Xerox Egypt aims to achieve a 10% growth rate in 2017, according to general manager Haitham Abdou. Abdou told Daily News Egypt that the flotation of the Egyptian pound was the right decision to carry out the desired economic reforms, noting that Xerox anticipated the move early on and has been working on alternative plans and solutions designed to accommodate the current economic challenges facing companies. He added that Xerox is committed to investing in Egypt.
How do you evaluate the investment climate in the market after the liberalisation of the currency?
There is no doubt that the decision will generate major structural changes in Egypt’s economic arena, but it is too early to predict its effects, especially as it was only implemented a few weeks ago. Everyone, including investors, is waiting for the currency to stabilise.
Floating the Egyptian pound was undoubtedly the right decision in order to establish the desired economic reforms. It will lead to the elimination of a parallel currency market and the existence of two US dollar prices, or at least minimise the wide gap between the official and unofficial market price which was an issue for any investor in the local market.
Also, the current price of the US dollar is attractive to investors who seek high quality resources and skilled labour at a low cost. Therefore, this should hopefully drive more investment into the country.
Does the currency flotation affect the company’s activities in Egypt?
Xerox has been affected by the economic conditions, as is the case with many operating companies in all sectors. The flotation did not change Xerox Egypt’s long-term strategy; however, short-term plans are tailored to accommodate the ongoing changes in the market. As part of the Xerox Corporation, we have the capacity and flexibility to deal with challenging situations in the countries we work in.
Unlike some market players, Xerox’ activities are not based on one or two lines of business or sectors, and therefore, we were able to sail smoothly through our diversified bundles and serve various sectors.
We anticipated the decision early on and have been working on alternative plans and solutions, as well as payment policies designed to accommodate the current economic challenges facing companies and to achieve a balance between providing high quality products and services at the lowest possible cost. In some cases, our plan has resulted in an actual decrease in the offering price for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) devices, sometimes as much as a 20% decrease.
There are also many other considerations that govern the market. When there are economic challenges, companies search for products and services that help them cut their expenditures. It also becomes inevitable to focus on their real and core business without being dragged into operational and technical inefficiencies. That is why a lot of companies resorted to Xerox to manage their printing and document management infrastructure, which was one of the factors that helped in achieving a number of important agreements in the past period.
What are you expectations for growth rates during 2017?
Xerox is targeting a 10% growth rate during 2017. During 2016, Xerox led the managed print services (MPS) market sales and has maintained its leading position in serving 90% of the banking sector. Xerox also maintained its leadership in the A3 printing and copying market, as well as its leading position in Document Workflow Service with a 20% market share.
Are you cooperating with mobile operators to provide business solutions to SMEs?
Xerox has always been dedicated to offering the needed support to the SME sector, especially during economic challenges, as it is a key part of Xerox’ growth strategy. Xerox is ready with integrated solutions that support mobile operators and help them simplify their business workflow operations.
Xerox will continue its commitment to designing and developing products and solutions that meet the needs of SMEs. The company already has a growing, affordable line of products designed for SMEs, including colour and black-and-white printers, multifunction printers (MFP), and software applications and solutions.
Xerox also offers a number of services that help SMEs manage their documents and office machines more effectively while reducing related costs.
What are the main investment opportunities that you see in the Egyptian market? What are the main challenges?
Xerox is committed to investing in Egypt whenever there is an opportunity and will continue to do so in the coming years. There is no doubt that the evolution of more intelligent applications in different vertical markets will push technology forward in Egypt in the near future. We expect to see more interactive print applications and new media for printing that will require new technology support.
What new services do you intend to present in the Egyptian market?
Xerox Egypt is currently investing in new business solutions and applications that help improve productivity and simplify the work processes for a number of sectors, focusing mainly on the banking, health, hospitality, telecommunication, and governmental sectors. For the health sector, Xerox launched a number of new services and solutions that include the automation of the admission process, including patient files, content management, and automatically sending doctors’ reports. Xerox also invested in more solutions that serve the hospitality sector through automating billing and providing printing services via mobile for hotel guests. In addition, Xerox provides innovative Smart Paper solutions to facilitate banking transactions, including deposit, withdrawal, opening bank accounts, and credit card services. In the telecommunication sector, we are offering new solutions for securely automating the purchase of telecommunication services.
As for the governmental sector, Xerox has invested a lot in the new Arabic user interface feature, mainly targeting sectors that highly depend on the Arabic language in their business, especially the governmental sector and SMEs sector. The main objective of the Arabic user interface is to alleviate the language barrier that some companies suffer from. It also increases users’ awareness about the different features and capabilities of printers, leading to the full utilisation of new technologies embedded in Xerox devices and facilitating printing processes within companies, and thus, increasing employees’ productivity. Xerox Egypt has become the regional centre to develop Arabic solutions for Xerox’ devices, supported by ConnectKey applications. This reflects Xerox’ investments to serve different sectors.
What is your market share in Egypt?
We acquired the largest share of sales in the third quarter of 2016 at about 31%. MPS account for 30% of the total company’s business. Xerox also accounts for about 90% of the MPS in the banking sector. Xerox Egypt is also the market leader in the digital printing and graphic communications sector, with a 74% market share (production printers), as well as the A3 devices for SMEs, with a 34% market share in Egypt’s industry.
What are the main pillars of the company’s strategy?
We plan to expand our network of partners and distributors by 10-15%. Xerox is also planning to introduce new products in the Egyptian market, in conjunction with global markets. For example, Xerox has released new products this year—the Brenva HD and Trivor 2400 digital presses which were launched in Drupa 2016, providing Xerox Egypt’s customers with more tailored and enhanced inkjet technological solutions.
Xerox Egypt will also be focusing on expanding its managed print services focusing mainly on offering integrated and tailored solutions for various sectors, which will meet the needs of each sector. This will include the hospitality, banking, telecommunication, SMEs, and the governmental sectors.
What will you offer during Cairo ICT 2016?
Xerox will launch new applications and solutions that serve different sectors during its 19th participation in Cairo ICT. I previously touched on our innovations for the sectors of health, hospitality, and telecommunications, as well as the Smart Paper solutions for the banking sector. As for the government sector, Xerox will be showcasing its Arabic user interface, which enables users to find contact details faster, through a sophisticated guide that stores all e-mail addresses and fax numbers, as well as scans information in a unified list in Arabic.
During Cairo ICT 2016, Xerox will also be launching a wide range of devices and printers that support SMEs in reducing costs and increasing productivity. These include the DC SC 2020—the A3 multifunction designed to speed up printing jobs with colour copy and print speeds of up to 20 pages per minute. Also, Xerox will be showcasing a number of multifunction printers that include WorkCentre 6655, WorkCentre 3345, Phaser 3335, and the newly launched Xerox Phaser® 6510 colour printer and Xerox WorkCentre® 6515 colour multifunction printer, both offering easy setup and high-productivity tools. Some of these tools are two-sided, single-pass scanning, helping small businesses benefit from advanced features, reliability, and unmatched colour within an affordable budget.