Gotrade aims to double turnover in 3–5 years
The trading arm of Gorica Group is pursuing an aggressive market penetration strategy for Palfinger cranes
After more than 25 years of operation from its main office in Al Aweer Dubai, Gotrade recently shifted its headquarters to a new and larger premises in Dubai Investment Park. The 12,145m2 plot includes the head office, spare parts showroom, crane demo room, warehouse, service and maintenance area and a hydraulic room. The trading arm of Gorica Group, which specialises in repair and servicing in the field of commercial vehicle bodies and trailers, aims to double its turnover in the next 3-5 years with the investment in its new facility.
According to Jaka Bolcina, deputy general manager, Gotrade, the simultaneous move and expansion reflects the company’s need to meet increase in demand for its spare parts, repair, maintenance and aftersales services.
“Our newly built workshop facilities allow us to cater to big fleet repairs, using a wide range of spare part products from premium European suppliers in the field of axles, brake systems, electrical systems, and various trailer components such as fifth wheels, kingpins, vacuum pumps, tanker parts, curtain parts, tarpaulin and hydraulic components,” says Bolcina.
Gotrade’s new premises in Dubai Investment Park.
The facility also allows Gotrade to pursue an aggressive market penetration strategy for Palfinger cranes and material handling equipment, which Gotrade represents in the UAE and Oman as the exclusive authorised dealer. One of the highlights of the new facility is a Palfinger demo room where customers can operate and experience the machines.
“We have ambitious plans for Palfinger in the Middle East. Previously Palfinger, a prominent brand in European and Asian markets, was relatively unknown in the Middle East. Since we acquired the distribution rights four years ago, we focused on brand building and engagement to change customer perception and gain trust in the market. We needed to take a bold step to get noticed, and that materialised in the form of our new facility. The Palfinger demo room is a customer experience centre that provides a multisensory engagement with the brand,” says Bolcina.
One of the hurdles Gotrade could expect to face is the current price sensitivity in the region, considering that Palfinger is a premium brand. Bolcina says that price is not a deterrent factor for Palfinger’s customers.
"Palfinger’s customers are not price conscious as they are with other brands, because they get superior quality and value. Palfinger cranes come installed with oil coolers as standard. The coolers have been developed specifically for the Middle East environment to prevent overheating of equipment. As a result, our equipment require low maintenance due to less breakdown. We also provide ongoing operator training to familiarise them with the aspects of our products that are different from other manufacturers and improve productivity,“ says Bolcina.
“We have been successful in a highly price sensitive crane market such as handling of bricks and blocks and we’ve succeeded to capture market share from competitors during the last 2-3 years despite having a premium brand. This gives us the confidence to enter other crane market segments,” he adds.
Bolcina sees huge potential in the UAE, Oman and other GCC markets where material handling equipment is expected to see increasing demand as labour costs increase and governments enforce workforce nationalisation.
“As these markets become more mature, there’ll be more pressure on profit margins, and that’s when we’ll see more adoption of material handling technology to replace costly labour. We see the potential of developing the Palfinger brand beyond our current territories, and our aim is to become a regional excellence centre for Palfinger in the Middle East,” says Bolcina.