Aug 17 2010

Ajmal opens outlet in Malaysia in bid to focus on Far East

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010

Gulf News

Strategy to reach as wide a clientele as possible

Dubai It’s the East again as the local fragrance brand Ajmal spreads its overseas presence. The outlet in Kuala Lampur is its first in Malaysia, but will, along with locations in Singapore and Indonesia, play a pivotal role in the company’s Far East gameplan.

The perfumer had recently set aside plans to open a boutique in London by another year, and instead decided to move ahead with its Asian expansion.

“The [Malaysia] boutique is the first leg of our larger international expansion strategy into key global markets,” said Abdullah Ajmal, deputy general manager, Ajmal Perfumes . “Although Western markets are experiencing a slowdown, the retail sector in southeast Asia continues to remain robust.”

In the medium-term, the company will expand further on the retail front in all three markets — Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. To date, there are 135 stores in the Ajmal footprint.

The latest outlet is in line with the strategy to market themselves to as wide a clientele as possible. “When we started to go global what we didn’t want was to be targeted as a brand for just Muslims, we wanted to pick a country that had a mixture of cultures which Malaysia did,” said Ajmal.

“We have kept our marketing very non-culture specific and have been putting it in countries where they are not very familiar with our brand.”

Malaysia is emerging as a favoured low-cost relative to locations in western Europe — holiday destination for GCC travellers, and this has been helped by greater connectivity brought on by carriers such as Air Asia.

Since the opening, Ajmal has seen a ready acceptance from the local population. “The response has been very good given that it’s a completely virgin market where no one was previously aware of us,” Ajmal added. The Malaysian government is targeting 24 million tourist arrivals for 2010, who would contribute an estimated revenue of $16.7 billion. In 2009, Malaysia welcomed more than 23 million tourists, of whom close to 285,000 were Arab nationals.

“The retail landscape in cities like Kuala Lumpur is seeing a steady expansion in demand for luxury brands,” said Ajmal. “On the one hand, Malaysian consumers are increasingly well travelled and hence exposed to diverse and international brands. “On the other, Kuala Lumpur is an international shopping haven, especially for Arab nationals. As such we are confident that Kuala Lumpur is an ideal market for Ajmal Perfumes’ expansion into Asia where it will be well received as a premium fragrance brand.”

Ajmal’s top overseas markets include Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Singapore and Indonesia, and together have more than compensated for a soft UAE marketplace.

Ajmal Perfumes , which has a turnover of more than Dh200 million, recently invested Dh35 million on a 150,000 square feet manufacturing facility in Al Quoz Industrial zone.

•Alongside oriental perfumes, the company also creates French perfumes and essential oils, as well as customise fragrances for corporate clients.

The [Malaysia] boutique is the first leg of our larger international expansion strategy into key global markets. Although Western markets are experiencing a slowdown, the retail sector in South-East Asia continues to remain robust.”

Abdullah Ajmal

Deputy General Manager? Ajmal Perfumes

By Aya Lowe?Staff Reporter

© Gulf News 2010. All rights reserved.

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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