Admiral Appliances & Electronics Middle East CIS Africa, the home appliances subsidiary of US-based Admiral Corporation of America, is planning to set up manufacturing facilities in the UAE to make white goods and television sets for distribution in the Middle East and Africa markets, according to the subsidiary’s top official.
“Initially, Admiral will be outsourcing television sets, air-conditioners, refrigerators and water coolers to UAE manufacturers, to be sold under the Admiral brand in the regional markets,” Vishal Saxena, CEO of Admiral Appliances & Electronics Middle East, CIS Africa, said on the side lines of a conference to announce distribution agreement with channel partners.
The US company has partnered with the $6 billion global conglomerate ETG Distribution to broad base distribution in the UAE and Africa markets for its home appliances.
Admiral, whose flagship products are domestic appliances, plans to have own manufacturing facilities in the UAE in three or four years. The company intends to have SKD (semi-knocked down) and CKD (completely knocked down) assembly plants in the UAE for TV sets and air-conditioners, which have big demand in the Middle East and Africa.
“If we have SKD or manufacturing facility in this part of the world, we can save on customs, freight cost, which will be a win-win situation for everybody,” said Saxena.
Already talks are on with partner ETG Group to start SKD line-up in one of the African countries for the local market. Televisions will be manufactured in one of the African countries for local distribution.
Saxena said Admiral TV sales are picking up fast and the company expects to sell more than 150,000 sets this year, from the current 60,000 units.
The US company opened its regional headquarters in Dubai in 2020 to take care of 70-80 countries in the Middle East and Africa region.
Supply chain challenges
Currently Admiral sources its products from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt. Some products come from the Americas.
“Our pricing is getting affected because of supply chain issues such as container shortage, high freight charges and delayed delivery. With the hike in interest rates, prices will go up further, but we want to limit such hikes as much as possible in order to be competitive in this market,” he said.
Sourcing from the local markets is the solution the company found to remain competitive.
“We want to buy products which are made in the UAE. Admiral is already buying air-conditioners and commercial ACs from Bahrain and big size freezers from Saudi Arabia.
“We are planning to source white goods from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan, where our distributor has own manufacturing base,” he said.
As per the distribution agreement, ETG Distribution will distribute Admiral Corporation of America’s full range of appliances, electronics and air-conditioners across the UAE and African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Admiral is also considering assembly facilities in the UAE for electric vehicles, initially buses and trucks, and later tractors.
(Reporting by Bhaskar Raj; Editing by Anoop Menon)