How was 2019 for Danube, and what are your expectations for this year?
Overall, we recorded growth of 10 per cent in 2019, which I feel is pretty decent, considering the tough market scenario. Going forward, in 2020, we plan for a minimal growth of 10 per cent again.
The overall property market in Dubai has seen a slump in the last few years. What kind of impact have you seen?
Yes, there is definitely an effect due to the slump in the property market in Dubai for the last few years. However, Danube has not been impacted due to our strategy of ‘sell and launch’. We only launch one project at a time. The next project is only launched after the previous one is sold. This also ensures that we deliver the projects on time. This approach has sustained us in the real estate market.
Dubai has seen a surge in home furniture operators, including local and international players. Is the market saturated?
Dubai has always been a global hub for exporters. The emirate has multiple suppliers coming from various markets. However, in the furniture industry, since there continues to be strong demand, we cannot say that the segment is saturated. There is always space for new interior, furnishings and furniture companies.
What kind of an impact do you expect to see on your business from Expo 2020?
It has been noted after the previous two expos – in Milan and Shanghai – that there was significant growth in foreign investments. A good number of visitors went on to become investors, according to reports.
I believe that the result will be no different in the UAE as well. Post Expo 2020, Dubai, being a business hub, will help to bring in more investments from all over the world.
Looking ahead, where do you see the most scope for growth?
Danube’s biggest strength is in its basket of products and its network. If one product shows slow growth, another makes up for it. The scope of growth is based upon the combination of our full product portfolio. We are also always open for new products.
What are your immediate plans for the future? Are you looking to expand into any new markets?
Currently, it’s time for us to fine-tune our existence. We are, as of now, not looking at further expansion. The idea is to better our existing systems and once they are in place, we shall look for new opportunities.