Sony has big plans for Iraq

Sony, the leading consumer electronics and entertainment brand, recently unveiled its extensive plan for expansion in Iraq.

By Staff Report

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Published: Sun 28 Jul 2013, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 7:57 AM

Along with its official business partner, Modern Electronics Iraq, or MEI, Sony will look to transform the Iraqi consumers’ experience through launching its entire line-up of latest technology products, introducing experiential Sony-branded stores and setting up authorised service centres in Iraq.

The announcements, which came at an exclusive dealers’ conference in Erbil, highlight the significance Sony places on Iraq as an emerging market in the Middle East with a huge potential for growth.

“Iraq is undoubtedly one of the most important markets for Sony. By 2015, we hope to achieve a $350 million share in the consumer electronics space, including the fast-growing mobile phone business,” Sony Middle East and Africa managing director Hiroyasu Sugiyama said at the event.

“The numbers certainly look exciting, but our immediate focus is to identify tactics that help us move towards our target. The Sony roadmap for Iraq constitutes a three-pillared strategy based on product, customer and operation.”

Recognising the demand for its entire line-up of products in Iraq, Sony aims to synchronise its international launches to include Iraq. From the award-winning Sony Xperia Z smartphone, the Xperia tablet, Vaio notebooks and Bravia 4K TVs to the PlayStation 3 game console and the world’s most powerful audio system, the Shake 7 stereo, Sony will look to reduce wait-time and increase the availability of its products for Iraqi consumers.

Looking to transform the experiential prospects for Iraqi customers, Sony is also set to roll-out its unique world-class branded stores, where all products are displayed in an open and easy-to-touch-and-try layout, with Sony-trained salespersons ready to explain and demonstrate these products. The idea is to enable customers to easily appreciate product benefits and buy them in a very pleasant atmosphere. Two such stores have already been successfully launched in Baghdad and Erbil, with plans in place to expand the network of showrooms to 20 across key cities in Iraq by June 2014.

Sony’s attention to quality does not end at the point of sale; a network of authorised service centres, set up under the strict supervision of Japanese quality control officers, is planned. Two such centres have been opened in Baghdad and Erbil, while an additional three will be added by June 2014. A first for Sony customers in Iraq, they will now be able to get official warranty every time they purchase a Sony product.

Sugiyama added: “We have localised communications in Web and social media where young people spend most of their time in order to ensure they are aware of our products, promotions and services. This is in addition to traditional media such as catalogues and newspaper advertising. We have also set up a Sony Iraq website and Sony Facebook for Middle East that already has 30,000 Sony fans from Iraq.”

Sony has partnered with MEI to bolster its local operations by setting up offices in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra. A local team of 63 members will manage the Sony business in Iraq.

“This partnership with Sony is of great significance as it represents our efforts to create awareness and to inform our retail partners and our valued customers about the latest high quality products from Sony. Customers in Iraq will be able to get the full line up of Sony products at the same time as their international launch. The prices will be competitive and a network of professional after-sales service will be available should they need it,” MEI executive director Feri Zekisson said.

— alvin@khaleejtimes.com



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