It is all about continuity. It is all about community. It is all about future. In 2016, to everyone's excitement, Dubai Opera opens its doors for the world of art and perfection, giving stage to the globally renowned Les Miserables, Cats, and Westside Story, to share the joy of the beautiful universe with those who live here and come to visit.
In 2016, Dubai shows an example of reserve, conservation, and protection for the people and resources, with numerous laws aimed at ensuring better use of energy, technology, and security. In 2016, after years of enormous development effort, Dubai is proudly looking into the year 2020, the well-known Expo 2020 Dubai that, I am sure, will be greater than anything that is happening around the world today. With business people finding new outlets and partnerships, start-ups turning into successful suppliers of novelty products and services, with public organizations finding new sponsorship sources and venues to multiply the good of their deeds.
In 2016, we, Gurtam team of six, arrived in Dubai for the GITEX exhibition with an optimistic outlook on the market opportunities of telematics and the Internet of Things.
A formerly known "cloud technology" now came down to earth to actually mean what is does, to provide interconnection between the things around us. We have come to the United Arab Emirates having three main objectives: to join the growing family of our partners, to show the fruit of our work, and see what is going on in the fastest developing region of the planet.
After three years of participation in the global event, we approached GITEX 2016 in a way different from the previous ones. Almost a year ago, Gurtam launched an office in Dubai, with teams from Minsk coming one after another to mingle, learn the local needs and to provide our partners with better communication. By the end of the year, seeing a firm and steady growth of Gurtam ME community, with the Middle East accounting for up to 10% of Gurtam global turnover, we decided to make a lasting foundation for mutual development. As an African saying has it, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Now, we have permanent presence in the region, a stronghold with an office in Dubai Silicon Oasis.
But the office is just one part that could not exist without another, integral, component we take pride in: a versatile network of hardware partners and a close circle of reliable integrators and service providers. And they all want a reliable partner too, to go far and to serve better. For this reason, we have started our visit with a Gurtam Partner Gathering in Conrad Hotel on October 16, just hours before the commencement of GITEX. The aim was to come together, introduce Gurtam Dubai team, speak about strategy, new features, and, most importantly, to hear what Gurtam partners want and expect. We were happy to see over 30 partner-companies at the round conference table. Having shared our experiences, joys and grievances, we have agreed to stick to five key points in 2017:
- to further develop Gurtam Dubai office;
- to enhance communication with local partners;
- to assist our partners in projects that are hard to do alone;
- to stand with, by, and behind our partners where they need it;
- to study the market and be aware of the trends.
Smoothly, we changed the cozy conference room for a spacious Zabeel Hall of Dubai World Trade Center, with such giants as Etisalat and Du, Accenture and SAP, and powerful aspiring entrepreneurial newbies from Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Living and Digital marketing. In 2016, our booth was visited by more than 150 companies thanks to the united communication effort of the Gurtam marketing and sales teams, help of our hardware partners and leads from previous events.
Wialon hardware partners could be easily found in the nearby sections, one just needed to follow our Gurtam Telematic map. We were glad to share the Hall with our old friends: Teltonika, GalileoSky, ATrack, Ruptela, RCS, Meitrack, and GlobalSat, just to name a few.
During the exhibition, we discussed current agendas and held business talks with 38 existing partners, among which are: Integrated Solutions (Iraq), Traklink (Jordan), Tawasol Riyadh Company (Saudi Arabia), Creation Heavy Equipment Trading (UAE), Location Solutions Telematics LLC (UAE), Giti Gostar Rahbord (Iran), Roadmaster Telematics (Saudi Arabia), Sicuro Group (UAE), Gredenza International Security & Surveillance Services LLC (UAE). The list is long already. In our conversations, we shared not only figures and business plans but considered new ways for Wialon solutions: Wialon Logistics, Passenger Module, Eco Driving, Sensolator, Driving Logbook. These apps and features, among many others, will be flagships in 2017. To them, we dedicated our presentations at Gurtam site of Zabeel Hall.
Five days of work, over 40 hours of empowering discussions, and months of preparation, I would like to thank my dear team mates: Olga Filonchuk for supervising the partner communication and brining leads from other regions, Zahar Poletaev for investing maximum effort into nurturing the existing and new partnerships, Volha Smirnova for arranging and organizing Gurtam-GITEX, Aliaksandr Kuushynau for general Wialon strategy and wise direction, and Aliaksei Shchurko for making Wialon possible and taking it to the next level. This would be impossible without Gurtam sales, marketing, support, solutions, HW/iDev.
After the GITEX week, we still have a long way to go, gradually, step by step, listening to each other. Because in the end, it is all about continuity, it is all about community, it is all about future.