Swiss cabling specialist Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) increased its workforce in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by 25 per cent in 2009 with majority of the hiring happening in UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Dr Martin Rosatzin, Chief Technology Officer at R&M, told Emirates Business: "This level of hiring was the highest for the company globally. There was also no cutback of workforce in other global offices. R&M has had five years of hyper growth built on both products and technologies with a slowdown in 2009. In spite of this, the company globally decided to reinvest earnings into the future by building production buildings and internal SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) system."
The company has been present in the region for 11 years and has for the first time invested in local workforce to this extent. "There was investments made on different levels which was mainly marketing/communications, supply chain, project engineering and on the technical front. These initiatives were also driven by the fact that there were huge investments fibre networks being made in countries such as UAE by telecom operator etisalat. Globally, UAE ranks 20th among countries making investments in fibre to home networks," said Jean Pierre, Managing Director at R&M MEA.
R&M generated 78 pe cent of its sales abroad with growth largely driven by an increase in the number of fibre optic projects. It faced public sector projects being held up in the first quarter of 2009. "Some projects were delayed by a few months, but the market situation got better by the middle of the year. Growth cannot be compared to 2008 as it was fast growing and R&M is not listed in the stock exchange, which makes a difference," said Pierre.
From a regional perspective, 2008 saw sales figures rise in the Middle East by 63.4 percent.
In 2009, there was also the public and private sector working together on cabling projects said Rosatzin. "In certain verticals like the airport industry, implementations are made by both private and public sector. Even in 2010, a lot of public sector projects will be released which were held back in 2009. As a company, there were investments made in innovations which will see product launches in 2010."
The company will make further investments in the MEA region in its training academy based in Dubai. "There will be seminars and training sessions launched in the start of 2010 to enhance service and warranty levels," said Pierre.
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