Galaxy Trading is taking on a host of building materials projects in the UAE as a result of a new strategy which sees the company focus exclusively on supplying and retailing products from its selection of high-quality brands.
Having built up its name and become established operator in its short five-year history, Galaxy has more than 35 developments in the pipeline and is also looking to add to its retail presence with another showroom in Dubai.
So far it has catered for residential, hospitality, health and retail sectors, bringing to the UAE construction industry premium goods from the likes of ceramic specialist Porcelanosa via a supply chain bolstered by DB Schenker Logistics, Fedex and DHL.
Chief Operations Officer Faisal Al Raisi’s objective is clear. He said: “Our chairman brought me in in March this year and asked me to tell him in one sentence how I wanted to lead Galaxy. I said I want the company to be number one building materials company in town, as simple as that.”
Galaxy Trading is rapidly building up its reputation thanks to a portfolio of materials supply projects for a number of eye-catching developments, especially in the residential arena.
The Gate Towers is an integral part of the transformation of Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, comprising 3,533 accommodation units among leisure and retail facilities.
Galaxy played an integral role in shaping the exquisite interiors of all apartments on site. This involved the supply and installation of kitchen cabinets, stone works and vanity cabinets, wooden doors and wardrobes and shoe racks. The company also supplied ceramic tiles, sanitary wares, lighting fixtures, ironmongery and façade lighting.
Galaxy is now channelling all of its energies into supply rather than installation, allowing it to take on more projects which now include the Al Raha Gardens in Abu Dhabi and Alghadeer, a new 2,100-villa community close to the site for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Key to securing more projects in the future is Al Raisi’s attitude towards customer retention. “One of our main ways of being competitive is to offer the lowest possible rates, because once we have opened one door with a client it will open more opportunities.
“This is about repeat custom and volumes of projects, not the cost of the first project. We are winning projects based on our quality brands and excellent prices, and we are happy to sit down with clients and negotiate the best package.”
The UAE government is one such repeat client, for which Galaxy Trading is a key supplier for some of its national housing projects.
“We have done a lot of national housing projects for the government and in 2015 we expect to execute many more such projects.” Al Raisi added. “This is a long term partnership and we have to make sure we have the capabilities to handle such responsibility.”
Alongside its strong portfolio of large projects, Galaxy has a permanent retail presence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, home to company HQ.
The two showrooms are served by a large warehouse in Kizad, located between the two Emirates and recipient of 20-25 containers of product each month. The company stocks around 1,000 different products from lighting and cabinets to tiles and wooden doors.
“Our showrooms are doing extremely well and we are looking at opening another in Dubai in 2015,” Al Raisi said. “Hopefully we can develop more in other cities across the UAE once we have studied the market properly. You can’t just jump in.”
On display in the showrooms and being implemented on the ground through Galaxy’s ongoing project work are quality products produced by strong brands from across the world.
Porcelanosa, a Spanish producer of bathroom furniture and ceramic wall and flooring tiles present in more than 100 countries, is the company’s flagship brand.
Al Raisi said: “They are a grade A company for us. We are in dialogue with them on a daily basis and their after sale service is excellent – if something breaks I do not have to wait a week. I call them and they arrive very quickly, even for minor things on a single item in a single residential villa.
“Recently I was in Bologna and I saw lots of high end products, but many of them I saw at Porcelanosa years back. I have the advantage of working with a company whose products are one step ahead and are duplicated two to three years later by other producers.”
Being the UAE distributor of Porcelanosa thus gives Galaxy a head start on the regional competition; competition which is seen as healthy and a driver of success. “Competition is positive – it makes us work harder and be more creative,” the COO said. “If there is no competition there is no fun in the market.”
Other brands represented by Galaxy include Poland’s maker of bathroom fixtures Cersanit, Austrian lighting manufacturer KOLARZ, and Swiss company Geberit, producer of eco-friendly sanitary and piping systems.
Galaxy is also well supported in its logistics functions by heavyweight operator DB Schenker Logistics, able to ship orders within 45 days to project sites, with air freight also used if a client is in need of a delivery in quicker time.
With top brands and logistics partners on board coupled with the new focus on excelling in the supply of such materials to clients, Galaxy is well placed to pursue Al Raisi’s objective of becoming the market leader.
He concluded: “In five years’ time I think we will be over 200 people and should be able to have a larger market share. Other players in the market are even coming to us to get their products on the map.
“We also have strong shareholders who are all business people who are in line with our vision and able to help us provide the best service possible.”