Nael AL-DOUJAILI, Managing Director MEA, IB-Remarketing, Global IT Support & Maintenance Services, on the business of recycling and reusing IT products.
Could you elaborate on your business focus in the Middle East?
We are an IT company specialising in maintenance and support for high-end equipment such as servers, storage and networking. We mainly work on large data centres to bring customers economy of scale, based on volume. We focus on lifecycle extension, green maintenance and smart recycling.
Lifecycle extension: We support our clients’ end-of-life equipment, which is no longer supported by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). We extend the amount of time IT equipment can function for, ensuring cost effectiveness and a better, greener IT approach.
Green maintenance: We implemented an eco-friendly approach to recycle obsolete IT equipment. This process involves collecting and dismantling our client’s equipment, testing and reusing it. Through this system, we can propose the main competitive second hand offers on the current Middle East market, with the same quality as new equipment.
Smart recycling: Our company implements an effective and efficient green approach. We operate according to the rules set out by the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE). We offer a complete range of recycling services and provide a certified data erasure and recycling certificate. Our strength is to allow other businesses to focus on their goals while we take care of their electronic waste disposal issues.
What kind of opportunities do you see in the recycled IT business in the Middle East market?
We foresee a huge expansion implemented by the international blue chip companies that have settled here. The Middle East is clearly one of our top targeted markets. There is nothing concrete being done here yet. We also expect the Government to create legislations to support Green IT.
Can you elaborate on why would clients want to choose refurbished IT products over new, other than it being cost-effective?
Thanks to our stock, we can ensure a quicker delivery and warranty exchange time than a manufacturer. Also through refurbished products, companies can save on the costs for training staff to use the new equipment as well as the migration costs. Finally, using IT equipment till the very end of its life reduces the carbon footprint of a company.
What has been the response of the market? Are customers in the region aware of the benefits of recycled IT products?
It has been almost a decade since IBR began supporting companies in the MEA region with recycling, upgrade, support, relocation while providing cost reduction.
Customer feedbacks have been quite positive. We have seen a double-digit growth for the last 5 years consecutively. The daily requests are increasing as we see that regional customers are aware of the benefits and are curious to see how it can be applied to them. We are confident that the investments we are making on our new warehouses and technical team are going to help us keep the same line of direction.
How do you plan to reach out to the market?
Our target is to be one of the top 3 maintenance companies globally within the next 5 years.
We count on:
Communicating on our cost effective and efficient strategy – choosing to postpone the end of life of your perfectly working equipment therefore preventing lengthy procedure and extra migration costs. Our sales team travels to more than 85 countries worldwide to serve this purpose.
Buying back more and more equipment: Educating our clients with the environmental benefits that come with the purchase of refurbished products. This involves letting them know that the carbon footprint of their equipment and the burden of e-waste is lessened with every refurbished product reused.
What are your challenges in this market? How do you plan to address them?
There are two truths that we are fighting for ‘second hand is not garbage’ and ‘new is not always needed’.
Numbers are always a good way to prove to people that a system is working well. As of today, we support more than 110,000 systems worldwide thanks to recycling and that’s what we consider as a good start.
Globally, what is the attitude towards refurbished IT products?
By constantly educating clients, with more and more people speaking and writing about it, people have started to accept it increasingly. Minds are changing but we must still acknowledge the responsibility that we have for the future generation and how today’s actions can be tragic for our future. Obviously, the price is helping us with the ‘customer education’ process.
Anything else you would like to add?
Second hand products are often stereotyped but our company works very hard to ensure that our refurbished products are of the highest quality. On the top of that, we do make sure to send certified engineers with spare parts that have been tested to provide high quality services.