The Treedom Group, a leading forestry management and oud oil producer based in Thailand, is set to expand its retail oud oil business in the Middle East and Europe.
Andrew Steel (right), chief executive of Treedom Group, shows Dar al Oud products to a potential buyer at a trade fair in Dubai.
The company, which has solely focused on the wholesale market for five years, got positive feedback from buyers after launching Dar al Oud, its premium retail brand of 100% pure oud oil and related products, at Beautyworld Middle East trade fair in Dubai in May.
"With the good feedback, we have improved our products and developed new items to suit buyers' tastes. We are now ready to strengthen our retail oud oil market in the Middle East," said chief executive Andrew Steel.
Treedom Middle East General Trading, a distribution subsidiary, will be opened in Dubai by the end of this year to handle sales and marketing for Dar al Oud products in the Middle East.
The brand is getting stronger in Dubai, which will be used as a platform to diversify to other countries such as Saudi Arabia in the near future.
Mr Steel said retail sales will reach 10 million baht within six months of the Dubai branch opening. Sales will be boosted by promoting the brand at trade fairs in the region.
"Retail sales in the Middle East may grow slowly as the overall oud oil market is very competitive, with major players such as Arabian Oud, Ajmal and Swiss Arabian. However, we will try to build trust among consumers and offer them a variety of product lines at lower prices," he said.
Oud oil is derived from agarwood, which is considered the most expensive wood in the world. Purified oud oil is a major ingredient for producing perfumes and fragrances, and many cultures use it to define people's stature.
Treedom plans to penetrate the European market early next year. It will form a joint venture with a British distribution partner soon. Europe will replace its plan to reach India, where it has faced some legislation problems.
"Arabian people like to use oud oil and there are 5 million Arabs living in Europe. In 2011, about 240,000 British Arabs were living in the UK, with 110,00 residing in London. If we can sell our Dar al Oud products to them, it means a lot of sales revenue," Mr Steel said.
Treedom pins high hopes on the European oud oil market and targets sales in the first year to reach 150 million baht.
Mr Steel said the group, through Asia Forestry, manages agarwood plantations of about 500 rai in Trat and Chanthaburi provinces and has 120 distillery units to produce oud oil.
"We expect to expand our agarwood plantations to 1,100 rai with 360 distillery units in the next three years to serve the growing retail oud oil business," he said.
During the first half of this year, the Treedom Group generated 200 million baht in revenue. Whole-year revenue is expected to be 220 million baht.
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- Writer: Krissana Parnsoonthorn