GfK Becomes First Outsider to Open in Saudi Arabia
GfK has become the first foreign market research company to be granted a license to open a subsidiary in Saudi Arabia. The firm has also opened a branch in Kenya, acquired the outstanding shares of GfK Mode in India and GfK Kynetec in the UK, and increased its stake in Shopping Brasil.
As a result of government regulations, even minority stakes in Saudi companies have not been previously available to outside investors. However, the firm has now been granted a license to open GfK Middle East, which will specialise in ad hoc research conducted through local partners from its headquarters in Dubai.
Seven employees at GfK Custom Research Saudi Arabia can now offer data on local markets from within the country, while also collecting information about Yemen from the Saudi capital city, Riyadh.
The team is led by Ranabir Sen as Managing Director of both GfK Custom Research Saudi Arabia and GfK Middle East in Dubai.
GfK has also opened its first subsidiary in Nairobi, Kenya, under the name GfK Retail and Technology East Africa. The eight-strong team is led by MDs Gunter Redwitz and Herwig Rubin.
In India, GfK has acquired the remaining 49% of GfK Mode, which operates in the custom research sector, has 226 employees, and is led by Debi Basu as MD.
The Mode Group was formed in 1981, and joined the GfK Group in 2006. The division, which has branches in 15 Indian cities as well as an office in Bangladesh, is particularly active in the areas of consumer and social research.
GfK Kynetec – which operates in the fields of animal health, biotechnology and crop protection research – has now been fully acquired by GfK, which bought the remaining 25% stake in June.
The firm originally known as dmrkynetec was established in 2007 through the merger of two market research companies, DoaneMR (USA) and Kynetec (UK). In 2008, GfK combined its two subsidiaries m2A in France and GfK Animal Health in the UK with the British group.
Finally, GfK subsidiary IFR has increased its stake in Shopping Brasil by 25% to 76%. The company – which was founded in 1999 – conducts surveys of retail prices and shelf monitoring of slow moving consumer goods.
The division will continues to operate as Shopping Brasil-IFR, with Minoru Wakabayashi in charge as MD.
Web site: www.gfk.com .