WHO IS ……. JOHN O'GRADY @ KODAK ?
WHO IS ……. JOHN O'GRADY @ KODAK ?
2010-01-18 at 10:36:25 am #23186
WHO IS JOHN O’GRADY @ KODAK ?
Kodak eyes 10% growth in region this year,Kodak will continue
to invest heavily and expand its presence in Dubai because it recognises
the need for customised solutions in the region. Transactional printing
has taken off well and the company is set to launch breakthrough
technologies for packaging this year. All this should help the company
reach its rather ambitious target of 10 per cent growth in the region
this year.John O’Grady, Vice-President of Eastman Kodak, Regional
Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) and Chairman
Eastman Kodak Sari, reveals company’s plans to Emirates Business.
did you fare in 2009?
All markets were affected pretty much the
same. We had some segments that responded better than the others such as
kiosk photo printing. We saw the number of prints per kiosk grow pretty
significantly at 10 to 12 per cent through the year. Document imaging
was very important. Our services business also did well. While we did
not sell as much new equipment as we had planned, we still had a very
robust service business. On the down side, a lot of our businesses,
including our digital plate business, suffered. The volume going through
the printers was hit dramatically by recession. People cut down
advertising so the number of magazines was not that high. People were
far more selective around advertising so that impacted the volumes going
through the printers. Digital printing plates are probably 30 to 40 per
cent of our business, so that left a sizeable impact. Our digital
camera business was also hit. Overall, sales suffered by about 20 per
What is your outlook for 2010?
We see a modest?
growth of five to six per cent in the region. This year Saudi Arabia and
the UAE are going to be strong. This is a wide open market with great
opportunities. We are tasking our team here with 10 per cent growth
because we are committed to investing in the region, to putting more
people working here. We have already started the hiring process.
measures did the company take to combat recession?
We initiated a
fairly major restructuring campaign. We solidified our short, medium
and long-term cash positions with primary investments. We have core cash
businesses. Our digital pre-press business is profitably very strong
cash-wise. Our digital camera business along with the intellectual
property, document imaging business, kiosk business and entertainment
imaging are very strong for us. Those are probably $6 billion
(Dh22.02bn) to $7bn businesses that are kicking lots of profitability
How do you intend to achieve a growth of 10 per
Part of our strategy is to engage with carefully-selected
partners that are going to give us the geographical reach into these new
growth areas. Kodak is honest enough to admit that we are going to need
partners to help us grow. We are cultivating the partners we have and
where we see the need to develop new partners to challenge these new
segments of business, we are being proactive in seeking those
partners.Given the breadth of our portfolio right now we are seeing that
rather than concentrating on geographical expansion, we see the need to
expand in segments. Kodak is moving dramatically from being a product-
based company to a solutions-based company. We will also bring new ways
of sharing your images onto picture frames to make it that much easier.
Each frame will have its own e-mail address so you can mail a picture
directly to it. These are new ways for people to enjoy their images. We
have more than 100,000 kiosks worldwide for photo printing. The major
development this year will be improving the user interface to allow
consumers to avail of the different new ways of printing different types
of products. You will be able to print not just a calendar but a photo
book. You will also be able to download your images on the kiosk.
one expect a reduction in the cost of print?
What we are really
targeting is total cost of ownership. We are looking at developing
applications and solutions that are in essence going to bring new life
to printing. One of the major initiatives that we are launching in 2010
and into 2011 is what we call Prosper. This is a high-speed offset
quality, total variable printing system. It will basically allow you to
create multiple millions of pages, each one individualised on a constant
run using variable speel with off set quality. You cannot really put a
cost on the equipment because it depends on the application and how it
is configured. But it is a couple of million dollars investment.The cost
of paper has been under pressure for a while. A lot of the costs have
been taken down but there is going to be inherent costs in the shipping
of paper that is going to basically bottom line your ability to take it
How much is Kodak investing in these new products and
It is hard to know how much it is going to cost to
activate. Kodak is a $8bn to $9bn business. In our investment businesses
such as Prosper, consumer ink jet business and workflow enterprise
solutions business we are probably investing $800m a year.In Europe,
Middle East and Africa market, the Middle East is about 15 per cent of
our business. It is a huge area of opportunity for us. That is why we
are concentrating more in Dubai.
PROFILE: John O’Grady
Vice-President of Eastman Kodak
O’Grady is also Regional Managing
Director, Emea and Chairman of Eastman Kodak Sàrl. From May 2007 to
December 2008, he was Managing Director for Europe, Africa and Middle
East, Consumer Businesses.Until May 2007, O’Grady was Director, US and
Canada Sales and Vice-President, Consumer Digital Group. Previously, he
served as General Manager of the company’s digital imaging business in
the Americas. He joined Kodak in 1997 following a 12-year career at
Verbatim.O’Grady graduated from the University of Limerick in Ireland
with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics in June 1990.