A Brand Loyalty Success Story
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Joshua Mann
Covering the UAE, GCC and parts of Africa through its extensive distribution network, premium disposable food-packaging Company, Citi PAK has built its brand loyalty over the past eight years based on strong and continuing international relationships which are directly contributing to the Company’s newfound growth strategy.
“Our clientele of more than 2,500 customers - many of whom have remained loyal to us since our humble beginnings - not only give us the edge over our competitors, but they have inspired us to increase our range of value-add, customised products and services,” says Titu Alex, General Manager of Citi PAK.
“Every product is made to look as creative as possible, taking inspiration from nature and channelling this into our packaging design processes to ultimately create a sustainable product that represents the core values and philosophies that drive our business today.”
A strengthened product range of disposable food packaging is something that distinguishes Citi PAK as a Company known among the leading hotels, hospitals, airlines, catering companies, restaurants and food chains, bakeries and institutional catering suppliers across the UAE for a quality and cost-effective packaging solution.
“We have come a long way since inception in 2008, when we supplied fast-moving disposable food packaging products for the food and hospitality industries across the UAE,” he recalls. “Leveraging the expertise of the wider ENPI Group (Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries Group) over the years, we were able to strengthen our presence in the region and significantly enhance our product range to more than 1,500 products.”
Providing a one-stop solution for food packaging, and safety & hygiene requirements, Citi PAK is well-respected among customers for its tailored service offering and attentiveness. Alex explains: “We walk the extra mile and customise our products as per customer requirement. This, along with affordable pricings, is a crucial value-addition that sets us apart from the rest.”
In such a fast-moving industry where packaging regulations are constantly reviewed and revised, Citi PAK is also a known leader for packaging innovation.
“As part of our continuous improvement, we research innovative new packaging techniques and listen to the valuable feedback of our customers and clients; utilising this knowledge to further enhance our packaging solutions. This is how we also began to identify other value-add products worth adding to our portfolio,” he adds.
Initially starting with the low-key distribution of disposable food packaging products, Citi PAK began complementing its early range with a multitude of new production lines; including aluminium foils, cling film, baking paper, co-packing facilities, paper wraps with printing and more.
“In summary, we saw the importance of customisation and diversification as two crucial differentiators in an increasingly saturated market,” Alex says.
In tandem with its innovative research techniques, portfolio expansions and other continuous improvement activities, the Company continued to maintain its “inspired by nature” philosophy.
“The inspiration for Citi PAK’s products comes from nature and its surroundings and the thought process behind each product is to make it as creative looking and sustainable as possible,” he adds.
Combining all of the above together, Citi PAK is now in a position to increase investments in a bid to consolidate its current facilities, as well as explore geographic expansion opportunities.
Alex says: “As we currently have facilities in multiple locations in Sharjah, one of our aims is to build our own facilities in a consolidated location in the city. Secondly, we have further investments planned to increase our production capacities, and towards the end of the year, we are planning to set up a new branch in Saudi Arabia, based on the significant market potential we have identified in the GCC.”
At present, Citi PAK has four facilities in Sharjah and an additional two situated in Abu Dhabi - all audited and accredited with ISO 14001, 18001 and 22000 certifications - where it employs a total of approximately 160 staff.
“We also have decided to focus more on African markets and will be participating in many upcoming exhibitions and trade shows on the continent in a bid to solidify our reputation here,” he adds.
Citing employees as the Company’s biggest asset, Alex was keen to emphasise the rigorous selection process to source the best skills available locally, while making sure that each member of staff is in the correct role for their skillset to flourish. “First and foremost, priority is always given to those with local experience and skills. We also want our employees to remain happy serving the Company and we have many incentives in place for rewarding achievements,” he says.
“Similarly, one of the highlights of our success has been the business partnerships we have maintained over the years. It is imperative that our business partners are served above and beyond a satisfactory level, so that we continue our partnerships year after year.”
The positive attitude of Citi PAK’s employees combined with strong local and international business distribution ties has resulted in excellent customer relationships. This has been further strengthened by the Company’s push for deploying the latest technologies to make for more efficient administration tasks and other daily activities that the business depends on.
“We have integrated latest INFOR ERP solutions throughout the Group and are fully connected for efficient streamlining of operations. Furthermore, since we recognise the need to give top priority to customer relations, we are currently in the process of integrating new CRM software to our existing ERP software,” Titu highlights.
Thanks to its valued customers and business partners who have recognised the level of achievement and unparalleled customer-centric focus and sustainability drive that propels Citi PAK forward, the Company has big plans to take the business to the next level; ultimately targeting distribution to the entire MENA region and also tapping into parts of the Asian and European markets.
Titu concludes: “As many of our customers know, when our head office burned down in November, 2014, we thought it marked the end of Citi PAK. However, after months of rebuilding, including the rebuild of our inventory from scratch, we were able to continue our success story from where it stopped completely to emerge today with profit levels exceeding those from before the fire. This would not have been possible without the unstinting trust and loyalty of our valued customers and business partners, even through these incredibly difficult times.
“The outcome of the whole situation only served to strengthen our desire to give the customer even better value for money with high quality products, timely delivery, best after sales service and so on. For us, the success story will continue.”