canon takes aim at
Morocco and Saudi

Digital imaging and printer powerhouse Canon is escalating its presence in the Middle East by opening in-country offices in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The vendor revealed the news to Channel Middle East at Canon Europe’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Monaco.

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By  Dawinderpal Sahota Published  May 9, 2007

Digital imaging and printer powerhouse Canon is escalating its presence in the Middle East by opening in-country offices in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The vendor revealed the news to Channel Middle East at Canon Europe’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Monaco. Canon’s Moroccan office has recently been finalised and the vendor is in the “process of finding a location and finalising legal work” for its office in the KSA, which it expects to open in the latter half of 2007. It will also be running a year-long programme in the Kingdom in an effort to enhance its partners’ skill sets. “We are very selectively choosing the markets in which to have in-country presence,” revealed Mohamed Salama, marketing manager MEA at Canon. “They are the markets where we are seeing the biggest growth. We know that the Saudi government is going towards the direction of economic liberalisation and we know that in the coming three years, a large proportion of the government’s budget is targeted towards the education sector, banking sector, IT and infrastructure. This means there will be a very strong requirement and potential for companies like Canon, and that’s why we want to have presence,” he confided. The vendor is also planning to heighten its partners’ skills by running roadshows and seminars across the region. Salama cites a programme that the vendor will be running in Saudi Arabia over the next 12 months to illustrate its commitment. “We’re going to hold a full year-long programme in Saudi with our distributors,” he revealed. “The programme will be focused on training their staff and upgrading their skills in terms of IT knowledge and information. We’ll also be addressing services and infrastructure.” Canon claims its customers continually identify people skills as being the most prominent challenges amongst businesses in the region, and claims the programme is a significant step in overcoming this barrier. “You look at all the professional clients and their biggest dissatisfaction is with the lack of IT consultancy and professional services,” claims Salama. “So we’re going to have our best calibres in the representative offices and they’re going to collaborate very closely with our partners.” Canon disclosed that the Middle East is a key focus area for the next 12 months, with 32% of its EMEA revenue stemming from the ‘emerging markets business units’, which the Middle East is an integral part of. The vendor also claims that its Middle East arm has seen a 25% revenue growth, on average, over the past seven years.

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