BusinessInterviews

Gaby Michel CEO of Gloria Ceramic.

Gloria launches new collection of ceramics

Gloria is a new name shone in the skies of the ceramic industry in a short time and was able to be one of the three biggest brands in ceramics market in Egypt. The company has presented different and the newest innovation products to break the stereotypes that the customers used in ceramics.The company’s sales reached EGP 500m during 2017, and it plans to increase this value in the current year.

The company seeks expanding into the African market.

In an interview, Gaby Michel, CEO of Gloria Ceramic said that the volume of Gloria’s sales  exceeded EGP 500m during 2017.
Michel added that the company seeks to increase its sales value in 2018, pointing out that ceramic industry is promising , noting that export is the only way to support and promote the sector.

“Made in Egypt” exhibition is a great initiative and needs to be branded internationally

Gloria Ceramics started its business in 2008  and established its plant in 2010 with investment of EGP 270m on an area of 135,000 sqm in the industrial zone in Beni Suef governorate.
Regarding the use of “ You are the Designer” slogan, Michel explained that his company wanted to deliver a message that the clients can implement any design that they look forward to, and not only accept the offered products. However, in the beginning of launching such slogan,  the company faced a problem that the customers did not accept the idea of designing what they want.

Gloria participates in the largest ceramics exhibition in Italy every year

In general, this attempt was to break the stereotypes that customers used to see in ceramic exhibitions, As for their share in the ceramic industry market, the CEO said, “we are ranked as one of the top three brands in the Egyptian market according to market research. We have been able to prove the name of Gloria in the market. We produce twice as much as we produced in 2016 and we aspire to increase production in the current year.”

National projects raised demand for local ceramic 

Furthermore, the company worked hardly in designing new products for young people to be distinctive and different from the other stereotypes, as it succeeded in providing this product with a taste and quality suit youth, according to Michel.
Michel noted that the gap between the local and imported ceramic has decreased recently.
He revealed that his company exports to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and a large number of  Middle East countries such as Romania, Bulgaria. Besides, the company has begun to export its products to Russia and  is studying exporting to Canada.

He highlighted that the pricing of gas is the main problem that facing the company’s plan to export, noting that gas price has been doubled, which affected production locally and internationally.
“ Our export rank has declined, especially that the competition has become more difficult with countries that produce gas such as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates ,” he said.
He, further, added that the ceramics industry is a promising sector that needs to be supported, adding that export is the only way to support the sector.
Regarding his vision for Egypt ceramics industry, he said that ceramic companies have provided distinguished products, noting that whatever the local market is popular, the future in exporting. Thus, the government has to market the Egyptian product abroad and improve its image, in addition to, solve the gas pricing problem.
In this regard, the Ceramics Division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries has submitted a request to the government to lower gas prices.
He pointed out that companies set a budget for marketing and will not refuse to participate for marketing abroad.
“Made in Egypt  exhibition is a great initiative to promote the Egyptian products locally and needs to be branded internationally to improve the Egyptian product  image abroad,” he stated.
Michel said that the flotation of Egyptian pound has a positive aspect, that it helped to export more goods. Meanwhile, in ceramics product, gas represents about 50% of the cost of production and the rest of raw materials are imported. Nevertheless, the flotation did not affect the pricing of ceramics product only, but affected 70% of its price , explaining that the gas was priced at EGP 7 for every million British thermal unit (MBTU) but now it is priced according to the value of dollar. Even if MBTU of gas is calculated at EGP 11, it would be better and Egyptian ceramic companies could make a appropriate profit.
As for the national projects, the company’s CEO explained that these projects participated to increase the demand for the local ceramic products, revealing that the company has contracted on providing ceramics for Dar Misr, Sakan Misr and New Administrative Capital projects.
He added that the Ministry of Housing has taken serious and successful steps to develop a specific mechanism for selecting high quality products and also selecting companies that operate in all projects in the New Administrative Capital to prevent any manipulation by contractors.

Regarding launching new products, Michel said that Gloria focuses on small sizes, hexagonal shapes and 20×20 sizes, noting that these products are suitable for designers and those who want to create new ideas. Besides, these products witness great demand locally and externally.
Michel stated that the company has expanded in porcelain production and will seek to expand in the African market.
On the future plans, he mentioned that the company plans to expand into the African market, including Kenya and Cameroon. Moreover, it plans to reach the largest number of African countries through participating in exhibitions.
Gloria participates in the largest ceramics exhibition in Italy “ Cersaie Italian Exhibition”  every year. Cersaie is an international exhibition held in Italy every year whereas all ceramic manufacturers worldwide gather together in one place to hold conferences and share their success and new designs.
Over and above, Gloria Ceramic was the Platinum Sponsor of ICS the biggest Egyptian Ceramic Manufacturers Exhibition held yearly at Cairo International Convention Center.
Michel noted that  70% of Gloria’s designs are made by Italian studios, however, the company depends heavily on Egyptian designers.
“We participate in exhibitions regularly and offer discounts to customers on a regular basis either at exhibitions or through agents,” he pointed out.
Commenting on investment climate in Egypt, Michel said “ the government has intention to modify and facilitate procedures for investors to pump more investments in Egypt, but there are some routine procedures that hinder investment, which must be overcome to attract more investments.”
Michel pointed out that export is the future of Egypt, stressing the importance of establishing a branding agency for marketing Egypt abroad in return for amounts of money to be paid by companies as many countries do, such as Turkey, which is holding exhibitions and concerts to promote Turkish ceramics in Italy and other countries.

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