By Zaid Bunni, Founding Partner and Director at Swedbrand
This past year has been difficult around the world. The pandemic descended upon us with no warning and disrupted so many things! For many companies future plans were put on hold since no one was really sure how this thing would turn out.
We decided to take a different path, and in hindsight, we are very glad we did.
During the pandemic, we were able to construct our new rigid box factory in Gdansk, Poland, and we are truly grateful to everyone who contributed to our ability to do so, from our talented staff to all of the construction and regulatory people who helped us to get this done during a difficult time.
Once the factory opened, we were beginning to see some relief from pandemic restrictions. We have, nonetheless, implemented special working procedures in our plant to make sure employees have a safe working environment, especially since we are not yet out of the “pandemic woods” and it is not clear when that will be the case exactly. It is likely that some of these adjustments will be with us for quite some time to come.
In addition, to make it easier for our customers and potential customers, we have a virtual tour of the factory available – both in video form as well as a customised one-on-one service for brands and retailers. This enables them to safely experience our factory and it eliminates the time and cost associated with travel. We are, of course, happy to welcome visitors in person again once the pandemic restrictions allow for that.
The new factory is already contributing to the overall company’s revenue, and that is just Phase One. Our goal is to finalise Phase Two by December. During this phase, we are investing in more production lines to increase our capacity.
With regards to our new European operation, the market reactions have been very positive. Brands and retailers are surprised about our cost competitiveness, and they are delighted with the significantly reduced shipping times compared to the ones from Asia.
We’re thrilled about the future. And we are really excited that, hopefully soon, we will be seeing the back end of this pandemic!