Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, says the buoyancy in the Middle East’s security market is spearheading its business development in the region where it has focused on boosting its product range and customer base.
“With the pace at which the UAE is developing, the safety and security industry is maturing very rapidly. This is contributing to the overall development of the industry,” says Volker Bischoff, general manager of Bosch Middle East.
“Not only are safety aspects being addressed through stringent requirements, like in the case of fire-fighting, fire alarm and evacuation systems, but the region has made major progress on the security front as well in driving regulations for intrusion detection and video surveillance in sensitive business sectors like financial institutes and in public areas like hotels and shopping facilities,” he says.
“The major events and initiatives in the UAE, like the World Expo 2020, Dubai World Central Airport, Abu Dhabi museum projects including the Guggenheim, Louvre and Zayed National Museum, and the Dubai Canal project, promise high business potential for us,” he adds.
To meet the growing demand, Bosch has expanded its security systems portfolio with a number of innovative solutions. These include the Flexidome IP Panoramic 7000 series 12MP camera with edge de-warping and at-the-edge built-in video analytics to provide a 360-degree overview in a single image; the Autodome IP 4000/5000 series camera that helps locate, track and zoom in on details; the Extegra HD 9000 explosion-proof camera designed for hazardous environments; the Paviro digital public address and evacuation system based on Iris-Net platform; LB6, a highly compact full-range loudspeaker system; the Dicentis wireless conference system; Avenar future-proof fire alarm detectors; the Building Integration System version 4.0; the Mifare Desfire EV1 reader with two interfaces; the Security Escort, for tracking people and assets, which can be used during evacuation for efficient tracking; and the Modular Alarm Platform 5000 addressable intrusion detection panel.
Bosch, which established a regional office in Dubai in 2008, has been marketing its products in the region for over 90 years. In addition, the company has four representative offices – in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon and Pakistan.
Bischoff points out that given the robust market conditions in the Middle East, Bosch has been maintaining double-digit growth over the years. “We look forward to continuing this trend for years to come. Regionally, we are focused on broadening our product portfolio, customer base and expanding our customer touchpoints across all five business divisions – automotive aftermarket, power tools, security systems, thermotechnology and drive and control technology,” he says.
Last year, the company managed to surpass its global growth targets with sales having increased in all business sectors and regions. By the end of 2014, Bosch Middle East had contributed around Dh945 million ($257 million) to the group’s global revenue.
Bischoff says the company registered a high sales turnover particularly in the Gulf countries. “In 2014, the UAE was the largest contributor to our sales turnover, followed by Saudi Arabia and Oman,” he says.
According to him, the company’s strategy focused on innovation has proven successful, and continues to pay off, as Bosch has witnessed a good start to 2015. In the first quarter of this year, the company has seen its global sales grow by roughly 13 per cent (nominal sales growth).
“Opportunities will continue to materialise as the economies of this region prosper and governments invest in new approaches to challenges. We also anticipate a strong local market performance as we develop strategic partnerships that are both healthy and valuable. And we foresee a double-digit growth in 2015 which is mainly supported by the strong economies of the GCC,” he adds.
Government initiatives across the region are driving this growth too, with Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Doha (Qatar) exemplifying the importance given to safety and security, by regulating the installation of video surveillance in public areas. “This has clearly contributed to our growth in video systems, as we supplied 40 per cent more cameras in 2014 compared to 2013,” he adds.
Commenting on future plans, he says: “At Bosch, we pride ourselves on playing an active role in changing the businesses we operate in, rather than waiting for them to change. Globally, mobility is a key driver of our business and on this path to the future, Bosch is already achieving success, not just technologically but also commercially.”
“Locally, we are working hard across several divisions to accelerate the development of new products and services going to market in the UAE. Beyond products, we continue to expand our network of retailers and distributors in the region,” he concludes.