In conversation with Channel Post MEA, the company’s vice president for the Middle East and Africa and head of Product Business Unit for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Massimiliano Rossi, shared his thoughts about how the company has evolved over past 30 years and from where do the company expects the demand to drive the future growth in the Middle East and Africa region.
Congratulations for the 30 successful years in the Middle East and Africa region, kindly elaborate how is Acer doing in the region?
Acer has been one of the early entrant in the region, the company started its direct operations in 1992 with a office in JAFZA, Dubai and now we have 3 offices with 31 employees to support the growing business in the region.
This year, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary, and the first quarter results shows a remarkable year-over-year growth of 116% for the Acer Middle East. During this period, we saw revenue increased by 83% for gaming products including desktops, notebooks, and monitors in the region.
How would you describe journey with the company?
I have been associated with Acer for over 15 years now, and during this period I have worked in different capacities with the company. I must say it has been a rewarding journey. And, if I talk about my association with the Middle East Africa region, I am no stranger to the the region, I have been engaged with region for a long time but from a product perspective, but now with my new role as the vice president for the MEA region, staring this year in January, I am heavily invested from the sales perspective too.
How do you see the difference between your role from product to sales?
In reality, when you talk about product and business, you are indirectly involved with sales but not with the direct touch. Previously also in my EMEA role for the product, I always had the opportunity to meet different customers at various events, forums and platforms in the region, be it our retail partners or our distributors. I don’t see much difference but now with the new role, I will be much more involved with my engagement with our customers and our partners to drive the sales, for which I am very very excited and look forward to serve the region. The Middle East Africa region is extremely important for us, and the region provides great amount of opportunities for us to expand our business not only today but also in the future.
With COVID-19 almost out of picture, the pandemic led demand is tampering down, how do you see the market shaping up for Acer?
Yes, you are right the market is slowing down, but in past couple of years, it is very well established that computer has become a priority investment for every family. People are no longer looking for an inexpensive products but for quality products, especially as computing has become a necessary tool for daily life, whether its for work from home, study from home or even connect from home.
How is the market for Chromebooks in the Middle East Africa region.
Worldwide, we are number one vendor for Chromebooks and even in the region we were the first one’s to bring Chromebooks in 2015, strictly for the education sector. Since then, we have had experienced tremendous success with the product, and today we have more than 300 schools using our Chromebooks across the region.
As, the internet penetration grows and connectivity improves, the market for Chromebooks will also grow. Besides education, we see demand for Chromebooks to come from retail and business users. Our strategy is to lead the Chromebook market in the region, but the opening of new markets must be led by Google with its ChromeOS by offering more capabilities and applications beyond education sector. We have the flexibility to adapt and also are aligned closely with Google to expand this market further in the region.
What is going to drive your growth in the future?
Retail will remain focus for us. We have done exceedingly well in the gaming and we continue to see huge demand for our products in the gaming market. Education remans a strong market for us and we not only offer Chromebooks for education but also various other products to suffice the requirements of the education sector, which is growing at a rapid pace. We also see the rise in demand from commercial segment for us.
The region is very diverse and I believe with our wide portfolio of products backed by our go-to-market strategy targeting both consumer and commercial space, we will be able to keep the strong momentum going for us and drive growth for us in the near future.