Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AGInterviews

Digital is the Way Forward

ME Printer speaks to Roger Nicodeme, the General Manager at Heidelberg Gulf Establishment, about the company’s strategies for the region, the milestones it wants to achieve and its plans for 2018

How was 2017 for Heidelberg?
The year 2017 was indeed a challenging year. However, for Heidelberg, it was not a very bad year. We had some great success stories on the market in different industries such as packaging, flexo, and security printing. We also had some commercial customers going for new machines, which is good for the industry. In terms of consumables and digital solutions, we have also done well. The consumables market has improved a lot, especially on the plate and ink side. So we look forward that this will continue this year, going forward.

Which markets do you focus on from the Dubai office?
From our Dubai office, we cover the entire Gulf region and the Iraq market. Of course, the UAE remains the leading market in the Gulf region. We also hope that the Iraq market will start moving in the right direction and it will offer some new opportunities in the future. Together with our sales partners around the region, we ensure the implementation of our customers’ requirements and our continuous development on the market.

What sort of digital printing offerings do you sell on the market?
It was in 2011 when we signed a global agreement with Ricoh to develop the global digital printing market. This agreement enables Heidelberg to sell Ricoh’s latest colour digital presses and digital printing solutions to the markets we focus on. The global strategic cooperation also includes Ricoh services and support.

Many new packaging companies are opening shop in the region. What opportunities, according to you, are present for them?
A lot more companies will open up packaging facilities in the region since this market has been growing a lot. And those companies which recently started will expand their facilities for sure. However, there are challenges involved with this proposition. Since many customers are trying to move into packaging, it will create a lot of supply in the market and there will be a saturation at some point in time. We hope it offers more opportunities to companies that innovate in the packaging industry.

What events have you planned for this market this year?
This year, we just participated in the GPP Summit. We will also do some local events such as the Packaging Days. This will kick-start in May this year. We will also have some open houses for digital solutions as well in this region.

Is there a lack of skillsets in the regional print and packaging industry?
Actually, there are skills in the region and Dubai can always hire people from outside as well. Having skillsets is not an issue, updating the skillsets is. Hence, Heidelberg is committed to keeping its partners and customers updated on the latest techniques and technologies available on the market. We keep on training operators for instance, so that they are abreast with the latest solutions on the market. More has to be done on the workflow, too, and not on just operating the machine. There are new technologies that people have to adapt to, such as web to print, and other such technologies in the digital medium.

How do you ensure your partners sell better than the competition?
We offer lots of consultancy services for our customers. We are working very closely with them and giving them advice. We do not oversell and we give them the right product so that they can perform at an optimum level at a cheaper price. We want to provide tailor-made solutions to our customers through our partners and that I think should be the way forward to succeed in the market.

What sort of milestones do you plan to achieve this year?
In general, we are always aiming to have higher market share both in machines and consumables. We will have our focus on digital, too. Heidelberg is developing many new products in the digital arena. Also, some of our partners such as Polar have the laser cutters which are related to digital as well. On the flex side, we have Gallus launching new digital products. So we will be focusing on digital in the market.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker