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Raising Standards (HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2002)

Vol. 2, 2002



COMPANY PROFILES

Raising Standards
China Pearl (HK) Co Ltd

Tableware With a Difference
Inhesion Industrial Co Ltd

 

Raising Standards

China Pearl (HK) Co Ltd

China Pearl (HK) Co Ltd is banking on its wide range of products and high standard of quality to expand business opportunities.

CHINA Pearl (HK) Co Ltd, a producer of stoneware and porcelain dinnerware sets with matching table and kitchenware accessories, prides itself on its ability to capitalize on emerging trends by leveraging on its "competitive advantages". It is well positioned to benefit from the Chinese mainland's entry into the World Trade Organization, says manager Anna Lam.

"Following the mainland's entry into the WTO, we believe the European market is where our company will see the most growth. Once there is no quota for porcelain and stoneware tableware products made on the mainland, our European customers will be able to import our merchandise freely," says Lam.

However, she knows that competition will be stiff. "But we are confident of our competitive advantages over our business rivals. We have a large assortment of merchandise to suit our different markets. We are very careful to observe a high standard of quality. This feature also marks the packaging for our products," says Lam.

"We offer an extremely competitive pricing structure and we also understand the need to provide good service."

Established in Hong Kong in 1993, China Pearl manufactures either at its own units or at others on a contract basis, with the factories located in Hebei, Henan, Hunan, Guangdong and Shandong on the Chinese mainland. Shipment takes 40-45 days after order confirmation.

The company has an annual turnover of US$15m and offers its own house brands. The upscale Decoro Cena dinnerware line is made of high-grade porcelain "and is comparable to those made in countries like Japan and South Korea. The glazed dinnerware meets US standards," says Lam.

The Thomson Pottery series is a more casual stoneware dinnerware line. "Most of the items in this series are designed for everyday use," Lam explains, "and the dinnerware comes in basic hand-painted colours."

The China Pearl series is a decal-decorated dinnerware line in both stoneware and porcelain. "We recently launched more than 20 different patterns in this series," adds Lam.

The US takes about half of China Pearl's total sales volume. The company also exports to Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, South and Central America and Europe. It markets its products through a network of importers, distributors, retailers, mail-order houses and specialty stores.

China Pearl's in-house design department works with freelance designers around the world for a better assortment of designs. "Our designers in Hong Kong are not only involved in designing patterns but also packaging. They handle all advertising and marketing materials," Lam explains.

"We create special designs for our customers according to their requirements. These include both custom designs and those for private brands and labels."

China Pearl's design department scored a success with two of its dinnerware patterns making it into HFN magazine's Top 10 Tabletop Patterns in December 2001.

WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN

China Pearl (HK) Co Ltd

Unit 1209, Tower 1,
Silvercord, 30 Canton Rd,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2736-0038
Fax: 852-2375-3298
E-mail: info@chinapearl.com
Web: www.chinapearl.com


Tableware With a Difference

Inhesion Industrial Co Ltd

Inhesion Industrial Co Ltd Launches at least 30 new designs every quarter so that "no two customers will have the same design in the same market at the same time".

THE Inhesion Group aims to be a design- and fashion-driven manufacturer of ceramics and tableware as well as an industry leader, says Aric Chang, sales and marketing manager of Inhesion Industrial Co Ltd in Hong Kong.

To this end, the group has a vertically integrated production process comprising research and development, design, transfer printing, manufacturing and marketing. Inhesion introduces a minimum of 30 new designs every quarter by producing "exclusive designs and patterns for each customer, so that no two customers will have the same design in the same market at the same time", Chang explains.

In February, Inhesion introduced a high-quality line called Marquise, which Chang says has been well received. "We hope to further build up the market for this brand, which uses premium metals like gold and platinum as decoration. It is targeted at upmarket department stores."

The company is not competing in the mass market, Chang says. "Our customers approach us not because of our price, but because of our ability to meet their requirements, particularly our capacity to develop the latest designs, make high-quality products and deliver the end product on time. We are also very innovative in our packaging materials. We believe in upgrading the value of our goods, not in increasing costs for our clients."

The group started operations in Hong Kong in 1978 as a transfer-printing company, servicing manufacturers of ceramics and tableware. In mid-1984, the group decided to make the end products as well and established a ceramics manufacturing division.

Buoyed by the success of this move, the Inhesion Group set up another transfer-printing unit on the Chinese mainland in 1990. This was followed by a production facility in Malaysia in 1993.

In 1996 the group combined its two transfer-printing factories on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong to maximize efficiency and increase output. The resulting Shenzhen-based facility serves the group's southern Chinese operations.

In March this year, Inhesion launched another transfer-printing facility in Shanghai to strengthen its OEM operations and cater to its needs in northern China.

"The company observes very stringent quality controls at every stage of the production process, from transfer printing to designs and ceramic manufacturing, to ensure that the quality and stability of our colours and materials are consistent," Chang says.

Inhesion sells primarily to Europe, followed by Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea. It has shifted business strategy: from manufacturing 80% of products on an OEM basis in 1993, it now devotes 80% of production to in-house brands.

WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN

Inhesion Industrial Co Ltd

10/F, Universal Ind Bldg,
62 Sha Tsui Rd, Tsuen Wan,
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2415-9288
Fax: 852-2499-3688
E-mail: inhesion@hkstar.com
Web: www.inhesion.com.hk, www.inhesiongroup.com


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