BenQ takes advantage of a lucrative market
Global technology group BenQ has revealed plans to step up its operations in South Africa in a bid to take advantage of its growing markets.
The company, which has its regional headquarters in Taiwan, also wants to use its base in South Africa as a springboard for other emerging African markets.
South Africa’s economy is the largest in Africa and accounted for 24 per cent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011. It is also ranked as an upper-middle economy by the World Bank making it an ideal market for BenQ.
Manesh Bakshi, managing director of BenQ’s Middle East and African region, said: “South Africa is part of Africa’s leading emerging economies and consequently is a very lucrative market for BenQ. What is more South Africa is recognised as the gateway to Africa and establishing a strong presence locally will serve as a strong platform for across the continent in the future.”
South Africa has been identified by the company as the third largest market for BenQ MEA, making up 20 percent of regional sales.
The leading innovator of digital lifestyle devices offers a wide range of products including projectors, LCD Monitors, All-in-one PCs, Notebooks and Netbooks and digital cameras.
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In seeking to widen its footprint in South Africa the company will step up its marketing programme which involves roadshows, in-store promotions and in store Point of Sale promotions.
It will also look to select distributors who conduct sales in volumes, in addition to selecting value partners who will assist in the niche segments and will help do justice to the full range of products.
“Our current share in the South African market is widespread, and we already have a well-established reputation as a reliable manufacturer and distributor of monitors, projectors, cameras and TVs.”
“In this highly lucrative market, it is important for BenQ to be proactive in its marketing and public relations campaigns, in order to ensure that the company remains competitive,” Bakshi said.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”