Saudis Open the Door Again to Brazil’s Factory

Pormade, a wooden door factory located in the city of União da Vitória, in the south of the state of Paraná, Brazil, made 8 shipments to the Arab countries in the last two years.

In this period, a total of sixteen 40-foot containers were destined to the region where, in 2004 alone, the company sold US$ 100,000.

The main articles traded were doors and accessories, such as doorposts. The creation of an efficient representation structure in the Middle East should guarantee new business deals.

“For the experience that we had and for the studies we made, this is a very promising market,” evaluates Ariadne Braun, International Sales executive at the company.

A representation office was established in Jordan: Pormade Gulf LDA, which advertises the company’s name and establishes new contacts.

As well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, there are good sales perspectives for Lebanon, she says.

The orders made by the Saudis – the first one two years ago – demanded an adaptation effort by Pormade. And, also, a dialogue with the buyers so they would give up on some implications made.

The standard measures in the country are different than those in Brazil. The width of the doors, for example vary between 95 centimeters to 1 meter by 2.15 meters tall. In Brazil, the width isn’t larger than 92 centimeters and the height, 2.10 meters.

“Since the doors would be used in buildings, it would be easier if they built it with the opening we manufacture,” says Ariadne.

A contact with the local representative and adjustment in the machinery helped close the deal.

To meet the client’s specifications, Pormade even developed a special sized chipboard. Last year, a shipment of doors and doorstops and trimmings was sent to Saudi Arabia. The goods filled up a 40-foot container, at a total of US$ 40,000.

Old Partners

The sales represented the retaking of a relationship that had been intense in the past. Ten years ago, as Ariadne explained, Saudi Arabia was Pormade’s largest client.

At the time, solid mahogany doors, of up to 2.5 meters tall, 1 meter wide and 45 centimeters thick, hand engraved and with floral motifs were very sought after by the Saudis, who used the doors in homes and mosques. Some were used to decorate walls.

Brazil decided to protect its hardwood forests and prohibited the use of this raw material. The companies in the wood sector had to adapt themselves, going after reforested wood and working with MDF or chipboard panels.

As a consequence, the Saudi orders disappeared. The have now come back, restarting an exchange that can be very fruitful, hopes the Pormade executive.

Founded in 1939, Pormade showed in 2003 revenues of US$ 5.7 billion. They currently count on 311 employees. With two factories in União da Vitória, they own a pine reforesting area too, which is also in Paraná.

Omar Nasser, the author, belongs to the (FIEP) Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná.


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