Empa eager to get Saudi business moving

Company intends to open headquarters and a warehouse in Saudi that will serve all of its customers in the Kingdom

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By  Julian Pletts Published  February 10, 2009

Components distributor Empa is currently restructuring its Saudi business as part of a move that should eventually result in the bulk of its inventory stocking and management taking place in-country.

Rahd Hamidaddin, Empa's president, is confident the market downturn won’t harm its expansion plans, adding that the company intends to open headquarters and a warehouse in Saudi that will serve all of its customers in the Kingdom.

"Saudi Arabia has always been a focus for us. Everybody knows that it is one of the biggest markets in our region but at the same time it is very difficult to do business inside Saudi Arabia," explained Hamidaddin. "We are in the process of solidifying our team and we have moved a few people from Dubai to Saudi Arabia. We have employed another few people in Saudi and have a new warehouse facility in Jeddah which is going to be our main warehouse for Saudi and from that we will replenish what we call the fast-moving warehouses in Riyadh and Jeddah."

Empa says it is moving towards invoicing all of its Saudi customers from inside the Kingdom instead of shipping products to Saudi through Dubai's Jebel Ali, which has largely been the distributor's strategy until now.

"At this time customers will get their products either from Saudi or from Dubai. But little by little I think that the percentage [of KSA delivered stock] will start going up," continued Hamidaddin. "This is good for us and it is good for our customers. Before, our warehouse was not carrying all the quantities all of the time. Now with more people opting to buy from within to save time we will be able to answer that desire."

Although Empa remains cautious about business during the current financial crisis, Hamidaddin says the company is not letting it halt its growth objectives. "You can sit back and relax and wait and see what is going to happen with the crisis, but you will never know how long it is going to go on for. We have to move on, but at the same time we are not immune. We have to focus and be very dynamic."

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