(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool has announced a strategic expansion that will see the company strengthening the position of its Italian brand Indesit in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Speaking to Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview at the launch event in Marrakech, Mohamad El Yassir, regional managing director for the MEA region at Whirlpool, said that the company was focused more than ever on delivering intuitive products that cater to the needs and demands of today's modern consumers.
"When Whirpool acquired Indesit three years ago, we wanted to work with a quality Italian heritage brand that operates in many categories and segments that we were missing. Since that time, we have relaunched Indesit in several markets across the Mena region including Jordan, the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and now Morocco. Our focus is on re-energising the brand. This includes a refocus and relaunch, adding to and extending the lineup of products. We expect the brand to be a key driver of growth in the coming years across the Middle East and Africa markets," El Yassir said. Asked how Indesit would fare once it was reintroduced to the regional markets including the UAE, he answered that Indesit was "not a stranger to the Arab consumer".
Highlighting the brand's retail strategy, El Yassir said that Indesit products are spread all across the UAE and GCC region.
"We will be expanding distribution and the range. In addition, we are also looking at distribution through secondary sub-channels; we already have our products being retailed through big companies such as Sharaf DG, but we feel that the time is right to invest in additional steps. We are also increasing our focus on brand identity through social media channels to better gauge what consumers think of our products," he added.
Speaking about market share in the home appliances segment, he revealed that the company had set a target of capturing at least 15 per cent of the market share in the UAE. "Certain markets have seen a better performance - for example, we have a 32.5 per cent market share in Morocco - our overall target is to have more than 20 per cent of the market share across all our markets."
Competition, he added, is tough with players such as China and Turkey in the market.
"It is going to take time for us to achieve our target, but we are confident that we can do it. We have a wide range of products for people with various budgets, so this is going to really help us with our goals. We have high-end brands, as well budget brands. In addition, innovation is something that we are heavily focusing on to create products that are eco-friendly and more sustainable. Consumers want products that are safer, more compact, and with a greater range of options, and all at lower prices. Providing all of this is what innovation means to us."
The event gave attendees a chance to take a closer look at Indesit's new premium range of products. During the event, the company also showcased the Indesit 'Turn & Cook' application, designed to aid users in their daily cooking schedules.
Rohma Sadaqat I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.
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