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Tue 31 Oct 2006 12:00 PM

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ECN Top 20

2006 has proven a remarkable year for the Middle East consumer electronics industry, with the region’s top vendors, distributors and power retailers consolidating their respective positions in the marketplace. ECN profiles the top 20 performers of 2006.

GCC POWER RETAILERS

No.1

Our DFC store raises the bar for the electronics retail industry in the region. With the opening of the ‘Big Box’, electronics retail will never be the same again.Al-Futtaim group director - electronics Vishesh Bhatia.

No.2

Dubai has forged a solid reputation as a major regional consumer electronics retail hub and Jacky’s is well-positioned as one of the emirate’s leading consumer electronics retailers. Jacky’s Electronics COO Ashish Panjabi.

No.3

Retail is detail. Jumbo Electronics chief operating officer Arvind Nair.

No.4

While we boast a significant presence in KSA, our next major step will be establishing retail outlets in countries including Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE. Sherif Tawfic, marketing manager of Extra.

No.5

If you can successfully introduce organised retailing into a market such as Sharjah, then you stand a good chance of streamlining the channel to market for consumer electronics goods. E-Max concept head Deepak Srivastava.

Established Vendors

No.1

We are on track to achieve and even surpass our 2006 sales target of US$2.7 billion. Our continued emphasis on technological and design innovation, is one of the main factors for this growth. LG Electronics president KW Kim.

No.2No.3No.4No.5Emerging Vendors

No.1

We plan to implement an aggressive growth strategy that will involve expanding our manufacturing base and launching a major retail assault in the Middle East. Khaled Hegab, Olympic Group regional export GM.

Top 5 mobile Middle East Mobile Handset Vendors (Q3, 2006)

1 NOKIA
2 MOTOROLA
3 SAMSUNG
4 SONY ERICSSON
5 LG

No.2No.3No.4No.5Broad-based distributorsNo.1

i2 is taking the necessary steps to maintain its position as a leading player in the Middle East mobile sector. We have big plans ahead including new acquisitions, increased market penetration and retail expansion. i2 president Abdul Hameed Al Sunaid.

No.2No.3No.4No.5

Plug-Ins Electronix
HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
GROUP DIRECTOR • Vishesh Bhatia
PARENT COMPANY • Al-Futtaim Group
RETAIL NETWORK • Seven stores (UAE) ; four stores (Saudi Arabia).
UAE power retailer Plug-Ins Electronix currently lays claim to operating the largest consumer electronics store in the GCC. At 35,000 sq feet, the company’s ‘Big Box’ store located at Dubai Festival City stocks more than 300 unique brands. The company recently announced plans to establish six Plug-Ins stores in Saudi Arabia before the end of 2006 in conjunction with franchisee S2.
Jacky’s Electronics
ESTABLISHED • 1988
HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
COO • Ashish Panjabi
PARENT COMPANY • Jacky’s Group of Companies
RETAIL OUTLETS • 11 in Dubai and Sharjah, UAE. Stores also
located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kenya, Tanzania and India.
UAE-based Jacky’s Electronics is one of the region’s biggest consumer electronics retailers. With 11 stores in the UAE and a network of outlets in South-east Asia and Africa, the company has expanded rapidly in recent years. In terms of combined floorspace, Jacky’s has consistently ranked among the top consumer electronics retailers in the Middle East for the past decade.
Jumbo Electronics
ESTABLISHED • 1974
HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
COO • Arvind Nair
RETAIL OUTLETS • 27 in the UAE.
In addition to operating an impressive retail network in the UAE, Jumbo is one of the largest distributors of Sony products in the world. It also manufactures a range of consumer electronics products under the Supra brand.

In addition to Sony, Jumbo boasts distribution deals with Acer, Apple, Dyson, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba, among others.

Extra
HEADQUARTERS • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
OWNER • United Electronics Company
RETAIL NETWORK • 15 stores across Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s largest existing consumer electronics retailer
further consolidated its position in 2006, establishing new stores
in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar. According to Extra marketing
manager Sherif Tawfic, the company plans to establish stores in
various countries across the region including the UAE, Egypt and
Lebanon, within the next two years.
E-Max
HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
CONCEPT HEAD • Deepak Srivastava
PARENT COMPANY • Landmark Group
RETAIL NETWORK • UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain. 28 stores planned.
E-Max is set to become the largest consumer electronics power retailer in the Middle East in terms of combined floorspace, after announcing plans to establish a new flagship outlet in Sharjah, UAE, that will boast an enormous 110,000 sq feet of floorspace.

The company plans to adopt an aggressive regional expansion strategy that will see it establish at least 15 ‘big box’ outlets across the region, according to Srivastava. He added the company ultimately plans to establish around 28 stores across the GCC.

