Dated: 19-06-2013
Cleaning sector:UAE becomes gateway to Middle East region

By Sreenivasa Rao

The Middle East region is witnessing an influx of new range cleaning and janitorial products of late, thanks to the key factors such as efforts of GCC nations to diversify and the renewed economic activity despite political uncertainty looming over some parts of the region and economic slowdown in Europe. Particularly, the recession-hit European companies are looking to the Middle East market.

Tana Professional, a subsidiary of European major Werner & Mertz Group, and France-based DECITEX are among such cleaning equipment and solutions manufacturers which are either foraying into the Middle East market or strengthening their operations in the region by introducing innovative products. Nils Riancho, Director General and CEO, DECITEX, told Clean Middle East: “The European market is now stagnant and companies are too cautious to take investment decisions. Majority of European companies are in wait and watch mode and implementing cost cutting measures. Now, our focus is on the Middle East region. Beginning with the UAE, we’ll expand to other parts of the region.”
France-based DECITEX SAS is focusing on ‘Green’ products for the cleaning sector. The company manufactures micro fibres, which are less than one decigram weigh and less than 20 to 100 times thinner than human hair. It performs mechanical action and cleaning is much more effective as it works on Capillary force. Above all, there’s no need of carrying bucket for water or chemicals during the cleaning operation. The global commercial, industrial, institutional and home segments are catching up with the growing awareness about clean and hygiene standards in the Middle East region. According to rough estimates, cleaning products market is estimated to be over AED 100 billion.
DECITEX is launching new products in the Middle East region. The company is promoting its new products fluid handle, micro fibre mop, etc. Micro fibre mop absorbs half a litre of liquid or liquid mud on the floor in each stretch. It has to be rinsed off to use it further. The technology of this product is pending for patent approval. It has forged an alliance with Viking Gulf, a Dubai-based major distributor.
“A Saudi market is under trials as we’re doing our market research for the cleaning products. We’re launching our products through Viking Gulf in the UAE,” adds Riancho. Werner & Mertz Group is another European company that’s banking on the region. Based in Mainz, Germany, the company manufactures cleaning solutions for private consumers and industrial users engaged in cleaning and janitorial services.
Lars F Poulsen, General Manager (exports), Tana Professional, Werner & Mertz Group, said: “The market potential is very good here for cleaning products. We’re marketing our products through Viking Gulf.” Both the European companies are busy with their promotional activities. The representatives of these companies participated in a meeting with housekeeping professionals in Dubai recently. Viking Gulf had organised the business meet.

Henrik Mahaini, COO, Viking Gulf, said: “We are not mere traders, but also promotes the products by offering comprehensive integrated services. Our headcount is 75 and we’re expanding. We’re specialists in what we offer and what we do. We’re into five broad categories in the cleaning section. People prefer to cut down costs and want to use less water and less chemicals. We are meeting the housekeeping managers to promote these products in the hospitality sector.”
The spokesperson at Tana Professional, in his presentation said: “As per the market’s growing requirements, we keep on developing new products with latest technology applications. Next five years, we’ll become a major player in GCC and India. We deal with housekeeping managers from 17 different languages and nationalities. We are planning to partner with some company for providing services to hotels in the region as well.” Tana Professional produces cleaning chemicals in a fully automated manufacturing process using robot technology. It has to be transparent in Green drive initiatives particularly sustainability.
“The reason for choosing frog as our logo is its speciality of cleansing itself totally though it lives in mud water. Once it jumps out of the mud, there wouldn’t be a tiny drop of mud on his body. That’s what amazing cleansing happens with frog. We aim to be European market leader and a top inventor in special care products. Most of the employees are working for over 15 years. This shows how the company maintains long-term relationship with its employees. Similarly, we always focus on building long-term relationships with our customers,” explains the Tana Professional spokesperson.

Werner & Mertz core competencies lie in cleaning and caring products, while maintaining value for the consumers. Set up in 1867 as a family-owned limited company for wax products, Werner & Mertz Group has emerged as a chemicals company. The headcount at the company is over 897 at its headquarters in Mainz and its factory in Hallein, Austria.
Werner & Mertz recognizes the urgency surrounding the topic of biodiversity and therefore aims to emphasize this in its existing environmental management system. This has been certified in accordance with the stringent EMAS guidelines issued by the EU. To this end Werner & Mertz has created a sustainability management staff unit and entrusted its managers with the monitoring and controlling of the activities that impact biodiversity.
Adding to this, the increasing oil prices are also adding to a series of construction projects, which are invariably underway in the Middle East. The proactive measures being taken by the local governments such as regular amendments to property laws to stimulate the economic activity are the major triggers of the current activity. The market for industrial and institutional cleaning products has come a long way and the sanitation and janitorial cleaners segment forms the fundamental platform, which will continue to provide enduring healthy growth in the Middle East.

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