We sit down for a chat with Alexander Malienko, Business Unit Director, Dynabook Europe GmbH - Middle East & Africa to discuss what the past 18 months have taught the relaunched brand and what the future holds for Dynabook users in the region.
Several reports indicate that PC market is experiencing growth globally, how would you describe the current PC market landscape in the region?
In parallel with the global performance of the category, we have seen remarkable regional growth in PC sales over the past year, due to the fundamental impact of COVID-19. In fact, it has been the highest rate of growth in 20 years. Laptops and PC’s have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic, enabling the resulting shift towards new ways of working, with the provision of reliable and secure workplace technology. We see this trend continuing in the coming years, with end user devices proving essential to continued productivity and success in so many areas of our lives, from working and learning to keeping us connected and entertained.
What is driving your growth in the Middle East and which countries are contributing more business for you?
The markets where we are experiencing the strongest growth currently are UAE, KSA and Egypt. We have been focusing on developing a two-tier business model, for example with the recent signing of PC DealNet as authorized distributor in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon and Jordan, and also looking to grow our second tier reseller base. With such developments, we will have focused and dedicated teams in building the channel for Dynabook in key markets, strengthening our exposure in important sectors such as education, healthcare, manufacturing, energy (oil and gas) and SME, to name a few.
In addition to building the channel, as highlighted above, we are in a strong position to support the move to a hybrid workforce and significant growth in digital requirements in the education sector, with our range of devices which are optimised for every level of requirement, and the fact that Dynabook designs and manufactures its own laptops – right down to the BIOS software that runs under Windows – we also have one of the lowest failure rates in the business. This is certainly a factor that potential customers find appealing and which drives sales.
Which products from your product portfolio are much in demand and how are you catering to the demand?
We cater to a broad spectrum of requirements within the B2B space, and there is demand for all models, from the premium Portégé range to the mainstream Tecra, as well as the entry level Satellite Pro, which is ideally suited to students for example, being affordable, reliable, powerful and easy to use.
However, the Middle East leans more towards more premium products, expecting the very best – be it in terms of design, performance, advanced security or mobility. The Portégé range offers the ultimate selection, being both lightweight and ultra-slim, equipped with premium technology and powerful processors to meet the needs of the most demanding modern-day professional. We launched the world’s lightest 13.3” laptop* when we developed the Portégé X30L-G, and consequently the world’s lightest 13’3” convertible* with the Portégé X30W-J in November 2020(*at the time of launching). Both hero products have won multiple industry accolades, so naturally interest in these models has been high and we are excited to see what will be achieved next!
We are carefully monitoring supply vs demand in all markets, and working closely with our distribution partner to keep local inventory of the most popular models, to streamline supply and ensure orders can be satisfied within the shortest possible timeframe, despite the global supply shortage created by the pandemic.
How are you facilitating the channel to reap the benefits of this growing market?
By providing the right products at the right time, we are enabling the channel to rise up to meet the current demands of businesses. Dynabook has always been dedicated to providing the B2B sector with a device optimised for every level of requirement, and the channel is surely reaping the benefits of this, carrying products that have each been carefully engineered to address the security and manageability challenges posed by the accelerated shift towards flexible working patterns in the last 18 months. The market is calling for lightweight, portable yet powerful devices, designed to accommodate both home working and time in the office. These devices need to be durable enough to withstand being on the move, whilst also having the same next-level connectivity as a smartphone to enable effortless collaboration and avoid costly downtime.
Which direction is the PC market heading and where do you see yourself by end of this year?
We are definitely seeing a major shift towards mobile devices, which are being given a much higher priority than desktops, a trend which was already existing but which has grown exponentially since the pandemic. According to recent research undertaken by Dynabook, organisations will be spending more on hybrid and remote working support, including cloud solutions, remote IT assistance, and equipping staff with new and secure devices that are fit for purpose. With a much greater investment being made in notebooks, Dynabook is well placed to cater to this demand and this will certainly have a positive impact on our regional business, and contribute to our ongoing growth.