LG Electronics
PRESIDENT • K. W. Kim
MIDDLE EAST HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
REGIONAL OFFICES • Tehran, Iran; Amman, Jordan
2005 ME TURNOVER • US$2.27 billion
BIGGEST SELLING PRODUCT LINES • Plasma TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators.
South Korean consumer electronics giant LG is on track to retain the number one position in the Middle East consumer electronics market in 2006. Key to its ambitions is the ongoing implementation of its so-called ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ – management parlance for regional marketing and product customisation initiatives targeting specific countries in the Middle East. The company currently boasts a remarkable 40% share of the consumer electronics market in Iran, valued at US$390 million per annum, and boasts 200 service centres managed by its country partner, Goldiran.
Samsung Electronics MEA
PRESIDENT AND CEO • Chi Won Suh
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL OFFICES • Nine
2005 MEA TURNOVER • US$2.8 billion
(incorporating Africa)
BIGGEST SELLING PRODUCT LINES • Bordeaux
LCD and plasma TVs, mobile handsets.
Samsung is closing in on LG’s lead in the Middle East CE market. Its aggressive strategy has at times ruffled the feathers of its major competitors, including LCD manufacturing partner Sony, which bristled at claims by the company’s CE division GM, Kris Lee, in the June issue of ECN, that it retained the best LCD panels for its own Bordeaux range.
Panasonic Gulf FZE
ESTABLISHED • 1996
MANAGING DIRECTOR • Seiji Koyanagi
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Jebel Ali FZ, UAE
REGIONAL OFFICES • Beirut, Lebanon
2005 ME TURNOVER • US$1.2 billion (est)
BIGGEST SELLING PRODUCT LINES • Plasma
TVs, Lumix digital cameras.
Panasonic Gulf FZE was the first subsidiary company established by Matsushita Electric Industrial in the Middle East. Panasonic Marketing Middle East was established in 2001, to manage the company’s regional marketing activities. Panasonic has staked its future fortunes in the Middle East on its burgeoning plasma TV and Lumix digital camera ranges.
Sony Gulf FZE
ESTABLISHED • 1989
MANAGING DIRECTOR • Masaru Tamagawa
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Jebel Ali FZ, UAE
REGIONAL OFFICES • Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,
Iran, Pakistan
2005 ME TURNOVER • US$1 billion (est)
BIGGEST SELLERS • Bravia LCD TVs, Cybershot
cameras.
Sony recently outlined an aggressive strategy to boost its sales by 20% in the Middle East this year, based on the wholesales introduction of high definition products. Sony’s Jebel Ali Free Zone warehouse supplies stock across the region and is one of the largest Sony facilities of its kind in the world.
Sharp
MANAGING DIRECTOR • Tomio Isogai
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Jebel Ali FZ, UAE
2005 ME TURNOVER • US$200 million
BIGGEST SELLING PRODUCT LINE • Aquos
LCD TVs.
Under the direction of recently appointed managing director Tomio Isogai, Sharp is aiming to reverse its fading fortunes in the Middle East, having conceded ground to its major Japanese and South Korean rivals in recent years. The company’s strategic plan for the region is designed to more than double its turnover to US$500 million within the next three years.
Olympic Group
ESTABLISHED • 1995
HEADQUARTERS • Cairo, Egypt
HOME BRANDS • Olympic Electric, Ideal and OG
CORE PRODUCTS • Household appliances
MANUFACTURING FACILITIES • Egypt, Sudan.
Egyptian household appliance vendor Olympic Group has adopted an aggressive expansion strategy targeting the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the CIS. In 2006, the company established sales offices in Riyadh, KSA, and Sharjah, UAE, and manufacturing plants in Egypt and Sudan. The company also operates B-Tech, Egypt’s largest household appliance retail chain and is the official distributor of Sony’s consumer electronics product range in the country.
TCL
ESTABLISHED • 1981
GENERAL MANAGER • Frank Chen
HEADQUARTERS • China
2005 GLOBAL REVENUE • US$3.5 billion +
OEM BRAND DEALS • Thomson, Siemens, Philips.
Chinese vendor TCL has set its sights firmly on the Middle East. The company is recognised as one of Asia’s great CE manufacturing success stories, achieving a remarkable 43% year-onyear growth for the past decade. The company launched its product range in the region in July, before announcing plans to establish assembly plants in Egypt and Jordan. With SKD facilities already located in Tunisia, TCL is aiming to become a key player in the Middle East CE sector.
Videocon
PRESIDENT • Pradeepkumar Dhoot
HEADQUARTERS • Mumbai, India.
The Indian-based industrial giant aims to become a major player in the global consumer electronics industry, having spent close to US$1 billion this year acquiring the assets of consumer electronics businesses Thomson and Daewoo Electronics. Daewoo Electronics alone operates 16 subsidiaries with 42 branches in more than 30 countries worldwide. In the past 12 months, Videocon has also substantially expanded existing manufacturing facilities in Poland, Mexico, Italy & China and established new research and development bases in Seoul, Korea and Shenzhen, China.
