Identifying new market opportunities for Minjara furniture from Lebanon

In response to the challenges faced by the furniture manufacturing sector in Lebanon, the European Union funded the Private Sector Development (PSD) Program. It was executed by Expertise France in collaboration with local and international organisations. Among the key pillars was the establishment of the Minjara brand. It was founded to provide support to the carpenters in Tripoli by creating new sales opportunities under their own brand. To achieve this goal, Minjara introduced two distinct product lines: the Essential Collection, designed for the local market by the team at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (Alba), and a range of wooden furniture for international markets, crafted by various designers.

Globally Cool assisted Minjara in several aspects, including market research and best market selection. During the research phase, the team worked on identifying potential markets in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (also known as GCC countries) and Europe. We also conducted detailed research on the chosen markets and provided comprehensive insights to the Minjara team.

The Globally Cool team also delivered a training program for the Minjara team with a focus on best market research, international sales, and international marketing strategy practices, building capacity in the team and contributing to the sustainability of the initiative in the future. After the market research and the training, both teams co-created the base for an export strategy to target the preselected markets. Globally Cool supported the Minjara team in the implementation of this strategy by facilitating matchmaking and participation in industry events.

 

 

Products

Handmade furniture

Year

2022 – 2023

Country

Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

Type of activity

  • Branding and Promotion
  • Business Matching
  • Market Intelligence
  • Strategy Development
  • Trade Fairs and Missions

Activities

This project consisted of several components:

  • Best market selection: Globally Cool assisted Minjara in identifying potential international markets. Our focus was on two regions: GCC countries and Europe.
  • Market research: after pinpointing these potential markets, our team conducted research on key demand trends and both mandatory and voluntary requirements in the chosen markets.
  • Capacity building: we also provided comprehensive training to the Minjara team covering several areas.
  • Co-creation of the base for an export strategy with the Minjara team.
  • Organised and implemented 4 micro-events (in EU and GCC regions) bringing potential buyers and suppliers together at relevant global trade fairs. Facilitated B2B meetings during those events:
    • Longlisted 150+ potential buyers through research and trade show visits
    • Shortlisted and arranged meetings with 9-10 potential buyers per event through direct outreach via phone, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp

Results

We presented insights into the key trends shaping demand within GCC countries and Europe. Additionally, we outlined both mandatory and voluntary requirements. Armed with this information, we organised a session with Minjara's management and design team. During this session, we provided insights to align the design of Minjara's products with the specific needs of these markets.

During the capacity-building phase, we covered several aspects such as market intelligence, export marketing strategy, matchmaking, networking, and participation in trade shows. This training equipped the Minjara team with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the international market landscape successfully.

After both phases, Globally Cool and Minjara co-created the base of an export strategy based on Minjara´s UVP to target the pre-selected markets.

Lastly, we organized 4 matchmaking events around trade shows: Index Dubai, UAE (2022 and 2023), Creative Nations 961 in Abu Dhabi, UAE (2022), Salone del Mobile Milan (2023). During those events, we facilitated 60+ meetings with potential buyers from UAE, Saudi, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Oman, Russia, Italy, Cyprus, France, Turkey, Canada, The Netherlands, and Belgium in the UAE or Italy.