Antalis still reeling from Kodak’s kudos-19-09-2011
On Thursday, 25 August Antalis South Africa (Pty) Ltd’s senior management team hosted a breakfast presentation during which some of Kodak’s most senior executives were introduced to the Print industries media gurus.
Philip Cullimore, Managing Director of Consumer and Commercial businesses EAMER; Gustavo Oviedo, Chief Customer Officer and General Manager, Worldwide Regional Operations and Komal Sharma, Sales Director, Consumer and Commercial businesses Middle East & Africa and Vice President EAMER shared their collective expertise in a friendly, open and highly encouraging manner.
“To say I am blown away by their presence as well as the success of this function would be a significant understatement.” shared a jubilant Keith Solomon, Director of Antalis. “Essentially the Kodak team were here on a fact-finding mission which resulted in them confirming their thoughts; that South Africa really is the economic hub of their emerging markets which incorporates South and East Africa and Asia.”
Solomon kicked off the two-hour presentation and networking opportunity during which all three of the Kodak team discussed various insights into Kodak’s international future as well as their local focus.
As an introduction to the significant time and money that Kodak spends on research and development Cullimore reminded the audience of George Eastman’s famous phrase ‘You press the button and we do the rest’; he went on to disclose the fact that for each patent owned by the company approximately $1 million is spent by the iconic brand on research.
Cullimore explained that whilst, in 2008 only 10% of the organisations staff were based in emerging countries by 2012 they estimate more than 25% of their staff contingent would be represented in these markets.
“I am convinced that our company needs to and will focus significant time and energy in South Africa. What is evident to me is the entrepreneurial nature of your country as well the extensive opportunities available here.” said Oviedo. “I have met a number of industry leaders during my stay and I am impressed at their level of appropriate risk-taking as well as their optimistic nature. All of these elements I will take away with me as reassurance that we need to accelerate our efforts in this market.”
During the question and answer phase of the session Sharma was asked how the unrest in other emerging markets was affecting business; “Thankfully we were able to correctly read the impending troubles that have ultimately affected some our regions so we were not taken by surprise. However our products and technology are still being well received in other markets. Thankfully South Africa is making up for any short falls!”
“Your country is proving to be very pro-active in adopting new technology. We’ve identified that Kodak needs to to be more generous in sharing the latest technological advances here and steps are already in place to ensure this happens.” continued Oviedo.
Having travelled to Southern African on a number of occasions Cullimore shared how he has witnessed the quick and extensive evolution of the market and he believes there are a plethora of opportunities for first mover advantage, essentially talking about those companies who are the first to introduce and run with new products and technology.
“I feel exceptionally confident that the team left the country buoyed by our exuberance, energy and commitment – seeing South Africa as the super power of the region. The relationship that we, at Antalis, have worked tirelessly and successfully to develop is now firmly cemented. They were impressed and didn’t hold back when sharing the fact that they see Antalis as a key collaborator in their strategy.” concluded Solomon.