Solutions for Operational Gaps in the Military & Civilian Markets

Benny Kokia, VP Sales & Marketing of Meprolight, about the future trends and the new markets that were opened, against the background of Meprolight’s participation in the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 exhibition in Germany

The presence of the Meprolight Company of Israel was prominent at the recent IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 exhibition in Germany. Benny Kokia, Meprolight’s VP Sales & Marketing, says that “Meprolight was always present at IWA, but this year we are working in an orderly fashion through a distributor who has come to the conclusion that Meprolight can provide solutions to gaps that currently exist in the German military, in various special units, in the police market and in a very interesting and challenging market – the civilian market, and the hunting market in particular.

“The main reason that we established a friendly ‘foothold’ in Germany was to introduce some new products into Meprolight’s night vision product range, like upgraded night vision sniper sights and new electro-optical sights like our 4x magnification daytime sight and the Mepro-5 electronic sight. This activity complements a long-standing and close relationship with firearm manufacturers in Central European countries, including Germany.”

Meprolight is an international company that develops, manufactures and distributes an extensive range of optical and electro-optical weapon sights, night vision sights, state-of-the-art thermal vision devices and sights, tritium-based night sights and systems incorporating laser rangefinders for the military, law enforcement, special forces and civilian markets.

Does your participation in the exhibition reflect a different view, on your company’s part, of the European market?

“As an international company that generates most of its revenue from export sales, we are committed to consolidating our worldwide distribution and agent network and to enhancing our distribution in Europe. One of the products of this effort in the last year has been a foothold we established in Germany, which constitutes, even in the eyes of our clients, an important hallmark as far as quality is concerned. Once you can state that you sold your products to a tactical client in Germany, this provides a seal of approval regarding the quality of your products. We analyzed the various markets and found that the German market has a tremendous potential for future growth,” says Kokia.

Do you have any unique products that are offered exclusively to the European market?

“Some of our considerations for entering the European market involved not just our desire to expand our distribution network, but also the fact that we had taken into consideration that a part of our learning curve would be to adapt products to the operational requirements but also to the regulative requirements of the client. European regulation is different from that of the rest of the world and compels the manufacturer modify his products in order to comply with the local requirements.”

What about your international activity? What markets have become your primary markets in the last few years?

“Meprolight stands on three primary legs: the military market (Israel and international), the police market (Israel and international) and the civilian market (mainly in the USA). Opposite this breakdown, we increase the number of our products, thereby providing solutions to these markets. Another trend in our market, for which Meprolight provides an excellent solution, is that each sector currently adopts the requirements of the other sectors. This is a marketing challenge for us, but it also makes life easier for us as a company, because as a company that operates in all of those sectors, we can provide solutions to all of them. Other players in the field find it difficult to meet this challenge and provide solutions to all of the various sectors.”

What are your future intentions regarding the IWA exhibition?

“I think that the substantial change that has taken place at IWA in the last few years is the fact that the exhibition is no longer a pan-Germanic event. It is no longer aimed exclusively at the German-Austrian hunting market. Instead, it has evolved into an international exhibition and this fact, along with the desire of the exhibiting companies to enhance the exposure of their products, transformed the exhibition into an international event within a very short time. This exhibition will overshadow such other events as the French Milipol. This way of thinking stems from examples of the situation elsewhere around the world. The Americans, for example, are expanding their presence in exhibitions around the world and especially at IWA, owing to the complexity of their local markets. As far as I am concerned, IWA has evolved into an international exhibition and our presence will be translated into active participation in the coming years.”

What is the current status regarding your adoption of the products by the New Noga Light Company?

“Firstly, it is important to stress that prior to and even after the actual acquisition deal, a methodical analysis was carried out as to which products we believe we would be interested in adopting into Meprolight’s marketing setup. Some of the products by New Noga Light were equivalent to some of our past products, so the main thrust of our marketing effort was to adopt those products that we thought would complement our present product line or provide a competitive edge vis-à-vis our competitors and in tenders. At the end of that process, we reached internal agreements regarding the adoption of major parts of those products, and those products are now presented as part of our product range. Today, Meprolight is positioned to receive orders and supply products that were manufactured by New Noga Light in the past. In our view, the products by New Noga Light are now Meprolight products and, especially with regard to the night vision products, constitute an integral part of Meprolight’s product portfolio. Over the last few months we received orders for some of the products adopted by Meprolight and at the present time we are capable of providing the IDF with the solutions they had expected to receive with regard to technical support and ordering of new products that were manufactured by New Noga Light in the past.”

Please tell us a little about how Meprolight fits into the SK Group

“The significant advantage of the joint ownership of IWI and Meprolight is the fact that Meprolight can now reach additional target audiences to which it had no access in the past if the client was not interested in a package of a firearm plus optics/night vision. Therefore, beyond the business aspect, there is an element here that helps Meprolight increase its sales turnover. As far as we are concerned, this integration is a force multiplier!” 

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