Hosting Expo 2020 is one of the greatest achievements of the UAE. I believe that the UAE is the right platform to communicate the world’s most brilliant ideas, bringing the global community together to learn, share and grow, while introducing significant new technologies and innovations. This was stated by Vatche Kavlakian, CEO, NDIGITEC, during an exclusive interview with Inayat-ur-Rahman of The Gulf Today, adding that the UAE has always been on the global front for exhibitions and events and going forward the scope to partner the graphic arts industry and brand owners in this space are immense.
Q: What role will production companies play leading up to the Expo 2020 in Dubai?
A: Expo 2020 in Dubai will offer immense opportunities to various segments of the business, and media production companies will partner these businesses in conceptualizing and executing their ideas across platforms.
Winning Expo 2020 is one of the greatest achievements of the UAE. I believe that the UAE is the right platform to communicate the world’s most brilliant ideas, bringing the global community together to learn, share and grow, while introducing significant new technologies and innovations. Besides, the UAE has the status of being a transport and logistics hub. With major international airports, Dubai is represented as an airport city with the urban layout, infrastructure and economy centered around its airports.
Hosting Expo 2020 will be beneficial for all sectors such as airports, road networks, logistics, business centers, free zone areas, banks, hotels, shopping malls and more sectors. Moreover, the employment opportunities generated would be in the travel and tourism sector, indicating significant potential for permanent roles to serve the expanding economy.
Q: How is NDIGITEC different from any other production company in the UAE?
A: NDIGITEC is a creative production company where creativity meets technology. What makes NDIGITEC different from other production companies in the UAE is the fact that it is a one point hub that provides the needs of the entire graphic arts industry, media and brand owners. NDIGITEC holds the competitive edge by offering a value chain of over 75 services and solutions structured to meet the client’s requirement competently across segments.
Q: Where do you see the growth potential moving forward?
A: The UAE has always been on the global front for exhibitions and events and going forward the scope to partner the graphic arts industry, media and brand owners in this space are immense. NDIGITEC’s competency in Prepress, Premedia, Digital Printing and Fabrication have tremendous growth potential in this regard as combined together, the in-house competencies of NDIGITEC can deliver quality results as a creative production partner for a wide range of services and solutions under one roof, giving NDIGITEC the advantage to take on and deliver on a wide range of projects.
We believe that the NDIGITEC’s web-to-print platform Dubaiprint.com also has growth potential as it is the first professionally integrated web-to-print with a customized unique platform for professional and personal users in the Middle East. Dubaiprint.com recently revamped its platform to accommodate the increase in the number of orders placed on it by offering a more user-friendly design and navigation.
Q: Which of NDIGITEC’s divisions is the most profitable and how will you sustain this profitability going forward?
A: The strength of NDIGITEC lies in the value chain of its competencies; Prepress, Premedia, DigiPrint, Fabrication, and Dubaiprint.com come together to work as profit centers across our target segments in the NDIGITEC business model. As all the competencies are based in-house, it helps us in cross-selling over 75 services and solutions which makes NDIGITEC profitable.
To sustain this, we engage in continuous training and skill set development of our workforce as they need to understand precisely as to which competency’s solution can add value to the client as in our field of business, every job is unique and that’s the challenge we enjoy.
Q: Which are the industries in the UAE that NDIGITEC primarily caters to?
A: NDIGITEC through its competencies of Prepress, Premedia, DigiPrint, Fabrication, and Dubaiprint.com caters to the B2B and B2C segments of a wide range of industries such as Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Banking, Exhibitions, F&B, Fashion, and Packaging to name a few and to all brand owners in general.
Q: How does NDIGITEC plan to overcome spending cuts from clients in the media production space?
A: As mentioned earlier as well, NDIGITEC is the creative production partner to companies that we work with. We understand that any concept or solution we offer should benefit the customer in both the top line and bottom-line of their business model. We follow a simple logic, we grow when our clients grow hence it is of utmost importance to us to offer customized solutions aimed at increasing value for the client’s offering in the market. We believe NDIGITEC will help its clients save money through its complete value chain.
In the past financial crisis, NDIGITEC followed the philosophy of offering value that no else could offer which helped us sustain and grow profitably when compared to our peers. Going forward, spending cuts will be a challenge for the media production companies but if we can offer intrinsic value to the client as their partner then we will be able to overcome the same.
Q: What are the short-term and long-term goals for your web-to-print platform Dubaiprint.com?
A: The short-term goals for Dubaiprint.com is to be the go-to web-to-print platform for both professional and personal users for their print requirements. The long-term goal for Dubaiprint.com is to realize the vision that the market will entirely place its print orders online, making it the biggest online print marketplace in the region. To help achieve this vision, we have invested in the team, know-how, technology and have built a robust system to realize the same.
Q: How is your digital printing division handling the fierce pricing pressure from other small and medium companies?
A: We believe that pricing wars are immanent to all industries and are bound to occur sooner or later. It’s about how we equip ourselves to handle it. NDIGITEC believes in creating value for its clients hence it not just offering digital printing but an end to end value chain experience which no other digital printing company offers in the region. All of NDIGITEC’s competency are interconnected which helps it cross-sell solutions which are not limited to just print but an innovative value proposition of a “One Stop Shop” which is beneficial to the client.
Q: According to you, which are the most important risk factors for your industry in 2017?
A: I believe that the ongoing economic risk and sustainable cash flow issues will be a major challenge for businesses across segments in 2017 not just in the region but globally as well. Business models which are not diversified are more susceptible to these risks. NDIGITEC restructured the company in 2016 to help mitigate this risk and is better equipped to handle the same across its branches globally.
Q: How optimistic are you about your targets for 2017 and your reasons for the same?
A: NDIGITEC has been growing on an average 20 percent every year both in its top line and bottom-line since its inception in 2005. We have our segmentation strategy and KPIs in place which will help us achieve the set targets for 2017 as well. We truly believe in the UAE vision for opportunity and growth hence as long as we are in line with the UAE vision, we hold an optimistic outlook for 2017.
Q: Are you planning any expansions globally or in the UAE? Any investment plans?
A: NDIGITEC is currently headquartered at Dubai Production City (previously IMPZ) in Dubai and has branches in Saudi Arabia and Armenia. Going forward, we plan to expand our operations in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent and parts of Africa as well.
NDIGITEC also recently inaugurated the 1st premium print service lounge for Dubaiprint.com and also set up the NDigitec lounge showcasing the latest AR/VR solutions of its Premedia competency at Dubai Design District.
We have ambitious expansion plans for the NDIGITEC Fabrication competency as we are currently working on a new state-of-the-art facility in Dubai which should be ready early 2017.
Q: How is NDIGITEC working towards retaining and attracting quality talent as a creative production company?
A: NDIGITEC is the competent partner of professionals and the incubator of promising creative talents. NDIGITEC is always looking for great talent and is in the process of developing a dedicated careers platform on its website to help manage the influx of talent portfolios we receive. We have KPIs linked reward programmes in place where every individual is assessed based on their performance and efficiency on a quarterly basis.