CENTRAVIS continues to actively and successfully build its presence in the Middle East
On 29 March, Kyiv Post hosted the business conference – Capturing New Markets. It was an important event for modern Ukraine as it focused on the country’s export potential to the EU, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA).
Population growth means increased local consumption, and so two markets in particular – the Middle East and North Africa – have become especially important for Ukrainian exporters. Industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, construction and infrastructure, energy, food processing, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, and tourism remain attractive for investment. As markets continue to grow with an average GDP + 3%, and given that much of the market is focused on the import of Ukrainian goods, the region remains attractive now and retains potential into the next decade.
CENTRAVIS continues to actively and successfully build its presence in the region, and the company is now a key supplier of solutions in the field of seamless stainless steel pipes in markets throughout the UAE, such as Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. As an approved supplier for such giants as Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Saudi Electricity Company, Saudi National Water Company, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO), Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO), Zakum Development Company (ZADCO), Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company Limited (ADGAS), and more, CENTRAVIS opened a representative office in Dubai in January 2016 with the express purpose of being closer to key customers and to support development in the region.
During the panel discussion at the conference, participants made the following recommendations to Ukrainian exporters aimed specifically at continuing to develop a presence in the Middle East and North Africa:
• Define your long-term strategy for the region, specify markets and segments in which you as an exporter want to be in first place.
• Identify key products and services for the promotion and development of sales.
• Formulate a working business model regarding the delivery of your product or service through a specific distribution channel; at a specific price; on specific terms regarding payment and delivery; either directly or through local partners.
• Study the local culture and the demand, especially surrounding business. This will allow you to get a feel for the market situation “from the inside”.
• Find a reliable local partner initially to help you understand each individual market’s demand and details of its business organization. An experienced partner can also speak about the successes and mistakes of competitors. Successful partnership can save time and resources when entering a new market so that you avoid common mistakes.
• Examine the success stories of competitors: what were they doing when they entered the market; how did they build their business; what did they focus on; what exactly do their clients like about them and why do they remain loyal.
• Analyze and identify how you might be able to get target customers to “switch” over to your products or services by finding out the satisfaction gap of your customers using price, delivery time, post-service, and product certification as an incentive. In today’s busy world, customers are often looking for a product of the same quality and with the same delivery times, just cheaper.
• Prepare for your success. If you aim to work long-term in a particular market, engage in the certification of its products, build relationships with key customers and let them know about the production opportunities in Ukraine, and participate in key exhibitions and conferences. This will of course require financial support, but will help you position your company, product, and/or service in the minds of local players.
• There will always be someone who offers a product or service for less. Thus, focus resources and efforts on the positioning of your brand. Suggest new products or services that will be cheaper, faster, more beautiful, more relevant, more effective, more fashionable, more pleasant to the touch, and easier to use.