x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Super-Max to move to Dubai

The world's second-largest manufacturer of razor blades is moving its global headquarters to Dubai and will build a Dh100m facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

DUBAI // Super-Max, the second-largest manufacturer of razor blades in the world, is moving its global headquarters from London to Dubai where it will build a Dh100 million (US$27.2m) facility. The company, which sells razors in more than 140 countries, expects the 50,000 square foot facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) to be completed next year.

Ajay Bindroo, the group chief executive of Wesley International, the global distributor of Super-Max razors and toiletries, said Dubai's geographic position would help the company reach its customers in the emerging markets. "We have done well in the developing world, especially Asia, Africa, CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] and the UAE as a country," he said during the inauguration of its new headquarters on Thursday.

"And Dubai gives you the flexibility, especially in the Jebel Ali hub, to move logistics anywhere and any time." Operating costs for the distributor, which is the second largest based on number of blades sold, are also lower in Dubai than in Europe, he said. Retailers globally struggled last year after consumers became more budget-conscious amid the economic downturn, but "daily need" products, such as toiletries and razors, were less affected. It's a dynamic that worked for Super-Max, which saw 60 per cent sales growth last year, said Mr Bindroo.

"A lot of people have moved from competitors to us," he said. "We've got great value, and that's what we've seen in the last year." In the UAE and the Middle East overall, Super-Max's sales have been growing by a consistent 30 per cent average rate for the past few years. Mr Bindroo said that with the expansion plans, including a new plant in Mexico, Super-Max was aiming for 60 per cent to 70 per cent growth this year as well.

Ibrahim al Janahi, the chief commercial officer of JAFZA, said the multinational company's decision to move its headquarters to Dubai showed that the emirate continued to be a good place for commerce. "It is still business as usual in Dubai," he said. The number of companies stationed in the business hub last year grew by 3 per cent, he said. "This is not the usual growth that we have every year, but it is proof that we are still growing, we are not in the minus."

Some property-related projects scheduled to start building last year were postponed due to a lack of funding from banks, he said. JAFZA, however, had built facilities for companies affected by the delays to use in the meantime, said Mr al Janahi. "We have constructed showrooms, offices and warehouses for such companies, which can have their ready-made facilities for them until business goes back to normal in banking sectors and will be funded and construction can begin." Mr al Janahi said financing from banks was beginning to flow, and he anticipated increased growth at JAFZA this year.