MEE: Please tell us a little bit about Grupel, giving insights about the company history, your products and your major clients.
Grupel: Grupel is a company that belongs to the Omnisantos Group. With 40 years of experience in the market, we are dedicated to manufacturing a wide range of generator sets (in open chassis or soundproofed), equipped with the highest quality components and with power rates from 6kVA up to 3500kVA.
Grupel is synonymous of flexibility, as we are able to manufacture from the standard generators, up to special projects that require a higher complexity in its engineering and conception.
Grupel’s headquarters are located in Aveiro – Portugal, with over 24.000m2 of genset manufacturing space. A leader in the Portuguese market, Grupel is also present in over 40 countries, across five continents.
Grupel’s remarkable portfolio enables the company to be chosen to act in high challenging international projects including governmental organizations, Telco’s and other major economic private companies.
MEE: What is Grupel currently focusing on in the Middle East/Africa? What projects are you supplying/working on?
Grupel: Grupel is actively pursuing opportunities to develop new projects in the Middle East, with a number of successful projects already delivered.
In Qatar for example, we successfully installed 2200kVA (STP) Emergency Diesel generator set for a water treatment plant. In Jordan, we supplied an emergency system of 1x 1658kVA and 2x1350kVA for the government to support Amman Strategic Reserve Terminal. Our end goal is to consolidate our presence in the region, and with already having established distribution agreements with local companies in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., I would say we are gaining ground.
In Africa, we have presence in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Kenya. We have developed successful distribution partnerships in some of these country’s that allow us be a reference brand for power generation purposes.
MEE: What are the main challenges the company faces in the MEA market? What do you see as the main obstacles to your business in 2017 and beyond?
Grupel: Cultural and economic differences aside, the most obvious challenge that we face, as in other demanding and competitive markets, is the high level of market competition regarding with other well-established brands.
We embarked on an international growth drive in 2012, and after just a couple of years we have made good ground but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to reach our competitors who have been well established in the MEA market for decades.
Another key challenge is the tremendous price crushing of the Asian manufacturers and the ability for us as a premium brand to work around those pricing conditions to provide competitive, quality products.
MEE: What were your reasons for exhibiting at MEE? What did the company set out to achieve by participating?
Grupel: We consider Middle East Electricity one of the most important industry events in the world, and it is our goal to always be a part of such key events. We have had such a positive outcome from previous editions that we could not miss the chance to be a part of the 2017 edition.
Our plans were very clear for this year. We wanted to consolidate our share as one of the key players in the world in the power generation industry. Our stand was a reflection of our energy and we achieved exactly what we initially set out to obtain: new distributors from around the world and the opportunity to gain access to major projects.
Due to our stand floor space, we also had the chance to display our products in the best way, showcasing our standard diesel products and our latest innovations regarding gas powered generators.
MEE: How did MEE 2017 help you achieve these objectives? What has the company gained by exhibiting?
Grupel: MEE brings together a large portion of the industry’s top influencers and decision makers every year. People who visit the exhibition fit truly into the typecast of our prospective partners, distributors, and clients. Additionally, they have an availability frame that is hard to find in other circumstances, thus allowing us to market our product to the best people in the best way.
From our successful participation at this year’s event, Grupel effectively gained new business partners and new projects having already successfully completed several sales that derived directly from this years’ event.
MEE: What was the highlight for Grupel at MEE 2017?
Grupel: Our stand was one of the most praised and visited in these three intense days. We have seen our projects published in our supplier’s Power News magazine (the well-known engines brand Perkins) and during the exhibition hundreds of people have accessed the event’s mobile application to request more information about Grupel.
We have generated interest and established some new business contacts that will allow us to take not only our brand, but also a little bit of Portugal, to all corners of the world.