Head of Middle East for ALCATEL ONETOUCH, Zied Merichko talks to Amwal Al Ghad Magazine to outline the plans and goals that the company holds in the Middle East region and Egypt.
- 1. Nowadays the Middle East is one of the most growing regions in the area of technology and mobility, what is the impact of such growth rate on your company?
It’s a fantastic opportunity, and the Middle East is a key market for us. We’re also benefitting from global momentum, where ALCATEL ONETOUCH is currently the world’s 4th mobile brand based on analyst figures. We shipped 48.6 million units in 2014 alone worldwide, which is a YoY growth of 162 percent. And now, we’re seeing exciting yet sustainable growth in the Middle East. (Source: IDC)
- 2. What about ALCATEL ONETOUCH growth rate in the region?
We’ve been in this region for over 15 years, and we’re proud to say that we’re growing steadily, and look forward to sustaining this growth for years. ALCATEL ONETOUCH is a recognized brand in the region, and consumers associate with the quality and design and great features. We’re targeting a demographic that demands performance, personalised design and premium features, but at the right price. We call these “smart buyers” – people who want the best value and premium features at the right price, and aren’t swayed by fashion statements.
- 3. What are the main markets you depend on for the upcoming period and what about the predictive revenues of Smart phones sales for 2015?
For ALCATEL ONETOUCH, our strategies of growth, outreach, visibility and awareness have regional reach. All our markets are important. But certainly, we do have particularly strong ones, such as Egypt, where we will continue investing and focusing.
- 4. The Egyptian market is growing roughly in the smart phone area especially with the low prices of mobile data, the mobile operators announced. So, what are your plans for the Egyptian Market?
The Egyptian market is very receptive to our PIXI range of products. The PIXI range is appealing, versatile, and attracts a wide range of customers looking for great features at a competitive price point. For instance, the newest member of the Alcatel PIXI 3 family is an entry-level 5.5” smartphone offering a fast and immersive streaming experience thanks to a powerful CPU and large display.
At the same time, we also believe that our IDOL range of premium smartphones will do well in the Egyptian market. The IDOL 3, for instance, has been engineered as a class leader with superb components such as two front facing JBL speakers. A next gen sensor supports 13 megapixels of camera prowess for shots in the dark, indoors or for macro close-ups. It’s also fully reversible and can be held upside down. But again, the price point is very competitive.
- 5. Are you considering investing directly to have a representative office in Cairo?
There are certainly plans to open in Cairo very soon. Egypt is an important market for ALCATEL ONETOUCH and we’ve very much looking to have a presence in its capital city.
- 6. What about your distributors? How many distributor you deal with? And are you considering increasing the numbers?
Across the Middle East, ALCATEL ONETOUCH has created a robust network of channel partners with whom we work closely. We tailor strategies to ensure the end customer benefits from a great channel experience, from purchase to aftersales and technical support. Our aim is to build constructive partnerships and push for availability, visibility and awareness. We’re not in the business of just shipping out devices. It’s the entire experience that counts.
In Egypt, we’ve built a robust long-term relationship with Rezkalla, and we’ve gone a long way together since many years and we value that.
- 7. How about your market share regionally and in the Egyptian market specifically?
ALCATEL ONETOUCH’s regional market share is around 4 to 5 percent but with steady growth. Egypt has been a particularly receptive market, and there our market share is 8 percent.
- 8. How do you provide the after sale and technical support services in Egypt?
Our distributor Rizkalla is also our technical support partner in Egypt. We work closely together to ensure that the entire experience of owning an ALCATEL ONETOUCH device, and getting aftersales support, is a great experience for our Egyptian customers.