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Gold and pearl toothpaste: Here’s how Atkinz Group is entering the UAE market

Gold and pearl toothpaste: Here’s how Atkinz Group is entering the UAE market

Retail group Atkinz is seeking grow its regional presence by creating unique luxury products reveals Mojtaba Shekofteh, the group’s founder and CEO

CEO ATKINZ GROUP - Mojtaba Shekofteh

As a diversified conglomerate, what kind of impact has Covid-19 had on your operations?

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures implemented by some countries have had an adverse impact on business operations and supply chains for most FMCG companies, and our company is no exception. We experienced disruptions to both the supply chain as well as the retail network. After the global outbreak of Covid-19, we were somehow blinded by a paucity of suppliers and geographic risk. The pandemic brought the fragility of our global supply chain into sharp focus. As a result, we are rethinking our strategy around the world in order to be able to thrive and evolve when the next Black Swan disruption strikes.

Coming to the UAE, how has regional business been in 2020?

Swident, one of our brands, produces premium quality toothpaste products in Switzerland such as Genuine Gold toothpaste and Pearl Powder toothpaste. We had planned to launch these Swiss-made luxury toothpaste products in the UAE in September 2019, but among the many things that didn’t go to plan, was the pandemic that led to delays throughout our supply chain.

Therefore 2020 became ‘year zero’ for our company in the GCC. Our former assumptions for the UAE market no longer remain relevant, and consequently we are now reconsidering our business model to mitigate the risks in the UAE market and to find out whether the existing business model is flexible enough to reduce both short-term and long-term costs and help in recovery.

We have honed in on being agile to bring in necessary changes in our financial plans and supply chain whenever and wherever needed. We are working on new business models, which assess the inherent risks of the pandemic crisis and define effective responses.

Talking about luxury products such as gold and pearl powder toothpastes, do you see strong demand for such products in the region?

Despite post-pandemic economic uncertainty, the GCC in general and the UAE in particular remain the most important hotspots for luxury retail. UAE consumers are also highly conscious about their choice of luxury oral care cosmetics and spend time researching about these products online. Hence, for our luxury line of oral care products, we have zeroed in on online sales and promotion to drive demand and educate consumers about the importance of oral hygiene on having a healthy lifestyle and the unique benefits of genuine gold and pearl in our toothpaste on having brighter teeth, fighting gum disease and cavity protection a lot more effectively.

Are you planning to launch similar uber-luxurious products in the near future?

Yes. We are working on bringing design and fashion into our luxury line of oral hygiene products. We aim to position toothpaste and toothbrush as inseparable items of a travel bag and a cosmetic box. It wasn’t long ago that toothpaste and toothbrush were perfunctory products which were meant to just clean, whereas now customers, especially women interested in luxury and frequent business travellers are looking for more chic oral care products, and we seek to fulfil such aspirations.

Sustainability has been a key focus for the company. Can you elaborate on the measures you are taking in this regard?

We understand the social responsibility of our businesses. For our dental and oral care products, we are developing an eco-friendly and sustainable packaging design – especially for our toothpaste products in a way that doesn’t affect their durability while being transported or stacked on shelves. We are also reconsidering and developing our toothpaste formulas with safe ingredients to protect our customers from everyday exposures to potentially toxic chemicals.

Looking ahead, what are the plans for Atkinz Group in the GCC?

Our short-term plans include expanding our supply-reach to Qatar by the end of next year. We are also looking into expanding our reach across neighbouring markets in the GCC and West Asia, especially Turkey. We are planning to examine the European market starting with a pilot test for our luxury line in the UK in the near future. Serious negotiations are in progress with potential 3PLs and distributors in Turkey, China and Canada.

For more information about Atkinz Group and Swident products, click here: https://swident.com/

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