Epson Corporation, a Japanese electronics company, achieved $1.2m sales of digital textile printing solutions in Egypt last year, equivalent to 85 machines, out of a total 180 units in the region, according to Shihab Ahmed, regional sales manager for professional solutions at Epson in the Middle East.
He added that there are strong growth opportunities within the framework of Egypt’s vision to achieve digital transformation, noting that the company aims to cooperate with factories affiliated to the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector in light of the development and modernisation of the textile industry in Egypt.
He added that Epson officially started the activity of developing digital printing solutions on textiles four years ago, and looked at Egypt as a promising market in the region due to the government’s endeavours to advance the industry and the country’s availability of long-staple cotton varieties. He also pointed out that company was pivotal in uniform printing for schools, festivals, and sports teams.
The government sector accounts for 50% of the company’s business in Egypt, and provides printing solutions for sportswear and hotel supplies. The company cooperates with several companies in printing solutions, most notably Mardini Textile.
Digital printing solutions save more than 50% of production costs in the long term due to a lack of printing requirements that specify a number of metres compared to the traditional method that relies on dyeing workshops. Epson is also able to adapt quickly to the needs of the market according to technological developments.
Ahmed believes that Epson competes with several other companies, including Japan’s Mimaki and American HP, and the company provides integrated solutions of hardware, specialised software, and maintenance work.
This year, the company plans to increase its business volume by 15% in the Egyptian market. In the coming fiscal year – to start 1 April – the company will divide the Middle East region into four parts: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the rest of the region’s country.
Ahmed said that Egypt’s classification as a separate market is due to its strategic importance for the company, pointing out that professional printing solutions include both photography, maps, and outdoor ads.
He pointed out that Epson has a regional office in Dubai that manages market sales in the Middle East, and recently opened a representative office for the Saudi market, noting that the company accounts for 62% of sales in professional printing solutions for the region.
When talking about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the company’s business, Ahmed noted that all major industries take place inside Japan, and that Epson has assembly lines in China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In order to continue business, the company has decided to transfer its assembly work temporarily to the Jebel Ali area in Dubai.
He believes that the printing industry has witnessed a major shift towards digital methods in the past 10 years and the company aims to focus on outdoor advertising and textiles (clothing and home furnishings).
In the past three years, the company was able to sell 120 printing machines for textile printing in Egypt, and today, the CMYK agent has about 1,200 customers and aims to increase the volume of their business.
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