Ernest Azzam, regional business manager - LFP, Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, HP speaks about their Gulf Print and Pack Participation

As a manufacturer how do you contribute to the sustainability initiatives?

Sustainability forms a key pillar of HP. Over the year’s we have been recognized with several awards. In fact, as recent as 2018, HP has been selected as one of the top 100 most sustainable corporations by the Corporate knights Global 100. In addition, we have also received the 2018 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award that has recognized HP’s energy-efficient computing, printing and imaging technologies.

Digital industry already took the world in storm. Did you feel the tremor in the industry in terms of volumes?
Indeed, digital printing is transforming the industry in all applications, from large format printing, to commercial printing, packaging, decoration and textile. As we deliver solutions across all applications, we can confirm that there has been a great shift in volumes.

There is a saying that packaging/commercial jobs don’t have big margins, so we need to have big volumes to recover the high investment. Have you tried changing the margin aspect?
We believe margins do not come from volume, they come from value. Personalized experiences and tailored offerings provide more value to the customer and thus more margin and differentiation for the provider and/or designer.

One of the permanent challenges is the rising cost of the raw materials for the suppliers/printers. In which way, HP is supporting them?
Rising costs do not come from raw materials only, there are hidden costs such as waste, time, manpower and services. At HP, we work on making the total cost of ownership affordable so that our customers can save on all aspects of the printing workflow, not only on raw materials. This is one of the reasons why we have a good market share and are well-positioned in the market.

What is the single biggest way to change the packaging sector in the coming years?
Recently, we have noticed that personalization and differentiation are key changes that impact the packaging market and will continue to drive changes.

How was 2018 for your company and overall how did the industry perform in 2018?
The region had mixed results in 2018 where we saw some countries have challenges while others push significant growth. Our role at HP is to always introduce new technologies and solutions to open new markets.

What are the technologies/products you are going to showcase?
HP will be showcasing the R-Series for the first time in the Middle East. The R2000 and R1000 printers are the first hybrid flatbed and roll-to-roll printers using Latex ink technology. We will also show the HP Pagewide XL technology the fastest inkjet printer in its category. We believe those solutions open new markets and applications for our customers and we look forward to discussing those at GPP.