In partnership with home appliances producer Al Araby Group, Philips Company announced Tuesday the launch of its first steam iron production line in Egypt. The deal confirms Philips’ commitment in Egypt, said the company’s General Manager of Personal Health Olaf Koning.
Daily News Egypt sat with Koning during the launch event to identify the importance of the project for Philips.
What is the importance of this deal for Philips?
The announcement of the first local production line for steam iron in partnership with Al Araby Group is very important to us; it shows our commitment to be locally present in the Egyptian market. We have been in Egypt since the 1930s, and most consumers know Philips, but I think the local production shows a strong sign of commitment and also in the longer term in the future to be locally relevant here through production and to make sure that we are providing relevant products locally to our consumers.
What would you benefit from this?
We are now producing locally steam irons at very competitive specifications directed to different social classes, so we will be able to penetrate new social schemes, which I think is very important.
How much has been invested in this project?
We don’t reveal numbers in terms of the value of investments, but you can imagine that a factory with a production is a high and significant investment.
Tell us more about your investments in Egypt
If you are looking at the local organisation of Philips, we now have over 150 employees in Egypt, and in CityStars commercial mall, we are growing very fast. Even in the last year, we have increased our employees by 25%. It shows the magnitude of growth that we are aiming at. Our investments are in people, local production, marketing and sales, so there are different types of investments that we are doing.
How do you compare your performance in the Egyptian market compared to other markets in which Philips is operating?
If you are looking at Egypt in the Africa region, Egypt is a very important market; it is a large population with high potential. Yes, it had a difficult time, I’ve been here for four years, however, the market is large with a huge potential. Our long-term view is that Egypt will come back to growth track records like before 2011 and I believe Egypt is extremely important to be present in today. So, investing in Egypt is for us a right decision.