'UAE market is a stepping stone in the region'

IT SEEMS there is no limit to innovation in the computers and IT field. The latest to come out with a new idea is Hewlett Packard (HP). The innovation, though small, is significant in its market segment.

By Vijay Dandige (Contributor)

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Published: Wed 30 Jan 2008, 11:16 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:08 PM

HP has launched in the region its ColourLok Technology for HP Everyday Papers. ColourLok is simply a specialised type of paper HP has created for inkjet printing, laserjet printing and photography.

The benefit? ColorLok papers are designed to dry up three times faster than ordinary papers, which means they can be handled sooner with less risk of smearing. Additionally, the paper ensures bolder blacks and brings out colours more vividly.

“The real wow factor is that if you see an image on a normal paper and the same one on ColouLok, you can visibly see the difference. There’s very significant visual difference in print quality results,” said Dennis McComb, HP Director of Business Development, Image and Printing Group.

McComb, stationed at Singapore, flew down last week for the launch organised by Al Suwaidi Computer, the flagship company of Dubai-based Al Suwaidi Group, which is the exclusive distributor for the new technology in the UAE and Kuwait.

Being introduced in the region for the first time, the new technology is already launched in Asia, South East Air, Australia, Europe and the US.

A native of Idaho, USA, and alumnus of Arizona State University and Thunderbird International School of Management, Dennis McComb has been with HP since 2000. Here he speaks to City Times.

What prompted HP to create the new technology?

HP was motivated to come up with the new technology to solve a common problem often witnessed: of removing a freshly-printed document from an inkjet printer only to find that, because it hasn't yet dried, the ink has smeared. So, engineers from HP sat down with their counterparts from International Paper, the world's largest paper company, to address the problem.

Is there a large difference in prices of normal paper and ColourLok papers?

Our vision for ColourLok is that there is no inherent cost uplift for adding the technology. So, from a retail pricing standpoint, our pricing in most markets in the world either didn’t change or just changed very slightly. Paper prices generally have been rising in all markets but we have not passed on our cost to end users.

What do you think of the UAE print market?

In terms of absolute numbers the UAE market is not a giant market. There is good growth though. It is a stepping stone in the region and it presents a much more immediate opportunity. So, it’s a very good market for us in terms of being able to put some focus. And it also helps us learn about what we think is going to be the dynamic, as there is more development in the markets around the Gulf region than other regions.

Where do you think the UAE or the Middle East print market stands as compared to European or Asian markets?

I guess I see them as similar in many ways. Obviously, from the growth point, there are lots of parallels. So, a lot of countries in the region, especially the UAE, are experiencing a pretty high level of growth, as countries in Asia. Another thing is, people from outside of the region tend to think of the Middle East as a group of countries that behave very much alike in many ways, when obviously the UAE and Jordan and Egypt are three completely different markets, with totally different kind of customer behaviour etc. That is, of course, also true of Asia. So, you have to sort of get down to country level to appreciate how diverse the region is and to think creatively about how solving a problem in the UAE may not solve the problem in another part of the region.

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