TouchMate
ESTABLISHED • 1988
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
WAREHOUSING BASE • Jebel Ali Free Zone, UAE
MANAGING DIRECTOR • Vasant Menghani
GLOBAL PRESENCE • 54 countries
PRODUCT PORTFOLIO • 200 unique products
KEY ME MARKETS • Saudi Arabia, UAE, Syria,
Lebanon, Jordan.
Quality Gulf CE division Touchmate enjoyed a 50% increase in revenues in the Middle East last year, making it one of the fastest growing brands in the region. Touchmate MD Vasant Menghani attributed the impressive growth rate to the company’s tie-ups with major regional retailers including Carrefour, Plug-Ins, and Hyper Panda.
Prima
ESTABLISHED • 1985
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR • Suresh K Singhvi
KEY PRODUCT LINES • CRT, LCD and plasma TVs
KEY MARKETS • Kuwait, Iran Saudi Arabia
OEM MANUFACTURING DEALS • Hyundai, Wansa
and Sanyo.
Prima, which claims to be the number one flat panel TV manufacturer in its native China, is implementing an ambitious commercial expansion strategy in the Middle East, starting with the GCC markets. Pitching its television range at the entry- to mid-level market sectors, the company is going head-to-head with other ambitious newcomers from across Asia.
i2
ESTABLISHED • 1993
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dubai, UAE
PRESIDENT • Abdul Hameed Al Sunaid
KEY DISTRIBUTION MARKETS • Saudi Arabia, Egypt , Jordan , Syria , Iran and Kuwait
KEY VENDOR PARTNERS • Nokia, LG, Daewoo, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens
RETAIL DISTRIBUTION • Operates i2 Mobile stores and i2-xtra accessories outlets across
the GCC, and supplying independent retailers located in more than 20 countries worldwide.
i2 claims to be the largest distributor of wireless products and software in the Middle East. In addition to operating a major retail chain and supplying stock to more than 400 retailers worldwide, the company also offers a range of value-added services to its clients.
Al-Futtaim Electronics
ESTABLISHED•1930s
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
GROUP DIRECTOR • Vishesh Bhatia
KEY DISTRIBUTION MARKETS • Total GCC coverage
EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION DEALS: Panasonic,
Sanyo, Toshiba.
One of the Middle East’s largest corporations, the Al-Futtaim Group operates 40 companies targeting various commercial and industrial sectors. Its CE distribution division Al-Futtaim Electronics is one of the region’s biggest, boasting exclusive deals with Japanese giants Panasonic, Toshiba and Sanyo. Its partnership with Panasonic stretches 30 years and is one of the most lucrative in the business. Al-Futtaim also markets the Aftron CE and appliances brand.
Eros Group
ESTABLISHED • 1969
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
CHIEF EXECUTIVE • Deepak Babani
KEY DISTRIBUTION MARKETS • GCC
EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION DEALS • Hitachi,
Samsung Digital and Mobile, Taurus, BenQ
Digital, Lennox.
Eros Group was established as an official agent of Japanese CE stalwart Hitachi. It has enjoyed impressive commercial growth over the past four years, securing distribution deals with Samsung for its digital and mobile products and BenQ’s digital product portfolio in the Middle East. The Group also operates a retail chain in the UAE, with showrooms located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras-Al-Khaimah.
SourceIT
ESTABLISHED • 2004
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
DIRECTORS • Ahmed Al-Azzawi, Chris Rae
ANNUAL TURNOVER • US$25 million +
KEY DISTRIBUTION MARKETS • GCC, Iran and Iraq.
KEY VENDOR PARTNERS • i-Mate, HP, Jabra
Creative
KEY RETAIL DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS • Jarir
Bookstore, Plug-Ins, Virgin, Jacky’s Geant, Carrefour.
The Dubai-based mobile handset and IT peripherals distributor has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004. Steered by former Tech Data staffers Al-Azzawi and Rae, the company recently announced plans to establish a major warehouse distribution base in Saudi Arabia.
Aptec
ESTABLISHED • 1980
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS • Dubai, UAE
CHIEF EXECUTIVE • Ali Baghdadi
KEY DISTRIBUTION MARKETS • 40 countries in
the Middle East, CIS and Africa
KEY DISTRIBUTION DEALS • Nokia, Acer, BenQ,
HP, Lenovo, Sony Ericsson.
One of the Middle East’s leading distributors of IT products has increasingly turned its focus to mobile handsets and accessories in recent years, tapping booming consumer demand across the region in addition to Africa. The company’s turnover exceeded US$300 million in 2005 and according to CEO Ali Baghdadi, it is on schedule to surpass this figure again in 2006.