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Wed 1 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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HP ‘Made in Saudi’ PCs going regional

HP plans to appoint another distributor to push its PCs assembled in Saudi Arabia to the wider regional market. HP executives also hope to finalise negotiations with the Saudi government to take part in its ‘PC for Homes’ initiative.

HP plans to appoint another distributor to push its PCs assembled in Saudi Arabia to the wider regional market. HP executives also hope to finalise negotiations with the Saudi government to take part in its ‘PC for Homes’ initiative. The scheme hopes to shift one million PCs in the Kingdom during the next five years.

Christoph Schell, SPO manager for ISE and general manager of HP PSG Middle East, who is currently in Saudi for talks with officials, reckons ‘negotiations are progressing very well’. HP’s Saudi assembly plant has a current run rate of 70,000 desktop PCs a year according to Schell. He believes production could hit its maximum capacity of 250,000 units within two years.

“We have ambitious plans for our Saudi production plant and we have done a very good job on winning deals with governments and education institutions from across the region,” said Schell. “But I believe the capacity and the potential market is a lot higher. So what we are going to do is appoint more partners to grow the business.”

“We have yet to really make a breakthrough filtering these products into our run rate business for the small and medium business sector. We will appoint one or two more partners outside of Saudi Arabia to boost our distribution capabilities of this production plant,” added Schell.

At present, only Jeraisy and Nahil Computers have distribution rights in Saudi for the locally assembled PCs. HP now plans to add a third Dubai-based partner to sell the ‘Made in Saudi’ products in other countries around the region, but not in the Kingdom itself. With the Saudi ‘PC for Homes initiatives’ scheduled for an early 2005 start, potential suppliers will find out soon who has bagged the lucrative supply contracts.

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