1 April 2003
Long-Term Values(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2003)
Vol. 1, 2003
Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd
Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd's principal exports are stainless steel products, which include cookware, kitchen tools and gadgets, cutlery, kitchen knives and hollowware.
ABDOOLALLY Ebrahim Housewares Ltd, part of the Abdoolally Ebrahim Group, engages in product development and OEM contracts for major brands and manufacturers in Europe, Japan and the US. Positioning itself in the mid- to high-quality market, the company is a major supplier to the retail houseware and tabletop sectors and the food services/hospitality industry.
The company has also evolved into an ODM player complete with its own industrial design and development team. "Today we see the need for value-added trading," says housewares director Taha Ebrahim. "We are now involved in overall product development processes and we train our people to be proficient in each respective industry."
Abdoolally adopts a very traditional approach. "Yet we know how vital it is to understand new production techniques, new materials and the latest market trends," he explains.
The principal exports are stainless steel items. "We have specialist knowledge in cookware, kitchen tools and gadgets, flatware, kitchen knives, hollowware, vacuum ware, bar ware and general stainless steel accessories," he says.
OEM accounts for 70% of Abdoolally's housewares business while ODM supports a further 10%. Where the company makes its own designs, it also provides exclusivity to clients in their given territories. There is also a strict enforcement of quality control.
The company has more than 100 partner factories supplying stainless steel products in the mid- to high-quality ranges. "Relationships with many of these factories have existed for two generations as we believe in long-term partnerships with clients and suppliers," remarks Ebrahim.
Fifth generation family member Ebrahim says, "While innovative and new developments with our products are critical to success, we are totally a people-orientated business. The relationships with our partners are our greatest assets."
Historically, Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares has shared in Hong Kong's fortunes and grown from a pioneer family import-export trading house into an international trade and transport organization. The company today is owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generation members of the founder's family.
This year the company is celebrating 160 years in Hong Kong. Established in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1842, the Abdoolally Ebrahim Group began trading in pulses, tea, silk and cotton yarn and plied its business between the Chinese mainland and India.
Houseware made an appearance in 1961, while today the group also engages in textiles and commodities besides ship-owning and property investments.
Seth Ebrahim Noordin, great-grandfather of present chairman Jaffer A. Ebrahim, founded the company in Mumbai. In 1842, Noordin asked brother-in-law Abdoolally Rajabally to set up offices in the Far East.
"We also started a cross-harbour ferry service between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central in Hong Kong in 1842, and opened a current account with the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) on March 13, 1865, just 10 days after the bank itself opened its doors here," Ebrahim relates.
The company purchased land in Guangzhou for warehousing raw silk in 1906. In 1920, the company bought number 20 Stanley Street in Central, its headquarters to this day. In 1951, Hong Kong formally became the location of the group's head office.
Abdoolally has branch offices in Pakistan, India and Myanmar, and further branches are envisaged on the Chinese mainland.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd
1/F, Abdoolally House,
20 Stanley St, Hong Kong
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