Al­ca­tel sees good growth po­ten­tial in MEA smart­phones

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Al­ca­tel sees bright prospects for its smart­phone busi­ness in Middle East and Africa ( MEA) and con­fi­dent of achiev­ing 250 per cent an­nual growth rate in com­ing years, its se­nior of­fi­cial says. The brand, which was founded in France in 1872 and then ac­quired by China-based and Hong Kong listed TCL Com­mu­ni­ca­tion in 2005, aims to gen­er­ate $2 bil­lion sales turnover by 2019 by strength­en­ing its pres­ence in MEA re­gion.

"We are am­bi­tious and con­fi­dent and are work­ing to­wards a growth rate of 250 per cent. We aim to be­come a one bil­lion dol­lar com­pany by 2017 and a $2 bil­lion firm by 2019," Ahmed Khalil, gen­eral man­ager for Middle East and Africa at Al­ca­tel, told

Khaleej Times on the side­lines of an event in Dubai re­cently.

TCL Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is head­quar­tered in Chi­nese city of Shen­zhen and has 21 global pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, 23 re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­tres and em­ploys more than 75,000 peo­ple world­wide. It has pres­ence in more than 170 coun­tries across North Amer­ica, Latin Amer­ica, Europe, Asia-Pa­cific and MEA. "The MEA re­gion is over­all a core mar­ket for us. We have pres­ence in the GCC coun­tries, but also in Egypt and in some African mar­kets, such as South Africa, Nige­ria, Kenya, Al­ge­ria and Sene­gal. We aim to keep ex­pand­ing our pres­ence in the MEA re­gion," Khalil said. To a ques­tion about plans to ex­pand the brand pres­ence in the re­gion, he said Al­ca­tel is keen to democra­tise in­no­va­tion across the MEA re­gion this year.

"Our pri­or­ity for 2016 is to democra­tise in­no­va­tion across the MEA and Saudi Ara­bia is a key mar­ket for us. We are al­ready present in Saudi Ara­bia and the feed­back that we have re­ceived so far re­gard­ing our prod­ucts has been very pos­i­tive," he said.

"With re­gards to our strat­egy, our goal for MEA is to con­tinue grow­ing our team of willed and di­ver­si­fied in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als to build our busi­ness. Fur­ther to that, we plan to ex­pand our brand's foot­print through form­ing strate­gic part­ner­ships with ma­jor oper­a­tors and dis­trib­u­tors as they are key build­ing blocks to our suc­cess as we shift our busi­ness model to an open mar­ket scheme," he added.

More­over, the com­pany will be de­vel­op­ing a strong foun­da­tion for its chan­nel strat­egy to drive busi­ness in up­ward di­rec­tion.

"We will con­tinue to pro­vide cut­ting edge tech­nolo­gies and pre­mium de­signs, while en­sur­ing af­ford­abil­ity to dif­fer­ent con­sumer seg­ments," he said.

Asked why Al­ca­tel is back to the re­gion, he said: "To de­scribe it as a re­turn to the re­gion would be a lit­tle in­ac­cu­rate. Rather, what we're do­ing is rein­vent­ing the Al­ca­tel brand in or­der to res­onate and stay to­day's con­sumers."

"Sold through oper­a­tors, the Al­ca­tel brand has been as a top per­form­ing smart­phone in sev­eral mar­kets, in­clud­ing the highly com­pet­i­tive US mar­ket. Al­ca­tel's brand has been prof­itable and suc­cess­ful; and we now see an op­por­tu­nity in lever­ag­ing our suc­cess and ex­pand­ing our pres­ence in the open mar­ket," he said.

To a ques­tion why should peo­ple buy Al­ca­tel smart­phones and pre­fer its prod­ucts over other lead­ing brands, he said Al­ca­tel smart­phones are in­te­grated with the lat­est tech­nolo­gies, fea­tures and apps at a very com­pet­i­tive price with a high level of per­for­mance.

"We not only de­sign, but we also man­u­fac­ture our smart­phones and that's very com­pet­i­tive as we con­trol the whole process. Our prod­ucts in­te­grate the lat­est tech­nol­ogy at an af­ford­able price. Nowa­days, I be­lieve that any smart­phone that costs more than Dh1,599 is over­priced," he said. "Al­ca­tel is fo­cussed on serv­ing con­sumers with dif­fer­ent back­grounds, aims and needs. Our pri­or­ity is democra­tise in­no­va­tion by en­sur­ing that our range of prod­ucts across the dif­fer­ent price points of­fer con­sumers sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and ben­e­fits."

Khalil said Al­ca­tel smart­phones are user friendly within a 'rea­son­able bud­get' range with­out com­pro­mis­ing on style and fea­tures.

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