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What has been your greatest challenge during the pandemic era when leading your firm and how do you feel you have overcome this?

The pandemic has certainly had a lasting impact on the way we work and address business. However, technology helped us to overcome most of the major difficulties caused by physical distance. Through video we were able to maintain our social connect and engage with one another. While it’s difficult to replace face time, we found video interactions helped maintain team morale and communication channels. Now this way of working is well integrated into our day-to-day business.

How has the outlook changed for your sector over the past couple of years?

Whilst the digital environment has been constantly changing in the Middle East over the last few years, the pandemic ushered in a degree of digital transformation that is unprecedented for the region in both its scale and scope. Suddenly every house converted into a classroom or home office and needed to work effectively to maintain productivity.

The rapid acceleration of technology adoption across both private and public sectors alike forced the roll out of digital systems and placed connected technology and data storage at the forefront of adoption.

Our diverse product range has been well suited to meet the needs of individuals and businesses over the course of this rapidly changing landscape.

What trends are most likely to affect your business in the months and years to come?

Western Digital understands that the next few years will be an exciting time for smart technology providers in the Middle East. The market is growing, and consumers are excited for what’s coming next.

As various technologies continue to evolve so will data storage needs. We are prepared to support the growing digital needs of companies and consumers with specialised storage solutions in order to create optimum value from IoT data, which must be considered when building out the wider data infrastructure.

Is remote access the way forward for companies in a post-COVID-19 world?

We are moving into a hybrid world with hybrid tiers, hybrid clouds, and hybrid solutions that are ready to enhance flexible business environments. At the centre of this change is the evolving need of data. With the growth in data and growing performance demands, unprecedented cost efficiencies have become an essential requirement. It’s therefore crucial to understand storage usage and how to manage both legacy and new systems on premise and in the cloud. The good news is that businesses have a broader choice than ever to construct varying performance and capacity capabilities to meet exact workloads and ensure flexibility as infrastructure evolves to meet new demands. Creating a robust, solutions-based data infrastructure that meets the needs of your business is key because data architectures need to go beyond simple data capture and storage to data transformation and creating business value, in a value creation approach. No matter the technology, storage should, first and foremost, support the business strategy and tactical needs of the organisation.

What are your expansion plans over the next couple of years?

As a leader in data infrastructure, we are driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data.

We’ve recently launched the new SanDisk Professional brand, which offers products engineered specifically for professional creators. The new fleet of professional-grade products — which includes a new CFexpress card, an enterprise-grade RAID storage device, an ultra-fast reader series, and a new four-bay reader docking station — will give these professionals both flexibility and the confidence to be creative.

How would you define leadership in the context of a post-Covid world?

Leadership is earned by not only leading in volume or revenue but by standing with your end users, listening to their pain points and offering them solutions, and making their lives better than before. This is why we are firm believers in giving back to the society and taking care of our environment, because taking on transformative digital solutions should not mean sacrificing sustainable initiatives. It should mean building the foundation for data, giving people new ways of utilising technology like never before.

We are proud therefore to have been recently awarded a Guinness World Record for the most PCs donated within 24 hours in Saudi Arabia, while working alongside ERTIQA, a charitable organisation in the Kingdom, specialising in refurbishing and distributing computers to educational institutions. Instead of improperly disposing of old devices such as keyboards and monitors, ERTIQA gives back to those in need. Through the partnership, we donated 691 PCs to support Saudis in need. This was something we did to help the people.