Dubai: Danube Home, the home improvement arm of Dubai’s Danube Group, has big expansion plans and that includes being in “every country that Emirates airline flies to”. This is according to Adel Sajan, Global Managing Director of Danube Group.
Sajan, who was speaking at the India Global Forum on Tuesday, said Danube Home will have 37-38 stores in 22 countries by the end of 2022, compared to 20 stores in 12 countries right now.
“We franchise our Danube Home business and we have been getting a lot of traction recently,” said Sajan. “A lot of underdeveloped countries around the world do not have the kind of retail standards that you find in Dubai.”
Danube Home, which started off as a single showroom in Ras Al Khaimah in 2009, is now among the fastest growing home improvement retailers in the region. “I want Danube Group or Danube Home to have a presence in every country that Emirates flies to – that’s the goal that I have given my team,” said Sajan.
Turning around retail
When Sajan chose to enter Danube Group’s retail unit after his graduation, the business was losing about $3.5 million a year and represented about 7 per cent of the company’s total turnover.
“My father, also the company’s chairman, actually wanted to get out of retail, but I convinced him to give me a chance to turn it around,” said Sajan. “That decision really paid off.”
During the peak of the COVID pandemic last year, Danube Home found itself in a fairly advantageous position.
“E-commerce is something that we’ve always looked at, but it was only over the last three years that we gave it some real focus,” said Sajan. “When COVID happened, our e-commerce sales during that period spiked by 400 per cent.”
“We’ve been spending a lot of time and resources in developing that platform and that really paid off,” he added.
Sajan said that the last two years had been a “roller-coaster ride” for the company, but at the same time opened up new opportunities. Because “everybody was working from home, there was a huge surge in demand in the home industry, but the supplies were shut”, said Sajan.