Olympus regional managing director Maurice Faber spoke exclusively to Pipeline Magazine about the Japanese firm's long term investment plans for the region
The opening of Olympus new hi-tech regional headquarters in Dubai Science Park is a real show of intent from the nearly hundred year old Japanese company that they mean business in the region.
"Olympus is investing in the region and the opening up of our new headquarters is a major milestone of the firm's long term strategy for the region," said Faber who joined the company last year.
The thinking behind establishing a regional headquarters now was that the Olympus sees great growth potential in the 72 countries within the three regions.
"Africa, Middle East, and Turkey are areas from an economical point of view that are very interesting for Olympus. They see strong market growth but to cover such a wide and complex area of interest requires focus. Therefore Olympus decided it needed a regional headquarters and so we decided on building it in Dubai," said Faber.
Olympus covers a range of sectors from healthcare, to consumer and industrial business.
"Our business model is based around partners and distributors in the region. In each 72 countries we have partners for all of our four divisions."
The Dubai headquarters also contains a hi-tech training centre and a repair centre.
"Training is key for Olympus and we focus heavily on training our distributors and key customers. We are going to be pushing this from here as we have state-of-the-art training facilities in Dubai. We are aiming to train around 1,000 people each year," added Faber.
The repair centre will play a vital role in helping Olympus support its clients in the region and will cover the firm's industrial and medical divisions.
"It is very important that all specifications are met in the oil and gas business as you have highly inflammable gas so we must make sure every piece of equipment is a 100 per cent perfect. Every unit that comes to our repair shop will leave as good as new. Safety is key in all aspects of our business strategy," he added.
Olympus conducts 180 checks on a single product that comes into the repair centre which means they can guarantee that any repaired product can meet the highest quality of specifications.
Oil and Gas opportunities
A main focus of the new Dubai headquarters is Olympus industrial business, with the the oil and gas sector a very important component.
"By setting up in the region we are planning to grow our oil and gas market base which is set to grow in the future. Obviously the core oil producing countries are a core focus. The region is very much commodity driven and we will be concentrating on the biggest economies such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt," said Faber.
Olympus oil and gas offering can vary from checking gas turbines in power plants, to inspecting gas pipelines.
"Any sort of high pressure piping is our target market. A Pipeline that carries hydrocarbons is very inflammable and could be very damaging if anything goes wrong. We have the equipment to check the safety of a Pipeline."
Faber said that Olympus already works with all the major oil and gas companies in the region from Saudi Aramco to ADNOC.
He added: "We also work very closely with the third party global players who conduct the inspections. So we have the best of both worlds as we work closely with the local customer here and the global players."
Faber highlighted the firm's Omniscan NDT (non destructive testing) instrument that is used for checking welding quality in pipelines.
"There is a market out there to check that standards for new pipelines are in place and the right mixture of metal has been used. We can test the integrity of any metal within minutes. We have the technology, our Vanta X Ray flouresence analyser, that we can deploy to test for any defect."
Faber believes there is a real opportunity for Olympus in the maintenance market for the oil and gas sector.
"When the oil price dipped companies had to make sure that their existing capital was maintained, which means more money was spent on maintaining existing assets. This is our domain. There is always potential in a low oil price environment," he noted.
In conclusion Faber said: "Our target is to become the first company anyone thinks about when looking for equipment safety checks in the oil and gas industry. That is why Olympus puts so much focus on quality."
This interview featured in the March issue of Pipeline Magazine