UAE & Saudi Arabia – A Wealth of Opportunities Workshop 6: Case Study - UAE & Saudi Arabia Similarities and Differences Peter Lloyd – Marketing Manager R&D Tool and Engineering Ltd 6 March 2007
R&D supply expert technical solutions to the global plastics industry. Established 1976. HQ – Missouri, USA. 2006 turnover $40M. 300 employees. One of the world’s leading tooling suppliers for the PET packaging sector, the Group also has injection moulding and rapid prototyping divisions. Markets: food and beverages, cosmetics, household and personal care. Facilities in UK, USA and Slovakia supported by global sales agency network. Who are R&D?
R&D have dealt with many territories in our 25 year history and now supply to over 40 countries
Main focus – US, Europe and Middle East
Half of UK activity is now for export clients
Products are international – literature adapted to suit
Main M. E. markets – Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel
Also supply other M.E. areas e.g. Iran, Lebanon
R&D have dealt with Middle East for many years
Initial opportunities came via networking and shows rather than via Chambers, embassies etc
Saudi vs. UAE
Traditionally, no tangible differences in culture between rest of Emirates and Saudi Arabia but …
… the securitypolitical dimension is widening the gap
“ Personal” nature of business culture – “face time”
Trust is a strong part of customer relationships
Long term relationships rather than quick wins
Reputation for integrity and service is important
Businessindustry in clusters in both countries
Dubai – a special case
Export documentation – accept reality, deal with it
The Israeli question
Saudi Arabia and UAE are #2 and #3 markets for us in the Middle East. Israel is the largest.
How do you do business with Israel and the others?
Keep it separate. Have 2 passports etc
Don’t stay away from Saudi/UAE because you deal with Israel or vice versa
If US-owned, play up UK angle in Saudi/UAE
Why did we look for agents as recently as 2004?
We wanted to increase our customer base
More time “on the ground” could do the trick?
Having agents doesn’t mean you don’t need to go
Principals still must visit to meet decision makers
“ Old boys tours” will give limit results
Trust is very important when choosing agents
Be prepared for a long courtship
Use someone who is well respected in your markets
Our deal didn’t work but we are still looking at others