Joumana Karam, Head of Marketing at MEA & EMEA eMobility Marketing Manager
Acer is known across the Middle East for PC and displays categories. During a recent visit to view Acer products, we became familiar with the brand’s smart solutions for the healthcare sector, air and water quality, gaming solutions with 5G connectivity as well as Acer’s new stereoscopic 3D experience with cutting-edge optical display and sensory technologies that was fun to experiment.
The brand is keen on sustainability, renewable energy and mobility as we saw a sample of an e-scooter that entices users to explore more of their neighbourhood. We get more insights into the brand from Joumana Karam, Head of Marketing – Acer MEA & e-Mobility Marketing Manager – Acer EMEA about Acer’s current plans in the region.
- What made you venture into this industry?
I have always been fascinated by maths and science, and both of my role models (my aunt and my uncle) were engineers in the telecommunications and civil engineering industries. My parents were very supportive of my decision to do a dual master’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering. In my last year of university, I decided to pursue a career in IT to be part of the new innovations that are changing our everyday lives.
- What roles do you play in the day-to-day operations of the company?
In my role as Head of Marketing at MEA, I oversee the marketing activities for the Acer group brands in the Middle East region, Egypt and English-speaking countries in Africa, outside of the SADEC region. Some of my day-to-day activities include planning the marketing strategy and its implementation; managing our PR and social media presence and overseeing the respective agencies, maintaining influencer relations, driving our retail campaigns, and growing our digital presence in the region.
In addition, from January 2023, I was promoted to EMEA e-Mobility Marketing Manager, where I aim to help EMEA countries implement a comprehensive product marketing communication plan to launch our new e-Mobility products across EMEA in line with the overall EMEA Marketing strategy.
- Highlight some of your key strengths and achievements in your career?
Throughout my career spanning more than 27 years, I believe that my hard work, dedication, positive attitude, fluency in multiple languages and executive skills have helped me define, direct and drive the growth for a number of ICT companies in Middle East and Africa.
- Talk us through any current industry trends that excite you?
There are two topics that excite me at the moment: sustainability and the metaverse.
Sustainability has become a priority for all ICT companies. Technology has a significant role to play in our everyday lives and tech companies have started to integrate ESG into their products to make their companies sustainable. I am fortunate to be part of Acer, a company that is committed to the cause of sustainability and is authentic in its endeavor to be a sustainable brand. Some examples are Acer’s Earthion platform, which unites the strengths of our employees and supply chain partners to expand the impact of our sustainability efforts; and the Vero product lines, which are eco-friendly products created by Acer using post recyclable plastic and other eco-friendly components.
The Metaverse is also an interesting topic these days. We are witnessing activations in the metaverse from less obvious verticals like banking, FMCG, real estate, etc. At Acer, our SpatialLabs solution is an example of how we create a product that can help the user to experience this metaverse in a simple, immersive visualization. SpatialLabs solution is a breakthrough technology as it is a completely glasses-free, stereoscopic 3D experience that is ready out-of-the-box for designers, developers and gamers to experience.
- How has Acer supported its partners in the region during the last year?
We work very closely with all our partners in almost every country in the Middle East & Africa region. These partners include distributors, retailers, and authorized resellers across many segments from consumer to commercial, including education and IT industry partners. Our support is not limited to new product launches, but also includes ways to optimize inventory levels, marketing investments, promotional offerings and adjustments in any business plans based on recent trends and/or new challenges. We aim to grow together and scale further profitable heights.
- What exciting product launches can we expect from Acer and what differentiates them from your competitors?
Our global press conference, which was held digitally on January 3, highlighted the new solutions that we are bringing to help our users “explore the new balance”. During the event we launched our latest expansion of Swift and Predator line-ups, as well as the latest sustainable innovations including an Acer Bike Desk and the update on our application of immersive stereoscopic 3D. Furthermore, we launched new products for our various customers with the Nitro, Aspire and Chromebox portfolios to celebrate and support the changing lifestyles we have in the post-pandemic era.
We are a lean company with multiple engines including PC, AI, digital, e-mobility, smart cities and much more. We are also very agile when it comes to bringing modern technology to the market quickly. We have a strong Research & Development team that has enabled Acer to rank among the top 3 tech companies for patent applications in Taiwan in various fields. For example, we currently have more than 300 patents in thermal cooling technology, which is more than any other PC or cooling module development company.
- What new products do you have in your portfolio this year for gamers?
Acer is proactively creating a comprehensive gaming lifestyle ecosystem by introducing a broad range of innovative gaming products that satisfy every gamer’s needs.
The new Predator Helios 16 and Helios 18 offer new screen sizes and features including the latest 13th generation Intel CPUs and Nvidia latest GeForce RTX™ 40 Series GPUs. The two new OLED Predator gaming monitors have set a new standard for the industry; the Predator X45 800R curved display earned a 2023 CES Innovation Award and the Predator X27 has been updated with fast refresh rates and pixel response time.
The new Nitro Windows 11 gaming laptops, Acer Nitro 16 and Acer Nitro 17 are powered by the latest 13th generation Intel core processor or AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors along with Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs in a lighter form factor with higher screen-to-body ratios and enhanced cooling.
Lastly, the upgraded version of the SpatialLabs TrueGame’s stereoscopic 3D technology in our Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs edition will include an all-new 3D Ultra mode.
- Which initiatives did you implement this year as part of Acer’s commitment to environmental sustainability?
Acer is an advocate for circular economy, and we are getting closer to our goal of using 20-30% PCR plastics in all of our PCs and displays by 2025. Our Vero line of eco-conscious products continue to gain momentum and grew worldwide by 43.4% YoY, as of November-end 2022. We are taking our environmental commitments further with “Earthion” the platform that we launched in 2021 to combine the strength of our company, supply chain partners and our employees and consumers, which I mentioned earlier.
For two consecutive years, Acer has been awarded Silver Class distinction in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook from 2021 for the top ESG-scoring companies. We have been listed on the 2022 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the ninth year in a row and we achieved our best ranking at the top two in The Computers & Peripherals and Office Electronics category.
From a product perspective, we continue to expand our Vero line. We are also promoting a more active lifestyle by introducing the latest addition to our e-Mobility products: Acer’s eKinekt bike desk, where the rider’s pedaling is converted to kinetic energy used to charge laptops and other devices when on the bike.
- What are the learnings from last year and how will you use them to plan your strategies for 2023?
Sustainability will remain a big focus – everything from recyclable materials, reusable designs, supply chain partners that promote sustainability, green energy to innovative and environmentally conscious products and solutions.
We want to build a diversified business engine to enhance lifestyle branding and maintain growth momentum and long-term sustainability. For example, the introduction of e-mobility with products like e-scooters, e-bike and bike desks.
We will also continue to work on optimizing inventory levels and invest in new initiatives and technologies that will shape humanity’s future.