Germany-based Sennheiser Group, makers of premium headphones and providers of professional audio business solutions, is looking to make acquisitions for organic growth in the Middle East.

“We are focusing more on business communication applications, the hybrid meeting solutions market and the in-car audio segment in view of the growing population of electric cars in the region,” Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO, Sennheiser Group, told Zawya in an interview.

He said there is increased demand for professional meeting solutions due to the emergence of hybrid working and learning formats since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, in addition to the resurgence of the events industry.

He further noted that the adoption of hybrid working arrangements by universities and governments in the region is the most sustainable growing market.

Sennheiser has partnered with some UAE universities as “lots of investment is happening here. As it is, all the high-profile higher education entities are our customers, and they are ideal places to showcase our technology.”

On its expansion strategy in the region, Andreas said the company is not looking to tap the capital market. “On the one hand, we grow organically, and on the other, we look out for partners or potential acquisitions to make the audio ecosystem even more exciting. However, we don’t have an approach or a big pipeline of possible acquisitions. We look at where a customer would benefit from. We usually look at whether there is [an] unmet need for our customers that we feel we could fill.”

“Our strategy mostly is to bring in the most talented team to develop the market. Almost 15 years ago, we set our dedicated team in the UAE. That’s how Dubai became the hub for the entire region, and the success has proven that there is a lot of sense in bringing the most talented people to the region. We will be catering to the Saudi market from the UAE,” he added.

Among Sennheiser’s forays in the expanding electric vehicles sector is Volkswagen’s all-electric coupe SUV Cupra Tavascan, which is fitted with Sennheiser sound system.

“This collaboration is set to redefine the in-car audio experience and push the boundaries of what is possible in the automotive space,” he said. “Going forward, we will also be working with other OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] on extending this range. Our view is that when cars don’t make any noise from the engine, we can be much more creative. That was the right moment to enter the business, and the market has been very receptive.”

Sennheiser sees potential in the increased interaction between the Ambeo immersive audio technology and the business communication area. Vehicles will increasingly become the communication centre for virtual meetings.

Andreas said the company does not have any concrete plan for setting up manufacturing facilities in the region. “We do have a technology approach to manufacturing. Most of the products we make are of such high precision that we manufacture under one roof. All the high-tech assembling and [other] processes are done in the German factory and the more labour-intensive products in the Romania plant,” he said.

“If we outgrow our current facilities, we may look at extending and building regionally [in the Gulf].

(Reporting by Bhaskar Raj; editing by Seban Scaria)