Dr Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi is The Gulf Capital SME Awards (by MEED) Winner for ‘Business Leader of the Year 2014’ in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and was selected in Santiago, Chile as an ‘Endeavor High Impact Entrepreneur (2015)’. He is a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) in the UAE. He was honoured to be invited in 2015 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to a reception in the Emirate of Dubai to honour leading businesses for their contribution to Dubai’s economy. He was called upon by the Executive Council of Dubai in 2014 as the only foreign entrepreneur to join the policy labs on SME development that were involved in drafting the Dubai 2021 Agenda.
He is the Co-founder, CEO, and since January, 2012, has been the Executive Director on Board of German Imaging Technologies in Dubai. He is the founder of German Imaging Technologies (GIT) East Africa Ltd. His entities and activities span across the Middle East and Africa.
Leading the start-up of GIT in late 1999, Dr Khatib-Shahidi has created a highly-successful printing solutions company. Operating out of its Dubai facility with steadily growing staff, GIT has achieved impressive growth from inception to date, and grown its revenue by 18% p.a. on average, from the years 2010 and 2014. He was part of the empirical studies of Prof Andre De Waal of Maastricht School of Management for his book on High Performance Organizations.
Prior to joining GIT, Dr Khatib-Shahidi was an Attorney-At-Law for five years at Heuking, Kuehn, Luer, Kunz, and Wojtek, one of Germany’s top-ten city law firms and a member of the Dental International Group of Law Firms, London, UK. He has also often been the source of legal and expert opinions on Middle Eastern laws on banking, arbitration, and investments. He has drawn on this expertise in his time spent studying, living and working in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Dr Khatib-Shahidi obtained his law degree (1993) and doctorate (1996) (magna cum laude) from the University of Konstanz, Germany and was a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK.
German Imaging Technologies is the leading OEM alternative document printing solutions provider in the UAE, and has been uninterrupted since 2007 (Source: IDC Boston, Consumables Tracker). Its environmentally-friendly remanufactured toner cartridges save up to 10kg of CO2 per unit and are designed to save around 30% on cost. The Company is headquartered in Dubai and maintains additional offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi (2012), Al Ain (2015), Sharjah (2015), Jebel Ali (2015), Frankfurt, and Kuwait (2016). In February 2016 German Imaging Technologies East Africa Ltd was incorporated in Nairobi, Kenya. GIT today employs nearly 100 staff members (Nairobi 6, Kuwait 1, and the rest across the UAE). GIT, in addition, has business partners in 12 countries across the Middle East and Africa and is currently in the process of establishing its presence in South Africa.
From its purpose-designed plant in Dubai, the Company produces, markets and sells its GT Premium branded products to over 2000 corporate customers in the UAE and exports its dedicated LION brand to 12 countries in the Middle East Africa Region. In addition, GIT consults its UAE-based corporate customers on their workspace printing requirements. This includes the entire print environment set-up from A-Z. Whether the customer requires printers, printer service and maintenance, or print consumables, the Company covers all needs in a one-stop-shop concept. GIT has received numerous awards and recognition and most importantly is an Endeavour Company, 3 times Dubai SME100 (Rank 15, 2015; Rank 25, 2013; Rank 11, 2011) ranked and Arabia 500 Fast Growth (http://www.allworldlive.com/) company.
Here is a list of selected rankings, awards, and recognitions received: Dubai SME100 2015, Rank 15, Rank 1 Corporate Governance, Rank 3 Human Capital; Finalist, People & Culture, Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, 2015; Endeavor Company, 2015; Finalist, People and Culture, GulfCapital SME Awards, 2015; Winner Business Leader of the Year, Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, 2014; Finalist, Business of the Year, Sustainable Initiative of the Year, Business Innovation of the Year, Customer Focus of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year, Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, 2014; Dubai SME100 2013, Rank 25, Rank 1 Corporate Governance; Winner Impressive Management Practices, Finalist Green Business of the Year and Best Technology Implementation, ADCB SME Advisor Stars of Business 2013; Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards 2013, Finalist Sustainable Initiative of the Year; Finalist SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards 2012, ‘Best Manufacturer’; Finalist Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards 2012 ‘Gulf Capital Business of the Year’ & ‘Sustainable Initiative of the Year’; Dubai Silicon Oasis, Supplier Excellence Award 2012; Dubai SME100 2011/2012; Arabia500 Fast Growth 2012 & 2011; GCC 100 Fast Growth 2011; SME Advisor Stars of Business, Finalist Green Business of the Year and Best Manufacturing, 2010 & 2011; Ranked No. 1 Compatible Vendor (by volume and value) in the UAE by IDC Boston 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
Dr Sassan is most passionate about creating jobs and by that helping create social justice. He believes deeply in creating opportunity and thus being part of eliminating poverty, and adding value to society. In addition, the environmental impact of the business is material to him. The business helps eliminate hundreds of thousands of kilograms of hazardous waste from being dumped into landfills and directly reduces CO2 emissions by around 10 kg per unit remanufactured. These two aspects give the entity a deep and meaningful purpose.
Maybe due to his previous profession as a lawyer, he has an inquisitive side to him. He questions perceived facts, suggestions, ideas multiple times from different angles. In the earlier days, before his team knew him, he carried with him, the nickname of “Mr. No No”. It was with the passing of time and the general understanding of his nature that everyone understood he was actually, the biggest “Mr. Yes” – he just needed verification to ensure what was discussed was in fact, solid. One of his constant quotes is: “Entrepreneurship is all about solving challenges; if you don’t love solving challenges don’t be in business”.
Dr. Sassan’s mission that he has charted out is to be the leading OEM alternative vendor of remanufactured toner cartridges in the Middle East and Africa. The company currently has a 5-year strategic plan in place that was developed together with Shuaa Capital and its advisory boards expanding its operations into 7 Tier 1 and further, 8 Tier markets in the next 5 years. “It’s not about me or you; It’s about what the customer wants” is his approach to solving matters. Excellence and a customer-oriented culture is his ethos.
His vision for the future is to create over 2000 jobs in the Middle East Africa over the next 5 years as he finds that the most rewarding aspect of his success and career is the ability to create job opportunities for the masses. Dr. Sassan believes that ‘Entrepreneurship is all about solving challenges; if you don’t love solving challenges don’t be in business’.