Lexar empowers the world’s digital data with advanced storage and security solutions
Middle East, Africa, and India are emerging markets for the global brand
At a time when digital data, data storage devices and personal and enterprise customers’ trends continue to evolve daily, San Jose, California-headquartered Lexar – a leading global maker of flash memory solutions for retail and OEM customers – stays ahead of the curve by producing advanced memory cards, micro SD cards, digital imaging cards, USB flash drives, card readers, client and gaming DRAM, and client and portable SSDs as part of its award-winning product portfolio.
Lexar exhibited its latest product range at GITEX Global 2023 in association with its GCC region distributor, MBuzz Technologies, where Fissal Oubida, Global Marketing Director and General Manager for the Middle East, Africa and India, Lexar, engaged with ‘Middle East News 247’ in this exclusive interview.
Excerpts from the interview:
What are the main parameters that guide Lexar’s R&D?
We have four main parameters, or pillars, that guide our research and development. The first is reliability; consumers need ever more reliable products. The second is compatibility; we must ensure compatibility as new products and devices emerge yearly.
The third pillar is data security; people want their data to be secure in memory storage devices. Lastly, we emphasise quality. Lexar is unique in that we have our in-house testing facilities. Products go from our factory to a testing lab and are rigorously tested before they are delivered to the consumer. Our return rate is less than 0.5%, while some of our competitors have a return rate of over 10%.
So, Lexar places a significant emphasis on reliability, compatibility, security, and quality; these are the four pillars guiding our continuous research and development efforts.
What are the specifics of the Middle East, Africa, and India, three diverse markets that you oversee?
The Middle East, Africa, and India are all emerging markets with varying levels of growth. While each region has its unique dynamics, they share a common trait of being growth markets.
These regions are still catching up with more established markets like Europe and the USA, which have relatively minimal growth. The world is focusing on these emerging regions, so we are increasing our presence in these specific regions.
We have an office in Dubai and teams in India and various African countries. Our headquarters for the Middle East region is in Dubai, and by the end of the year, we plan to expand our team to further focus on the Middle East, African, and Indian markets.
What about Saudi Arabia? The large Gulf country is a significant market in its own right.
Saudi Arabia is indeed a crucial market for us. We have partners in Riyadh and Jeddah helping us respond to the increasing demand for memory solutions, especially in the gaming sector. It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia has one of the highest numbers of gamers in the world. In response to this demand, we have launched products like our SSDs with speeds of up to 12,000 megabytes per second and our Aorus DDR5 memory, which is ideal for gaming. We understand the unique needs of the Saudi market, and we are ready to provide the speed and efficiency that gamers desire.
How do you see consumers’ needs evolving regarding memory solutions, especially with the growing prevalence of technologies like AI?
The memory industry is experiencing significant growth, with projections of $37 billion by 2028 globally and $8 billion in the Middle East and Africa by 2025.
Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI rely on memory solutions. No matter how sophisticated these technologies are, they require memory solutions that can keep up in capacity and speed.
Lexar is continually working to stay ahead of emerging technology trends, such as AI. For example, our SSD with a speed of 12,000 MB/s, while not mainstream yet, caters to niche markets like AI, and as these technologies become more prevalent, Lexar is prepared to meet the growing demand for memory solutions.
With consumers moving towards cloud storage, is there any conflict with your approach to creating memory and SSD solutions?
Lexar caters to both personal and enterprise needs. While the trend is towards cloud storage, there are still significant concerns about data security and privacy, especially given the recent high-profile server breaches reported in the news.
People tend to trust having their data stored on personal devices rather than third-party servers. Lexar acknowledges this need for personal memory solutions and offers encrypted portable SSDs with remote access to provide a secure way for individuals to access their data anywhere.
Our approach is to provide options for consumers, whether they prefer cloud storage or personal memory solutions.
Given its dynamic nature, what are the challenges of doing business in the Middle East?
The Middle East is a dynamic region with evolving regulations and business practices. Each country may have unique challenges, from setting up offices to hiring local staff and dealing with customs and certification processes.
However, we have learned to adapt to these challenges and navigate the evolving landscape over time. Lexar is committed to understanding and addressing these challenges to serve the region effectively.
Is it true that most of Lexar’s production is in Mainland China?
Not entirely. Lexar has production facilities in Mainland China and Taiwan, and we recently opened a factory in Brazil. We are also planning to open a factory in India. Lexar is a global company with headquarters in both the USA and China. We have a worldwide presence and are committed to delivering high-quality memory solutions to customers worldwide.
Given the emphasis on sustainability in the UAE, how does Lexar contribute to sustainability and the UN’s SDGs?
Lexar is committed to sustainability in multiple ways. We carefully choose materials for our products and incorporate recyclable plastics that are safe for the environment.
Our dedicated sustainability department assesses our products and ensures they do not contain hazardous materials. Lexar aims to make all its products and industrial processes 100% sustainable by 2028.
Sustainability is a long journey, but we are up to the challenge and dedicated to positively impacting the environment.
Why is Lexar participating in GITEX Global 2023 as a global exhibitor?
We religiously participate in GITEX Global every year and participated in the first edition of the GITEX Global app. Our participation in GITEX Global is always an opportunity to showcase our innovations.
There is no better platform than GITEX Global to introduce new products. Lexar, a 30-year-old leader in memory, has 900 research and development engineers, which I believe is the highest among our competitors, focusing on research, engineering, and development.
We have new products every month, either by increasing the capacity of existing products or completely innovating new ones. So, to answer the question, yes, GITEX Global is the best platform to introduce new products to our customers, consumers, distributors, and all the channels we do business with.
GITEX Global is a unique event that caters to the entire GCC region, with attendees from Africa, India, and even CIS countries. Dubai’s central location and the appeal of the tradeshow make it an ideal platform to showcase our products and connect with potential and existing customers.
It’s not just about business; the trade event also offers a vibrant atmosphere and an opportunity to meet and network with people eager to explore the latest technology trends.
Featured image: Fissal Oubida at the Lexar stand at GITEX Global 2023. Image: Arnold Pinto