The UAE’s dynamic commercial and economic policies, guided by visionary leadership, have led the transformation of Dubai from a local trading community to one of the most successful commercial hubs in the world. The business ecosystem, thriving trade and logistics sector, and the emirate’s strategic location, linking the East and the West, have made it a centre of regional and global trade. In addition, DP World’s trade catalyst Jafza has helped unlock growth and innovation for companies looking to expand into international markets.
One of the fast-growing non-oil industries that have benefited from the advantages is the paper market. According to 6Wresearch, the UAE Stationery Market has witnessed robust growth in the past few years owing to increasing government investment in the educational sector, growing disposable income of consumers and high literacy rate in the country. Stationery and printing products have gained the attention of global merchandisers.
Omar Alsaqaf, Group Brand Director, Hoshan Pan Gulf (HPG), said, “Today, Dubai has become a lucrative market for suppliers of stationery and office automation products, with its extensive network of retailers, wholesalers and stockists. The emirate is also an ideal platform for exporters and re-exporters to penetrate not just the regional markets, but also global economies. The value of imports, exports and re-exports of paper, paperboard and printing industry products in the Gulf has been ever-increasing.”
The HPG Success Story
Established in 1964 as an enterprise in a small neighbourhood in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, HPG, one of the top 100 stationery and office supply product re-sellers in the world, grew significantly until it became one of the largest Holding companies, not just in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also in the Middle East.
As one of the leading names in the Middle East for school, office, stationery and printing supplies, HPG, housed in Jafza for the last 36 years, has received immense support in regional and global stationery exports and re-exports. Over time, Jafza’s simple, smooth policies and procedures have been instrumental in HPG’s growth and expansion.
Their success can be measured by the fact that they recently opened six shops in the Yiwu Market located at Jafza to serve re-export customers.
HPG ensures that shipments, whether less than container load (LCL) or full container loads (FCL) are readied, handled and delivered swiftly to its branches in multiple markets. For customers handling the logistics themselves, the company provides all the required re-packaging cartons or shrink wraps to be used in-house. Even inside Jebel Ali, HPG offers customised re-packing and shipment services based on customer requirements.
Alsaqaf added, “As a credible and reliable trade partner for the past five decades with multinational corporates, we have major plans to scale. To realise this, in Jebel Ali, we took a new 4,000 m2 warehouse that is almost full – we are now planning for another warehouse. Our geographic scope has broadened, both inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and throughout the region. With expansion in mind, we recently opened six shops in the Yiwu Market, to serve our re-export customers.”
The Jafza Advantage
One benefit of HPG’s membership in Jafza is that customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) are refunded immediately on the invoices. While HPG manages the local stationery industry, its specialist team for re-export and a sister company, Clips Trading, handles the re-export market.
“We serve and guide our valued customers for re-export. At HPG, we are constantly adapting to remain agile to market changes. We embrace the use of technology to ensure simplified processes for customers and we use software to automate processes to reduce the need for physical customer visits. We focus on serving our customers both in modern and traditional trade, based on their needs,” said Alsaqaf.
A Global Team
The diverse language skills of HPG’s team members from different continents are valuable. They help add value to the global team and ensure they understand and respect various cultures. For example, a team member from Kenya can speak English, Swahili, and Arabic. Another team member from Azerbaijan can speak Uzbek, Russian, Persian, and Turkish. There is one who knows Amharic and another team member who speaks French. HPG can provide efficient operations and effective customer service with the help of these skilled team members.
The company’s strengths have helped it diversify its business to other product lines and categories, including travelling luggage. Presently, they represent Carlton and other VIP brands in the region.