Interview: Faisal Mohamed, CEO, ScreenCheck
We strive to be the one-stop distributor for all security and identity products in the region, and our success is reflected in our extensive network of channel partners and the distribution of world-leading brands
By: Mahir Hodžić
a&s Middle East: ScreenCheck is a distributor of security products with many years in business. Tell us more about your company: where did it all start, what were the most important milestones, when did you open a Middle East division, and what are the benefits of being a part of Centena Group in relation to support and business experience?
Faisal: It all started in 2003. We started the company with the ambition of being one point distributor for all security and identity products in the region and today, we distribute the world’s leading brands in 25 countries in the region through more than 175 channel partners. Centena Group is a highly diversified business conglomerate based out of Dubai. They have offices in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, India, the UK, and Singapore Being part of Centena Group gives us the advantages of world-class foundation and coworking with other Centena business units across the region, which really helped us for our growth and expansion.
a&s Middle East: You claim to have the largest inventory stock in the Middle East and distribute products and offer end-to-end solutions in 25 countries. Which Middle Eastern countries do you operate most successfully in and – from a market perspective – why?
Faisal: One of the reasons why our channel network considers us as the most preferred vendor is, we are able to fulfill their orders in the shortest time. Even during the peak of the supply chain disruption, we were able to deliver on committed time. In the Middle East, the GCC countries perform the highest for us. Of course, Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing markets for us with their current economic developments. Our local presence in the GCC countries really helps us to understand the challenges in each market and develop strategies.
a&s Middle East: You work with some of the world’s leading brands in identification, time & attendance, access control, video surveillance, RFID, etc. Which leading brands have you partnered with? How do you see the growth of Suprema which is one of the flagship products in your portfolio in the region?
Faisal: In access control and time attendance we are distributors for Suprema, and we are also the distributors for CMI. In identity management, we partnered with Zebra, Evolis, Entrust, and we have also an OEM agreement to manufacture the printers. In RFID, we are a partner with Impinj, and in pedestrian security, we are a partner with Daosafe. Suprema is one of the flagship brands that we are holding and we are very proud of it. We are associated with Suprema since they started their business and today we are distributors for Suprema in many countries in the region. One thing that we really appreciate about Suprema is the innovation that they are bringing to the table. They are pretty fast when bringing new features, new technology, and even large companies are not able to match the design innovation that they are bringing. It is a well-recognized market leader in Middle East countries.
a&s Middle East: How do you help your customers pick the right components for their solutions?
Faisal: We have technical consultants or project pre-sale consultants who are on board, and who work very closely with our system integrators and end-user customers to identify the requirement of the customer and map it with the solution. We don’t even mind telling our customers that our component does not meet their requirements, so they probably should go to the competition. So, it’s that kind of close relationship we made with our customers and our system integrators.
a&s Middle East: What types or series of products in each category are the best sellers and why?
Faisal: We supply the products and solutions to most of the projects which are into security. So, you may be looking for an identity management site, it can be a simple ID card requirement for an office or a school, all the way up to a nationwide project like a driver’s license, national ID card, or health insurance card. When it comes to security, it is the same. It can be an access control system for an office, along with video surveillance or a CCTV camera, or it can be an integrated system with the BMS for a large tower or a multi-story complex. So, we are there to meet most of the customer requirements.
a&s Middle East: Is being an ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018, and ISO 9001:2015 certified organization assurance of the quality of the products and services you offer, and in what way?
Faisal: We have been an ISO-certified company for a long time. And it gives us a very defined process and procedures in place. So, our employees know the process very clearly. They know what to do for each stage. When they get stuck at a stage, they can refer to this and they know what next action to be taken even without consulting the reporting officer. The same thing is now happening with our customers as well. They know this is a process that ScreenCheck is following, so they know what they will get next. If something happens like this, what should I do? It is now well-defined, clearly specified, documented, and available for review for every employee.
a&s Middle East: Do you support your customers through an authorized service center and training?
Faisal: Of course, for many of the brands which we are representing in the Middle East and African region, we are their authorized service center. So, whenever the customers are having a problem with those products, they bring it to our service center and we do the repair on behalf of the manufacturer. And training is an integral part of our channel program. So when a channel is actually onboarding to ScreenCheck we provide all the necessary training for them to make sure that they are well equipped to go to the market and provide the solution to their customers. It is an ongoing process, so we have continuous training which will happen we are inviting our customers and partners to enhance their skills and technologies.
a&s Middle East: What will you focus on in the years ahead? Are you planning to sign a partnership with some other brands?
Faisal: As I have mentioned we are actually well-established in the Middle East, Africa, and India. Now our next regional focus is Southeast Asia. We already entered Southeast Asia in 2021, it will be the focus for the next three years. We want to repeat our success in the Middle East, Africa, and India in South East Asia.
a&s Middle East: Which countries in Southeast Asia?
Faisal: Initially, our focus is Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.