Europe is a large and attractive market, but it is also difficult for Vietnamese enterprises to enter, due to strict quality standards and requirements. The European market is more demanding than others because of the many countries and languages involved as well as the diversity in taste. However, once in, Vietnamese exporters can make bank on the huge European demand and goods can flow unobstructed from one country to another.
Kebo, a Dutch furniture company headquartered in Rotterdam, has been importing Vietnamese goods for the last five years and is quite knowledgeable when it comes to evaluating the capacity and products of Vietnamese enterprises.
A typical Dutch small- and medium-sized private company, with merely 55 employees, Kebo operates efficiently with a turnover of 24 million euros ($26.9 million), growing at the rate of 10 per cent per annum.
|Kobe is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands|
Established in 1976, from the initial field of building materials and decorative mosaic tiles, Kebo has expanded to indoor and outdoor decoration products and has become one of the first companies to develop a DIY product line (do it yourself), sanitary wares, as well as decorative fireplaces and BBQ ovens. Currently, Kebo is operating mainly in the Netherlands, the neighboring Belgium, and expanding its exports to Germany, the UK, France, and Italy as well as several Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam.
Kebo business director Marcel Struijk said that in 2016 the company bought more than €1 million ($1.1 million) worth of products in Vietnam, accounting for less than 5 per cent of the total purchase value from its overseas markets. After a period of operation in Vietnam, Kebo decided to carefully select its partners, reducing the number of suppliers, but increasing the order value and desires to grow along with the factories in Vietnam.
Marcel Struijk, Kebo’s business director
In Asia, Kebo is currently looking for sources and purchasers. “We are buying wooden products, wooden planters, and natural stone products in Vietnam. In addition, due to the increasingly hot summers in Europe, Kebo is importing Lioa’s electric products, rattan products, and other high-end decorative products from other companies,” said Marcel.
Kebo also has two large sales projects. Together with Dang Lan Company, the exclusive representative of Kebo in Vietnam, they have launched a high decoration line in cooperation with the Petti Rossi brand. By Marcel’s estimates after the first few months of operation, the company is having good chances in Vietnam.
Kebo also began to roll out its special sanitary ware products in China, which the firm plans to bring out in Vietnam as well. These products, made for the elderly and the disabled, are relatively new to the Asian market. The demand for such products is on the rise as life expectancy is on the rise in China and Vietnam.
|Kebo works with the governments of China and Vietnam to launch its special sanitary ware products for the elderly and disabled|
“The quality and competitiveness of Vietnamese goods are highly regarded, as evidenced by the fact that the Netherlands is now a big buyer in Vietnam. In the future, we will develop our strategic ties further with Vietnam, including buying and selling,” said Marcel.
By Yen Nguyen