PC penetration in the GCC and Levant regions is set to double by 2008. The number of PCs expected to be sold in the two regional blocs between 2003 and 2008 will be around 15 million units, according to a study by Dubai-based Madar Research Group.
When taken individually, the GCC will expectedly race ahead with average PC penetration of around 14 per cent, against the projected penetration of 5.1 per cent of the Levant countries. Strong PC sales in the next three years will help the region to narrow the gap in PC penetration with the EU counterparts. Egypt is expected to see the highest growth in PC sales.
“A number of factors are fuelling the PC sector in the Middle East,” says Pavan Gupta, General Manager, eSys Technologies Middle East, a leading IT component distributor in the region. “For one, governments are strongly pushing e-government initiatives, a move that will make people IT savvy in due course of time. Secondly, several countries in the region are providing incentives for the development of an IT industry. Thirdly, business environment is becoming increasingly IT-savvy.”
Anticipating the need for PCs in the region, eSys Technologies Middle East, a subsidiary of Singapore based eSys Technologies, the fastest growing IT distribution company in the world, has made Dubai the regional headquarters, with a facility in Jebel Ali capable of producing 400,000 PCs a year. In addition, eSys distributes HDDs, USB flash disks and other components.
The Madar study predicts that Lebanon and Jordan will be among the fastest adopters of PC technologies in Levant, with a PC penetration of 15.8 and 13.9 per cent respectively in 2008, against the regional average of 7 per cent. PC sales in Iraq are predicted to see a quantum leap by 2008.
“The GCC and the Levant are certainly very vibrant markets for PCs, but the key factor is going to be pricing as the market is highly price sensitive,” said Gupta. “This is where eSys sees tremendous scope, because we are the pioneers in producing high quality PCs at reasonable prices. Most of the buyers will look for low-priced PCs and it would be a challenge to most IT distributors and manufacturers to meet the demands of this price-sensitive market.”