Trade Mission Partner Ready to Tackle Middle East

An electric car on display at GITEX, a large computer and electronics trade show and conference which takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

An electric car on display at GITEX, a large computer and electronics trade show and conference which takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

An Ottawa cybersecurity firms says a recent ITAC-led trade mission to Dubai has given it a foothold in the Middle East that will lead to a significant expansion of its business.

Faud Khan, CEO of TwelveDot Inc. says the October trip with four other Canadian firms provided foundational experience and important introductions that will allow his company to take advantage of the significant opportunities in the region.

“You have to be there to understand the business culture and to figure out the different business models that can succeed,” he said in an interview. “The ITAC Mission provided that experience.”

In addition to briefings with trade officials that explained the nuances of rules, regulations and licensing, he said there were meetings with Canadian players already operating in the region that offered insights on the less obvious challenges and opportunities around issues like staffing or whether to set up in one of the regions tax-free zones.

“I’ve already had follow up meetings based on the contacts that came out of the mission,” he says. I’m confident there is a market for our risk management services. It’s now just a matter of how we get to that first sale.”

As a small company without direct experience in the region, Khan believes the initial entry into the market may come by joining forces with a couple of other Canadian companies that already have a presence in the area.

“If we can find one solution that combines the best of what each of us does, it will be huge.”

The other Canadian companies on the ITAC-led mission were Smart Cities, CHIM Inc., Netsweeper and Global Village.