Five minutes with: Bob Mangiaforte, Portacool

Bob Mangiaforte tells Paromita Dey how he and his colleagues intend to capitalise on Portacool’s recent growth in the Middle East

INTERVIEWS, Big 5, Projects, Portacool

What are your expectations from exhibiting at The Big 5 2015?

We expect a lot of business through The Big 5 2015, all thanks to the increase in the number of construction projects here. We registered a strong volume of business in 2014, and I don’t think there will be any slowdown this year.
Our sales have grown 20% year-on-year in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region due to long and hot summers. Even globally, this region is a good market for us because of the economic and the climatic conditions.

Which products are you going to showcase during the show?

This year, we are going to highlight our hurricane series models at the exhibition, including our digital control operations with a water reservoir capacity of 253 litres. Our customers in the GCC countries are looking for powerful units with more air flow.

Also for 2016, we are going to make big changes to one of our product lines, and launch it in the market in the first quarter of 2016. In addition to that, we have completely revamped our jet stream series with new models. We are always looking for innovative products, as our customers don’t want outdated ideas and variants.

Who are you targeting at this year’s edition of The Big 5?

The Big 5 is an international show, so there will be customers from pretty much everywhere. It is a meeting place for all industry professionals.

We aim to meet with our distributors from the region. Along with that, we also want to meet the professionals from the oil and gas sector, and the construction companies I believe need us the most.

Have you felt the effects of a slowdown in the GCC construction sector?

We haven’t faced any kind of slowdown in the region. In fact, we have grown this year, since we supply our products to quite a lot of projects in the region. People will always need our cooling products, since we are always able to provide cooling solutions that reduce the effects of heat stress in the workplace.

What strategies are you going to adopt to make 2016 a successful year for Portacool?

We are going to introduce five product models in the first quarter of next year. Our customers have been asking us for more cooling and air flow from our products. Hence, we are also improving on the existing models that we offer. We have consistently worked hard on our branding to ensure that customers know where and how to find us. We are investing a lot of efforts and resources in the effective marketing of our products.

What are your expansion plans for 2016?

We have been dealing in the Gulf for a number of years, and we have distributors in the region who have been dealing with us for almost 10 years. We are quite happy with our existing partnerships.

We hope to continue working with our partners and providing effective cooling technologies that meet the needs of all our customers, wherever they are in the Middle East.

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