Five minutes with.. Chris Govier, GM, Middle East Operations, Xerox
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Five minutes with.. Chris Govier, GM, Middle East Operations, Xerox

Five minutes with.. Chris Govier, GM, Middle East Operations, Xerox

Xerox’s new regional head is hoping to maintain the company’s position in the production space.


What are your key goals in your new position at Xerox?

Firstly, I would like to state that appointing a new GM of Middle East Operations is a clear statement that Xerox sees the Middle East market as a key region with huge potential.

I am responsible for driving Xerox’s vision and supporting the company’s business direction in the Middle East – providing innovative and smart technology solutions, improving sustainability and coupling our worldwide brand with our highly regarded regional partners.

What are your expectations for the print market this year?

According to IDC, the MEA printing industry is estimated to grow at a 6-8 per cent rate. Technology and its competency is always evolving and that is directly influencing brand owners in their product development choices and in turn their consumer behaviour and habits. PIRA International’s ‘Global Print Markets to 2016’ forecasts that the Middle East’s market share is expected to grow to $20bn by next year. With the market evolving as it should it is important how we as a company, as a team in the region react to it and how we can help our partners understand where the opportunities to grow lie.

Our market research and data reveals key areas where we still need to improve. So a big part of our plan is to engage with our partners to identify key market segments whilst working on improving the existing segments. Overall, we hope to maintain leadership in the production space. My role is to align all the resources to the market opportunities and combine it with our partner strength to continue to accelerate the great results that we have been seeing.

How important are Xerox’s channel partners for its Middle Eastern strategy?

Xerox’ channel partners are namely distributors and key partners. We essentially call them family partners, because in some cases we have the second generation continuing the partnership. Our channel partners are critical to our future and have been key to our success in the past. The growth that we see, the size of the business we enjoy here and the relationships we have with our customers are the direct results of the relationship that our partners have with our key clients.

We plan to continue that, encourage them to further identify additional partners that they can work with in their respective countries in order to increase our reach and to make sure other customers can take advantage of the Xerox value proposition. One of my key roles is to continue to support these partners as much as we can and enable them to be as successful as they can be.

What role can print technology play in the GCC’s smart city plans?

More and more production businesses are coming into the MPS and XPS offerings. As a regional team, our goal is to work on how we can further consolidate that. We have always worked towards cutting down wasted output and focus on printing what needs to be printed when it is needed. There is also a sustainability angle to it. Digital printing has fundamentally tipped the commercial print market on its head. With traditional printing, you can print a huge volume at a low cost, however, often vast quantities of the printed documents are wasted due to version changes and obsolescence. Now with the pace of change, information that is printed gets outdated sooner so we ensure that the printing is efficient and automated and customers can print what they need and when they need it.

We also try to extend this efficiency to the healthcare and transportation segments. Xerox does a lot of work behind the scenes in cooperation with other companies, especially in the transportation segment in the region, such as managing the financial aspects of these services, ensuring consistency across all the platforms and making sure that the money goes into the right pockets. Moreover, one of my key roles is to work hand-in-hand with our services colleagues so that we can combine our services with technology and give the best value to our clients.

Does Xerox have any expansion plans in the region?

My appointment as general manager of operations for the region is a key investment in itself and my role is to identify if there are other areas where Xerox should look to invest. We are constantly looking for opportunities to grow.

What’s your leadership style?

Overall my leadership style is one of inclusion. I make all my team members feel that it is a team effort. The better the team environment, the more empowered each of its members feel and this also instills in them that they are contributing to a greater good. I am a team sportsman; where one needs to have everyone understand the game plan and executing their core roles well in order to achieve great results and I feel that attitude translates well into the way I work and the environment I try to create.

What makes the perfect employee?

I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect employee; maybe there’s a perfect employee for different types of areas of responsibility. Broadly speaking, every employer looks for diligent, trustworthy, motivated, positive and self-starter employees who can complete and execute plans . Fundamentally I firmly believe that good people make good employees. Good people make customers feel comfortable. Good people are trustworthy and it is easier for customers to build relationships with them. Keeping aside the specifics of a job or a role, generally, if you are a good person then you will have a good attitude and you will understand the role you play and your key responsibilities which add value to your organisation.

In my spare time I like to…

I don’t necessarily have a lot of downtime due to my busy travel schedule but I try to find time to squeeze in what I love to do. I am a family man and time with my wife and two daughters is very precious. I also enjoy walking our dog in the countryside, riding bikes (often to raise money for charity) and watching rugby. I am a big supporter of All Blacks rugby team. I also love cooking, entertaining at home, and dabbling in home improvement projects. In all, I like to keep myself active most of the time.


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