3 July 2007
A Flexible Approach(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2007)
Foam & Rubber Items
|Grand World Enterprises Ltd has earned a name as a reliable manufacturer and exporter of EVA and Neoprene products|
Proving that attention to detail and innovative design are key factors for success, Grand World Enterprises Ltd has earned a name as a reliable manufacturer and exporter of EVA and Neoprene products.
Based on both in-house and custom designs, products from this 1995-established firm go to importers and wholesalers in world markets as corporate gifts and premiums.
"Our first product was a case for the Sony-standard micro disks that were popular about 10 years ago," says director Bruce Fong. "Another early project was working with the British-based Boots (the Chemist) firm which had seen our disk case and liked the design so much that it wanted to modify what we had, in EVA sponge, to form a CD case to hold pharmaceutical items."
Other well-known clients include mobile phone giant Ericsson. "We co-designed and manufactured a case for a mobile phone, and the production run extended to some three million pieces," says Fong. "We have design and production projects with other large firms as well, and we see a future path in highly functional, waterproof and lightweight packages and cases."
Much business has come about as a result of being nimble and alert to market needs. "For example, items of stationery and gifts have also presented opportunities for good sales and, at the same time, helped us to develop our knowledge base in terms of specialised printing, silk-screen printing, and sublimation heat-transfer printing to manage curved surfaces," Fong says.
Offering in-house designs that can be easily modified to reach particular needs is another profitable approach. "There are so many competitors in all sections of the market that we try to differentiate ourselves by offering something different and appealing," Fong explains. "It is not just about being innovative, but also marrying-in the best materials and quality to produce an outstanding, sometimes fashionable, product."
The most popular-selling items at present are the firm's Neoprene lines, including items such as holders for cans and wine bottles, printed with logos or slogans. A new item is a yoga mat incorporating environmentally-friendly materials. "Our newest line in yoga mats uses the latest thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material," says Fong. The mats are priced at US$6.90 each FOB Hong Kong.
Also eye-catching is a body-slung Neoprene strap-holder that looks like an arrow sheath but which holds six cans, and a bag that doubles as a foldable cushion that is handy for watching sports or hiking.
In the firm's computer and PDA category is a laptop bag made from Neoprene and priced at about US$3-plus each. An additional bonus is that Grand World sources its raw materials from its sister company. "The materials we use are rather special, and we call them semi-hard," says Fong.
"I would say that our line-up represents the main challenge today, which is to develop products for a range of different markets and uses," says Fong. "We combine elements of fashion, sports, marketing, promotion and advertising to obtain a complete-look that helps the product look appealing to shop-window buyers."
The firm is also looking more closely at the bags sector. "In future, we want to develop a multipurpose bag that crosses all industries. For example, a bag for the person who carries everything from, say, an iPod to a cell phone, and a small umbrella to keys, notebook, wallet and even camera," says Fong.
"We can provide the answer as to how to conveniently carry all of these items. Plus, even more items can be attached/detached to the main bag depending on circumstances."
Production takes place at the firm's 400-worker, 3,000-square-metre factory in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland. "We have always had a presence on the mainland," says Fong. "We started in a very small way and it was only after testing the market that, fully two years after establishment, we started to subcontract to trusted factories. Now, in our own plant, the advantages of having everything under company control are clear to see."
With current markets in the US, Australia, Germany and Japan, Grand World's full product categories include computer and PDA bags, stationery, rucksacks and kids' bags, puzzles and games, beach items, beach bags and mats, can and bottle coolers, seat cushions, key tags, cosmetics and fashion bags, mobile phone pouches, car mats, toys, and packaging for watches, pens and toys.
Grand World is definitely a young firm with a flexible eye on future business that looks set to cooperate with many leading brands in the years to come.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON
Grand World Enterprises Ltd