PTV Asia Pacific: Successful shift from a tool provider to a solution provider

Omid Ejtemai, Regional Managing Director of PTV Asia.

At PTV there are six sales regions worldwide, which we would like to present in the course of our anniversary year. Thus, in the first part of the series, we travelled to the Netherlands to take a closer look at the Northern Europe region. This time met with Omid Ejtemai, our Regional Managing Director of the Asia Pacific Region.

Compass: Omid,you are the head of a big sales region. Which countries does it include?

Omid Ejtemai: The Asia Pacific region starts in the South with New Zealand and Australia. On the Asian side, we have Japan, China, Singapore, and the entire South-Eastern-Asian countries. The borderline for us with the PTV MENA Region is India. We cover the whole region with four offices – in Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney.

Compass: You joined the company in 2017. What did you expect?

Omid Ejtemai: Well, I joined the market leader. I already worked in the industry and knew the company before. Of course, I knew that I would find a well-established and well-structured company, with the best products in the market – I was not disappointed.

Compass: You also were the first Regional Managing Director at PTV.

Omid Ejtemai: Yes. At that time, the PTV made the strategic decision to divide the market into six sales regions worldwide. We, in the Asia-Pacific, were the first region to start the transformation, as I call it. When I joined PTV, the four offices in this part of the globe were managed separately and were primarily selling our core products. Today, we are acting as one big, integrated team. Also we are no longer only focused on sales, but also performs other functions, for example, technical services. We have a whole team of solution specialists, who support our clients with their activities and projects. We moved from being a tool provider to a solution provider. Today we are at a point, where we are able to win large deals, implement and deliver them locally, and provide support accordingly.

“I’m really blessed with a team that has a can-do attitude.”

Compass: The team probably had an important role in this transformation?

Omid Ejtemai: Definitely. It is not self-evident, that people respond well to change. I’m really blessed with a team that has a can-do attitude. It impresses me how flexible they are and how quickly they responded. Today, we are standing together as one team, everyone is helping each other out. It’s really fun and the atmosphere is great.

Compass: If we look at the market in your region, which country has the biggest potential for PTV business?

Omid Ejtemai: All of them (laughs). Each country is different, but all of them have significant potential. If you take New Zealand and Australia, they are advanced in terms of understanding the requirements and the infrastructure.  Japan has a very strong automotive industry, where we are partnering a lot. Also, Singapore and the South East Asian countries are on the move. The investment in transport infrastructure in relation to the GDP is nowhere higher than in these countries. China speaks for itself – a country with huge potential.

Compass: What is the current hot topic in terms of mobility?

Omid Ejtemai: I think one of the buzzwords is autonomous driving. The AV sector is growing rapidly, especially in Japan, Korea, China, and Singapore. Safety is also crucial for our clients. Authorities are showing their interest in the design of intersections, which are one of the key areas in traffic in terms of safety. Safety and AV are inseparably linked. In Singapore, for example, we are the strategic technology partner of the AV test center. This initiative headed by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, is focused on safety, and PTV Vissim is used for simulating various scenarios that cannot be tested in real life. 

“Safety is also crucial for our clients. “

Compass: What are the PTV key products in Asian-Pacific?

Omid Ejtemai: In terms of turnover it is PTV Vissim. But for me,PTV Visum is even more important, as it is a door-opener and works as a platform on which we can base many of our other technologies. In the New Mobility sector, we have a number of implementations of PTV Optima and I see great potential for PTV Balance.

Compass: Can you mention one or two projects, that you are particularly proud of?

Omid Ejtemai: Last year we won a big tender along with our partners in Australia. With PTV Optima, we are providing the key technology for the new Intelligent Congestion Management Program (ICMP) of Sydney. This will be one of the world’s most advanced intelligent transport management systems. We are in the midst of implementation, the first phase is almost completed and we are currently getting ready for the second phase of this important project.  Another tender that I’m proud of is our new mobility project for Taichung. To optimize the traffic flow in the city and to work against heavy traffic we are upgrading the existing ITS system with a real-time solution. PTV Optima and PTV Balance are used there. This opened up a lot of new possibilities for us in Taiwan.

Compass: We have a great history in this region in the traffic sector, what about logistics? Do you try to start business development for the logistics sector?

Omid Ejtemai: We started logistics in Australia, where we have a good number of clients by now. And we have big plans for the remainder of the region – the need for logistics products is definitely there.

Compass: What was the most exotic request, that you had so far?

Omid Ejtemai: There was an organization who wanted to have the license on that very day, immediately. We pretty much had to prepare the dongle and drive it to them, because they needed to have that on the spot. They requested it with urgency. We do this, maybe not on a routine basis but it’s possible (laughs).

Compass: And what are the challenges in your region in terms of mobility?

Omid Ejtemai: The market is moving very fast. The cities are growing, and the authorities are sometimes overwhelmed by the speed the requirements are changing. If you are dealing with a moving target at some point you got to focus on a set of requirements and start implementing them. That is our challenge: We are dealing with a very fast changing environment were the technologies are changing, the requirements are changing and also the needs are changing.  And the cities need to have more clarity about their requirements.

Compass: In October, the ITS World Congress is taking place in Singapore – probably a highlight for you and your team?

Omid Ejtemai: Absolutely. We are one of the major sponsors and are very much involved. We are busy with the preparations already, I’m even one of the ITS World Congress Ambassadors. We will have a booth and a strong presence there. It’s a big event for us and we are greatly looking forward to it!

The first PTV office in the Asia Pacific Region was opened in 2005 in Shanghai.

About PTV Asia Pacific

Team: Around 30 colleagues in four offices

  • Singapore, in the Suntec Tower, where the ITS World Congress is going to be in October.
  • Sydney, we have a very nice and spacious office for our fast-growing team
  • Shanghai: The team just moved to a larger office, close to Nanjing street, the most famous street of the city.
  • Tokyo, also a new office in Shibuya since last year.

History:The first branch in the region was established in Shanghai in 2005 (PTV Traffic Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd). One year later PTV Asia Pacific was founded with new offices in Brisbane (Australia) und Singapore (Singapore)