CAIRO: Printing solutions provider Lexmark lunched Monday five new products in Egypt, which are also debuting in the Middle East market.
At a press conference, company officials also announced a new strategy in Egypt, including expanding the staff and implementing a more aggressive marketing campaign.
“We used to launch new products at the Gitex fair in Dubai, which will open next week, but this is changing, Mohammed Ali Addarrat, general manager of Lexmark International Middle East, said.
Lexmark is “giving special attention to the Egyptian market, Addarrat said, adding that it is one of the most growing markets in the Middle East.
Lexmark launched five new products in the Egyptian market, varying between printers fit for students and the new ones that have more options like RSS and internet connectivity.
Lexmark International, which develops, manufactures and supplies printing and imaging solutions, began 18 years ago as a family business in a small town in USA. Now it is a publicly listed company, with annual revenues of $5 billion.
The company ranks between “third and fifth printing corporations worldwide, according to Addarrat.
While he was conservative in mentioning regional sales figures, he did say the Middle East has a lot of potential. Lexmark entered the Middle East in 2006 with a small staff of 15 at their Dubai headquarters.
Lexmark is the only global company focusing on printers, said Addarrat, naming HP, Canon, Samsung and Xerox as the main competitors.
“Statistics show that we are between fifth and seventh in the Middle East, and this is one thing we are working to changing, he added.
“I’m not focusing on market share, which is based on the number of units sold, Addarrat said, but on “Lexmark’s strategy, the printing business model.
The company’s profits come mainly from ink, he said, adding that it’s competitive in the cost per page.
Printing costs between 3 percent to 5 percent of their annual budget, according to Addarrat, so he looks at it as a good area for cost cutting.
Lexmark has three segments of consumers in Egypt, governmental entities account for 60 to 65 percent of total sales, small and medium enterprise – one of the fastest growing segments – account for around 30 percent and then there’s the household segment, said Walid Radwan, Lexmark’s Middle East marketing specialist.
The company’s main Egypt partner is Aptec, a 27-year-old hardware and software distributor, which provides after sales services for Lexmark.
According to Tarek Baghdadi, Aptec’s general manager, the company makes around $400 million in annual revenues.
Special attention is now paid to after sales services, Baghdadi said, “nobody is a box mover now, you must sell solutions.