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Strong belief in building customer rapport

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Mr Kishore Surtani, managing director, Pee Bee Group.The company recently doubled production capacity to meet the increase in demand for its products.

PEE Bee Management Services (Private) Limited was incorporated in Colombo, Sri Lanka on March 28, 1980, and is part of the Pee Bee Group of Companies. The company began with manufacturing operations conducted on a small scale, catering to the demand for tissue paper products from the hotel trade. Over time, the distribution network has extended countrywide and the company now manufactures and distributes disposable soft hygienic products under the FLORA brand. The company's pioneering range of products has become a mainstay of the business, and accounts for a substantial 60 per cent share of the Sri Lankan market.

The three major channels of distribution for FLORA Tissue Paper products are modern trade, B2B and Horeca (hotels, restaurants, caf├ęs), and the retail trade which includes grocers and pharmacies. As a brand leader, the company has an experienced sales team and a back office to service any order within 24 hours. Its sales team regularly visits the Horeca channels of distribution for updates on the outlets' product requirements, and regularly conducts consumer offers on the retail level to build consumer loyalty.

In its 37 years of business, the company has managed to obtain the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLS) product certification for its products and achieve Superbrand certification in Sri Lanka. It has been named best vendor in the tissue paper category from Keels Super, Sri Lanka's premier supermarket, and has received an Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award.

Its current challenges include maintaining its 60 per cent market share in Sri Lanka while maintaining high levels of quality and adding value to consumers. The company is also concerned with the rising cost of raw materials and packing materials, and combats that with procuring increased quantities of raw materials at lower prices in order to retain a competitive edge. Pee Bee Management Services has also recently doubled production capacity to meet the increase in demand for its products.

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Measuring brand performance is an integral part of the company's brand management policy, and a range of metrics has been implemented to this end, with the company constantly measuring brand performance by checking on market share, brand value, quality perception, brand awareness and brand price sensitivity. It does this in the belief that achieving organisational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfaction better than competitors. The company also subscribes to a marketing strategy that focuses on understanding consumers, creating customer value, and building strong customer relationships.

Pee Bee Management Services has in place a well-defined and executed brand strategy which affects all aspects of the business and is directly connected to consumer needs and emotions and competitive environments. Historically the company's revenue has doubled in the last four years due to the wide range of products it offers. It is looking to continue that trend as the company already manufactures over 150 different products, making it a one-stop solutions provider for all types of soft disposable products including wet wipes, and party products such as paper plates and cups. This move underscores the mission of the company to remain a market leader in its field in Sri Lanka.

One aspect of brand building that the manufacturer will be banking on is the enhancing of purchase frequency. To this end the company has invested in various below-the-line campaigns which include free sampling of new products in the modern trade and supermarkets across the country. Internet branding strategies are also being increasingly undertaken by the company in order to promote business online. Ongoing social media campaigns improve brand consideration among younger consumers, while gifts with purchase continue to be the mainstay of retail promotions.

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