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Interview: Krzysztof Góra, Bosch’s Sales and Marketing Direct

In an exclusive interview with a&s Middle East, Krzysztof Góra, Bosch’s Sales and Marketing Director, elaborates on his company’s strategic realignment, emphasizing innovative fire detection, the Middle East market strategy, and industry-specific solutions

a&s Middle East: What are the company’s plans for international business development following the announcement of selling three major divisions?

Góra: As you correctly point out, Bosch is realigning its Building Technologies division. The company plans to sell most of the division’s product business. This includes the Video, Access and Intrusion, and Communication business units. But the product business with fire alarm systems will not be sold. In fact, our international fire detection business will continue with the same commitments and ambitions in all countries where we are present today. We will maintain our sales channels, partnerships, and contracts. Also, we will make further investments in our portfolio. So, we are excited to continue to contribute with our partners to the success story of the Bosch life safety business, which lasts already for over 100 years.

a&s Middle East: What is the strategy for the Middle East region following this step? 

Góra: The Middle East continues to be a very attractive market for us. On one hand, the growing awareness of fire safety regulations has contributed to an increase in the demand for fire protection systems across all verticals in this region. But also, trade shows – such as Intersec – conferences, and exhibitions focused on fire safety also contribute to raising further awareness about the latest technologies and solutions available in the market.

Now, every country has its own regulations and dynamics in the region. For our penetration into the market, we strongly believe in localization. For this purpose, we establish strong local partnerships with system integrators and distributors. Our team in the region supports our local SIs in many ways such as conducting commercial trainings and organizing events to spread the advantages of Bosch Fire Alarm solutions.

a&s Middle East: Could you share insights into the innovations BOSCH is planning to introduce and currently working on?

Góra: Our goal is to fulfill the needs of stakeholders in our industry. This is, to ensure real reliable detection for safety managers, to support the maintenance of the installed systems by system integrators, or to contribute to the smooth planning of a fire alarm system by designers.

In the realm of protection and business continuity, the demand for reliable fire detection is paramount. For this, we incorporate the most advanced technology in our solutions. Let me illustrate this with two examples. First, we need to embrace multi-sensor technology. Second, we follow up on this by exploring video-based fire detection with AI. Trained algorithms swiftly identify flames and smoke at their source, extending possible applications even to outdoor settings.

Addressing the need for streamlined maintenance, our Remote Services transform a fire alarm system into a state-of-the-art IoT solution. This enables remote access to our installed systems for programming, maintenance, and live monitoring of e.g. pollution level of fire detectors and alarm and trouble transmissions to smart devices. In fact, Bosch detectors preemptively meet the newest VdS 3860 requirements.

For easier and faster planning, our Safety Systems Designer software facilitates comprehensive design and project planning for Bosch fire detection systems. This innovation ensures swift and straightforward planning processes, meeting the evolving needs of designers in the field.

a&s Middle East: Does Bosch have some focus on specific industries as part of your strategy?

Góra: Bosch offers an extensive range of products in the field of fire detection. These products allow us to realize tailor-made solutions for almost any type of project, from manufacturing plants to commercial buildings, from hospitals to airports. Now, our systems and products bring unique capabilities to overcome specific challenges faced by different industries. Let me share a few examples.

In case of an alarm in hospitals, many patients require assistance for descending stairwells while elevators are out of use. The Bosch Smart Safety Link enables the integration of voice alarms with fire detectors and assists safety managers with emergency evacuations allowing for a highly effective gradual evacuation approach.

Unplanned downtime in manufacturing is extremely cost-intensive. Electrical machinery and electronic devices on industrial plants create electromagnetic disturbance values which risk disruption to production and other operations. The eSmog feature of AVENAR 4000 fire detectors is electromagnetic-compatible. The detector is therefore informed of disturbance values from sources such as equipment, which greatly reduces the risk of false alarms and subsequent downtime and evacuations.

In hotels, museums or flagship office buildings aesthetics play a major role. Our flat fire detectors are ultra-slim with a smooth surface, thereby being unintrusive and hardly visible on the ceiling. We even offer a choice of 16 RAL colors to complement interiors.

And a last example today. Detecting fires in half-open spaces is difficult due to wind and weather effects. Our AI video-based fire detection solution, AVIOTEC, provides outdoor fire detection near buildings where virtually no other detection technology is available. It enables the detection of smoke and flames even in windy conditions. This is ideal for outside storage areas, hangars at airports, or solar plants.

a&s Middle East: The Middle East region is a mixed market where UL as well as EN solutions co-exist. Bosch has a strong EN54 portfolio. Do you have any plans to introduce a UL range of products in the short term?

Góra: Our goal is to remain a global player in the EN54 fire product business. Now, although sometimes assumed, it is by no means required that testing and listing of a project tender shall be based on an American product standard. In fact, NFPA 72 leaves this open by purpose, allowing for solutions that provide an equivalent or even better safety level. This means, provided that planning and installation-specific requirements are met, products certified in accordance with the EN 54 series like those with VdS-Approval can be used in installations according to NFPA 72. So yes, the Bosch portfolio can be installed in an NFPA-specified project.

a&s Middle East: Could you provide a list of countries or regions where the Building Technology division will continue its operations after the realignment?

Góra: As mentioned earlier, our international fire detection business will continue with the same commitments and ambitions in all countries where we are present today. Together with our partners, our goal is to remain a top player in the fire product business. As part of the Bosch Group, our customers can further rely on our business ethics and highest quality standards. The Bosch brand is and remains synonymous with trust, reliability, and innovation.

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