The Business Year

Tomás Alonso

UAE, UAE, ABU DHABI - Real Estate & Construction

Mastering the niche

CEO, Gaggenau

Bio

Tomás Alonso is CEO of Gaggenau.

“We have two angles: the construction project business and residential kitchen refits.“

Can you provide an overview of the Gaggenau brand, its current portfolio, and how this fits into the broader BSH organization?

The Gaggenau portfolio of home appliances includes ovens, refrigerators, surface inductions, wine coolers, and other prominent luxury kitchen products. Gaggenau has an exciting approach to the market with a unique portfolio of products. The BSH company, thanks to its brands Gaggenau, Siemens, and Bosch is able to cover the luxury, premium, and added value categories all in one go. This gives us an advantage over our competitors and allows us to match our brands with consumers’ needs. Our strategy is to play with the three brands in different parts of the market. Gaggenau occupies the luxury segment, a niche part of the market. We foresee great potential within this niche, as our products are for consumers who value luxury goods. Our Siemens range is intended for consumers in the premium segment of the market, while the Bosch brand covers the added value segment. Premium & added value consumers tend to be fresher, more modern, urban consumers who can spend money but want practical products. We cover the entire kitchen spectrum with this umbrella of brands, from small domestic appliances such as vacuum cleaners, food processors, and coffee machines to major household appliances such as ovens, hobs, hoods, refrigerators, and washing machines.

What key features differentiate these brands from some of your major competitors?

Collectively, our brands have been in the market for a long time. Gaggenau has more than 330 years’ experience in the field, Siemens has over 150, and Bosch has 135-plus. Consumers in the market recognize quality German products and technologies; however, this involves more than product quality; the brand and image are equally integral. This is also why people pay for such appliances. Our brands resonate with consumers. We offer more than 400 products in the market through our three brands. With such an extensive portfolio, we can cover all a consumer’s needs and necessities. While some of our competitors have fantastic brands, they are not able to cover the niches that we do and have nowhere near the same quantity of products.

In what ways is the UAE market unique compared to Gaggenau’s other markets globally? How has this affected your approach to the UAE market?

Luxe is normally a niche market worldwide. In the UAE, this is a broader niche market, with a population that is ready and able to spend money. However, people will only pay a substantial amount of money if you provide something different. Gaggenau’s motto is: “The difference is Gaggenau.” There are many excellent brands in the market, though when we talk about luxury, then there is only one: Gaggenau. Opening a Gaggenau oven or fridge, you feel the difference. This difference between brands is fundamental to the consumer and also justifies the money they pay. It is not possible to compare this brand with any other in-home appliances in the UAE market. Luxury means differentiation, exclusivity, materials, heritage, and quality, and only Gaggenau can provide this in the UAE. Bosch and Siemens are fantastic brands playing in a completely different price and consumer segment, with other competitors in a similar segment-market. UAE consumers like the Gaggenau look and brand, and they need to feel that the brand they put in their homes is unique.

How do you work alongside architects, interior designers, and your consumers to create this luxury kitchen concept and design experience?

Gaggenau is certainly not new in this market; it has been working in the UAE for some time now. We wanted to make the brand more visible and approachable, and two years ago, we decided to invest in a Galleria for Gaggenau. This Galleria has an area of more than 300sqm in the business bay area, which is an upscale part of Dubai. It allows consumers to interact with the brand and visualize what it would be like to have Gaggenau appliances in their own homes. We can invite clients such as architects, interior designers, and high-end kitchen dealers to this custom showroom. We aim to capture the attention of our niche target audience and introduce them to Gaggenau. Having this base allows us to amplify the Gaggenau story.

What areas exhibit the greatest growth potential over the next five years, and what are Gaggenau’s specific objectives for the UAE market here?

Gaggenau has ambitious targets, and the idea is to focus on our investments. If we split our future investment between the different countries we cover today in this region, this will likely have a limited impact. Therefore, our primary strategy is to invest in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. From 2023, we aim to move into collateral markets where we expect to succeed, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our current focus is the UAE, which is partly because we are currently involved in luxury construction projects in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Second, repositioning is imminent in kitchen design. Consumers will renovate or replace their old kitchens, and we need to give them the option to use luxury brands when they do so. We have two angles: the construction project business and residential kitchen refits. Dubai and Abu Dhabi both exhibit the most opportunity for this work, and this is where we want to base our growth for the coming years.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

Pierre Santoni, MEA President, Parsons

UAE - Economy

Pierre Santoni

Interview

MEA President, Parsons

Christer Viktorsson

UAE - Energy & Mining

Christer Viktorsson

Interview

Director General, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)

Almudena Maillo

UAE - Tourism

Almudena Maillo

Interview

Councilor for Tourism and Moratalaz, Madrid City Council

View All interviews