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Canon commits to expansion in KSA, hiring local talent to boost Vision 2030

Saudi Arabia, February 10, 2019

JEDDAH —Canon, a Japanese multinational corporation specializing in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment, “is very optimistic about the Saudi market”, and remains committed to further expansion and investing in local talent, Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Canon Eurasia said in an interview.

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of 2.4 percent growth for the Saudi economy in 2019, which is a good indicator of the ongoing positive transformation and growth in the country, he said “Saudi Arabia is a large country geographically and in order to better service our customers, Canon’s strategy was to establish three core areas of operations starting with Riyadh as the headquarters, followed by Jeddah and Al-Khobar.”

He explained that “through larger operations, Canon can support more customers develop and achieve their business objectives sooner – which consequently has a favorable effect on the progress toward economic diversification and growth.”

Moreover, Agrawal said “in order to open up a company in Saudi (Arabia), SAGIA regulation states a minimum investment mark. We are investing over this minimum mark “in excess of $50 million over a period of time” through our investments in three showrooms and offices in Jeddah, Al-Khobar, and Riyadh.”

“In addition to this, we remain committed to investing in local talent and building skills and professionalism through extensive learning and development programs and embrace youth and empower women as part of our Saudization program,” he pointed out.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

• Last year, Canon announced the launch of its direct operation in Saudi Arabia. Walk us through why Canon made that decision and what does it mean for its customers in the country?

Saudi Arabia is the region’s largest economy, and the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies. It is currently rapidly progressing and transforming into a more diversified economy with several industries taking shape, developing and establishing a presence in the market. Establishing a direct presence for Canon in Saudi Arabia is a natural progression to cater to this growth.

Our direct operations will enable us to be closer to our customers in the Kingdom, emphasizing on our commitment to helping partners and customers in the Kingdom thrive by providing value added on-ground after sales support directly from the Canon Saudi Arabia, in addition to direct advice on products and services from Canon professionals.

We will continue to inspire and guide customers to address the challenges and opportunities in the Kingdom’s evolving economic and social environment to establish thriving businesses.

• What is the unique selling proposition of Canon that will make it stand out from the rest of the industry competitors? And what’s your market share?

Canon Saudi Arabia will deliver a holistic approach to business solutions that address the individual business requirements and challenges of each corporation or entity – this is where our strength lies as an organization.

Through Canon Saudi Arabia customers can directly access Canon’s B2B wide range of products and solutions including managed print and outsourced services, as well as have access to various after-sales services. Customers will also have the opportunity to receive direct advice on products and services from Canon professionals to meet their demands in the rapidly evolving Saudi market.

Canon Saudi Arabia will also aim to establish long-term partnerships to customers to support the evolution of government operations and businesses in the Kingdom. We aim to be at the forefront of change and become the leading imaging partner in KSA.

•In what ways Canon provides an added-value to its customers and partners? What makes Canon the partner of choice for businesses in Saudi Arabia?

Through Canon Saudi Arabia, Canon is committed to provide exceptional customer service to customers in Saudi Arabia through the incorporation of direct feedback resulting in a customized approach to address business challenges and ensure long term success.

Furthermore, our approach to business is to provide all-inclusive solutions to business challenges, rather than just delivering products and services, and Canon’s direct presence will provide customers with a wide range of services beyond the sales point that will ensure efficiency, lower-costs and higher productivity.

Customers will have access to the latest products, solutions and innovations, as well as industry expertise and knowhow based on global standards.

Canon’s innovative products and solutions will also support businesses differentiate themselves, develop to meet the current market demands and become leaders in their respective industries.

• Is Canon playing a role in realizing the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 and does it contribute to the progress of national economic transformation?

The launch of Vision 2030 initiative set out plans for developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. More specifically, the goals outlined for economic development are ground-breaking and could have a significant impact on the country’s growth.

Canon is committed to supporting the Kingdom’s vision and achieving its economic objectives by supporting the establishment of a sophisticated digital infrastructure, which will attract investors and enhance the competitiveness of the Saudi economy on a global scale.

Canon Saudi Arabia aims to grow to 300 employees by 2023. We will also focus on building local skills and professionalism through extensive learning and development programs and embrace youth and empower women as part of the Saudization program. The programs will support Saudi nationals’ professional development and enhance their career opportunities, which is another focus of the Saudi government with regards to the job market.

These initiatives will further contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth, job creation and industry diversification strategies as outlined by Vision 2030.

• Tell us briefly about your participation at the 16th edition of Saudi Print and Pack and how important this exhibition is to Canon?

Canon’s participation at the Saudi Print and Pack is particularly significant because it was our first event since formally establishing direct operation in Saudi Arabia. Through our participation we demonstrated our commitment to supporting our partners and customers in the Kingdom grow their business operations by highlighting the latest technologies available for commercial print, as we well as providing them with value added, on-ground sales and after sales support directly from Canon professionals.

At the event we presented six experience zones to highlight the opportunities available to commercial print partners and print departments of all sizes. These zones included: Production Print, Signage, Solutions, Commercial Printing, Photo Printing, and Service – each of these zones presented an opportunity for businesses to discover new ways to increase overall productivity, unlock new efficiencies, and introduce capabilities to diversify.