Fibre Tech production driven by housing sector growth, regional market interest

Almost seven years after Fibre Tech Industrial Plastics was honoured by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) for its pioneering work in opening up an export market in the region for its fibre-glass table tops, cupboards and bathtubs, the company’s owner and Chief Executive Officer Somat Ali said the company continues to seek ways of maximizing market opportunities on both the domestic and international markets.

When Stabroek Business spoke with Ali on Tuesday he said that with the Independence Anniversary celebrations now almost behind us, he had begun to turn his attention to following up on some of the engagements with regional potential buyers that had arisen out this year’s GuyExpo.

On the whole, Ali said, Fibre Tech had “a good GuyExpo” insofar as there had been evidence of interest in the company’s products among foreigners who had gone to the expo “to buy items for new homes.” Ali said he was currently focused on responding to those expressions of interest from regional visitors, including a group of potential buyers from Trinidad and Tobago who had attended this year’s GuyExpo and were scheduled to return to Guyana to visit Fibre Tech’s Triumph, East Coast Demerara factory.

New Designs: Some of the new designs at the Fibre Tech showroom earlier this week
New Designs: Some of the new designs at the Fibre Tech showroom earlier this week

Ali said, meanwhile, that the nature of the market for products manufactured by Fibre Tech required the company to focus attention on the requirements of the market. He said there had been an increase in the number of potential customers who are interested in having items built to their “taste and specifications.”

Ali said Fibre Tech’s production outlook had also been fuelled by the country’s expanding housing sector and the attendant demand for related household items. “What the housing boom has done is to allow Fibre Tech to work with homeowners and potential homeowners to enable them to acquire high-quality, custom-made items for their new homes.

Ali said that the planned creation of a marketing centre for manufacturers at Triumph was “still on the cards” though an application to the Ministry of Housing since 2004 was yet to bear fruit. He said that assuming that the land application was successful the facility would be set up by Fibre Tech but would serve to help market items produced by other manufacturers. “The idea is to allocate 50% of the space to Fibre Tech products and the rest to other manufacturers,” Ali said.

Marketing strategies in the manufacturing sector had changed over time, Ali said, pointing out that the focus of Fibre Tech required that the company stay abreast of tests as well as develop “creative design strategies” bearing in mind “changing customer tastes.”

And the Fibre Tech proprietor paid tribute to the role that Gafoors Industries Ltd has been playing as a distributor for Fibre Tech products. Like other local manufacturers, Fibre Tech is also aware of the role that Gafoors is playing in furthering the interests of the manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, Fibre Tech Industrial Plastics is aiming to assume a position of leadership across the Caribbean in the manufacture of fabricated countertops, Ali revealed.

“We have been able to access new surfacing products on the market and we are now able to manufacture a literally unbreakable countertop,” Ali said.

He said that following a period of setbacks the company is now poised to expand its markets both locally and in the region. “I am optimistic about the year ahead,” Ali said.

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