The company, one of the examples of German technology at its best, has strong ties in the Middle East which are set to grow as industrialisation gathers pace
Bosch, the global technology and services provider, highlights it has continued its growth trajectory in the Middle East over the past few years.
“Now that we are half way through 2015, we’re confident we’re on track to continue this success,” said Volker Bischoff, general manager of Bosch Middle East.
“Gulf countries in particular have represented a high sales turnover for us, and the overall market situation remains positive for us throughout the region despite challenges in some business segments due to dropping oil prices and unrest in specific areas.”
In 2014, the UAE was the largest contributor to sales turnover, followed by Saudi Arabia and Oman. By the end of 2014, Bosch Middle East had contributed approximately Dh945 million ($257.28 million) to Bosch Group’s global revenue – a strong indicator that customers in the region are responding to its cutting-edge solutions and devices. The result represents a healthy seven per cent year-on-year revenue increase for the region, according to Bischoff.
“Our innovation strategy has proven successful, and continues to pay off, as we witnessed a good start to 2015. In the first quarter, sales globally grew roughly 13 per cent (nominal sales growth).”
The company, whose products are designed to improve the quality of life, has been present in the region for over 90 years since establishing its first distributorship in Palestine. In 2002 it opened its first automotive aftermarket-driven office in Dafza. Its regional headquarters opened in Dubai in 2008, offering a wide range of high-quality products and solutions to private and trade customers in 15 countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
The Dubai office manages and executes sales, marketing, business development, and technical support across Bosch’s five business divisions. These include Automotive Aftermarket, Power Tools, Security Systems, Thermotechnology and Drive and Control Technology.
“The Power Tools business accounted for the largest percentage growth in 2014. The Automotive Aftermarket business remained a key growth driver and maintained its high performance. Bosch Security Systems has also maintained double-digit growth in the region during the last few years, and we look forward to continuing this trajectory,” said Bischoff.
“A strong contribution to this is the major regional progress in driving regulations for intrusion detection and video surveillance in sensitive business sectors. Our Security Systems business division is shaping that transformation in various areas including financial institutes and public areas such as hotels and shopping facilities.”
PRODUCTS AND MARKETS
All five of Bosch’s business divisions are represented in the region. The company has been associated with a number of prestigious projects including the design and installation of Dubai International Airport’s
Praesideo Public Address and Emergency Sound System, which is the world’s largest.
The company has also supplied engineering solutions for Dubai’s best known bridge – Floating Bridge, which integrates Bosch Rexroth tide compensation solution. This solution from Rexroth ensures the safety of the bridge structure and of the vehicles driving on the bridge.
Bischoff further said: “We are working hard across several divisions to accelerate new products and services going to market in the Middle East. For instance, our Power Tools division has 50 new product launches in the pipeline for the near future, such as new cordless tools with lithium ion batteries designed for the construction industry. Beyond products, we continue to expand our network of retailers and distributors in the region to support further growth and penetration for Bosch in the Middle East.”
Bosch is driving connectivity forward in all business sectors, and in 2014, it used its technological strengths in established fields of business to tap into new market segments around the world.
“We have launched many connected solutions and products that are ‘invented for life’ including software solutions that contribute to economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and energy security,” said Bischoff.
“Globally, automated driving is a significant area of growth for us. We are successively launching new driver assistance systems and 2015 will see the start of series production of remote-controlled parking, the traffic jam assist, and an assistance function for evasive manoeuvres and turning against oncoming traffic.”
The Middle East is a burgeoning market for Bosch, and the company is focused on broadening its product portfolio and customer bases and expanding its customer touch points across all five business
“We have maintained strong year-on-year growth and saw sales climb by 7 per cent regionally and we plan double-digit annual growth in the coming years,” said Bischoff.
In addition to the Dubai office, the company has four representative offices in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon and Pakistan.
“There is no question that the UAE has been pivotal to the progress of Bosch. We will continue to benefit from the UAE’s commitment to a sustainable future beyond oil, to a future defined by technology, knowledge and innovation,” said Bischoff. “With our deep expertise at the forefront of technology and services, Bosch can play a role as a key partner and an enabler of the smart future that this country envisions for itself.”
Going forward, one of its key areas is connectivity. “This is a promising area for us both globally and locally, and we recognise its potential in a region like this, which is moving rapidly towards smart initiatives. Bosch identified the potential of connected things, also known as the Internet of Things, at an early stage, and we now offer numerous viable solutions that will lay the groundwork for businesses and cities that run smarter” said Bischoff.
“Our microelectromechanical systems sensors (MEMS), for example, form the basis of many connected solutions and we are utilising them to make cities easier to navigate and park in, connect people to public services, and transport and allow traffic lights to respond accordingly when emergency services are passing,” he said.
The company is also looking at expanding its partnerships in the year ahead. “Dynamic partnerships have allowed our business to flourish in the Middle East. For instance, in 2014, we partnered with Bridgestone – one of the world’s largest tyre and rubber companies – to increase our customer touch points in the Middle East and Africa. This strategic partnership expanded our sales channels, and helped us to reach new customers. In 2015, we hope to leverage the same high-calibre partnerships to provide clever and unique results for businesses,” said Bischoff.
“At Bosch, we bring depth and breadth of experience to the market, and our track record in developing technology-led solutions to challenges around safety, security, simplicity and efficiency are second to none,” said the official.
“Going forward, one of our key areas globally is connectivity. This is a promising area for us in the region and we recognise its potential in a region like this, which is moving rapidly towards smart initiatives.
“With especially the UAE’s ambitions for a smart, connected future, we recognise the potential to become an integral enabler of that future. Our innovations in the field of IoT gives the privilege of being a key player in Dubai’s investment in what is widely framed as the fourth industrial revolution.”
Bosch is globally the leading manufacturer of MEMS and this year will produce 1.6 billion of those sensors, nearly 25 per cent more than in the previous year. Moreover, for some years now, Bosch has been expanding its software competence. Today, one in three of the 45,700 associates working in research and development is a software engineer. Three thousand engineers are working on the Internet of Things alone.
“The business potential of the Internet of Things lies above all in the services that can be derived from connectivity. Internet-enabled products and internet-based services are focal points of Bosch’s future sales growth; our strength lies in the fact that we are active on all three levels of the Internet of Things: smart devices, software platforms and services, as well as applications. Bosch is already responsible for the smart sensors inside every second smartphone world-wide and the world’s largest manufacturer of micromechanical sensors for automotive and consumer electronics,” said Bischoff.
“Regionally, beyond products, we continue to expand our network of retailers and distributors in the market to support further growth and penetration for Bosch in the Middle East. In 2014, our Automotive Aftermarket division increased its customer touch points with the addition of more than 50 Bosch Car Service workshops across the Middle East, and engaged new strategic partners in the region. This year, we are working with Bridgestone to offer two new workshops to bring quality and affordable servicing to motorists in the UAE. This is in addition to the 14 Bosch service workshops that we plan to open in the UAE by the end of the year.”