BRAND GROWTH

Kuwait 2019 | INDUSTRY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ali Faisal Al-Mutawa, Deputy CEO of Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co., on partnerships, brand growth, and expectations for the year ahead.

What has been key for AAW to establish major business relationships with brands in consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and other fields?

Our company's core values were key for establishing and sustaining such relationships. From the beginnings to now, our company has been known for its high level of integrity, transparency, and our commitment to excellence. This has been the key reason why this company has continued to grow all these years. In addition, multinational companies not only look for partners with good values, but also with ones that enjoy a proven record of good performance. Our partners, therefore, see AAW as a very dependable company with high standard.

How is AAW managing to integrate all its business lines and maintaining the highest level of competitiveness in the market?

The market is constantly evolving and this creates new competition in the market., And In order for us to be on top of our game we run our business in a very efficient manner. We took a bold but important decision many years back; to consolidate AAW's distribution center for all business units under one roof and its considered to be one of the biggest in the country
Investing in our e-commerce at a relatively early stage also helped us grab new market share. Last but not least, our data driven strategy has always helped us anticipate new trends or changes in the market and enabled us to move faster than our peers.

Which one of your business lines has experienced the most significant growth and why?

We have experienced great growth in multiple lines of our business over the past few years. The retail part of our business and specifically in the pharmaceutical (Roche, Merk) & Outdoor (The North Face, Patagonia, Vans) business units have been enjoying good retail growth. We have also rolled out recently multiple showrooms for our Kitchens & Home Appliances business (Bosch, Nolte) and results look promising. On the wholesale part, our FMCG business unit (P&G, Clorox, Hersheys) continues to Grow its market share despite the market challenges. Our e-commerce business is also very promising. Last but not least, our Real Estate business has always been one of the great performers. On the project business, our Kitchens & Home Appliances business unit (BOSCH, Nolte) has been aggressively closing many contracts and gaining serious market share. On the other hand, our Home & office furniture business unit has encountered some challenges due to fierce competition and severe market fragmentation. We responded by partnering with one of the fastest growing furniture brands in the world, Jysk, and we have started to rollout multiple locations.

What are your expectations for the year ahead in terms of growth and business?

The retail market in Kuwait has suffered over the past five to six years. By the beginning of 2018, we felt that the market slightly initiated its recovering process. Consumer confidence seem still shaky but improving. In 2019, we see the online business across all our business units booming. We also see the unrolling of government and private projects which will positively impact our business. We are optimistic about the year ahead and our financials & independent market reports indicate that we are on the right track.