How has Interstar succeeded to maintain itself one of the most important players on the market of household cleaning products in Romania?
There are several factors that explain our sustainable, long-term success on the Romanian market. First of all, we offer good quality products, sold at a fair price. We benefit from the expertise of the mother company in Cyprus -Eureka Group- with an experience of more than 60 years in manufacturing & selling household cleaning products.
Secondly, we embrace change because of our company entrepreneurial drive: we think of new ways of generating long-term growth and we act fast in order to grab the market opportunities. Thus, since the company’s take over by Eureka in 2005, we have launched new brands and new products, we have entered new markets, we have invested in people and in new production lines, we have built strong brands and a strong distribution system.
Thirdly, we have managed to build solid, long-term relationships with our business partners and with our employees.
All these factors have led to significant sales increases. Thus, 2009 was the 10th consecutive year of growth for our company in Romania. During the economic downturn, we managed to maintain our turnover or to grow slightly, while other companies in our industry were confronting sales drops by 10%-15%.
In 2015 we went back to double-digit growth, increasing our turnover by 12.5% versus 2014 (this is above the average growth rate of the Household Cleaning Products sector in Romania).
Which are the company’s most successful brands here?
Our most important brands are: Biocarpet (market leader in carpet cleaners), Peak (second player in toilet solid blocks), Aroxol (# 2 brand in insecticides market), Rivex (# 2 brand in parquet cleaner and challenger for # 2 in glass cleaners), Igienol (a new brand launched in 2010 with the ambition to create a new market: surface disinfectants). These brands have good awareness and product quality perception among consumers.
In a market with a large variety of offers for household cleaning products, but also for personal care products, why do you think that Romanian consumers prefer Interstar’s products?
We have won our customers’ trust with good quality products sold at a fair price. We like to work with long-term partners; therefore we treat fairly our consumers, our employees, our stakeholders and collaborators, the community and the environment. Another reason is the fact that consumers perceive our brands as popular, honest (as brands do not promise more than they can deliver) and familiar (“close to me”).
Since Interstar has started to operate in Romania , the company has always positioned itself as a marketing challenger with the ambition to build strong brands with success at the public and sold very well. What are the ingredients for the recipe of success as a market challenger? An adequate price-quality report or an inspired advertising campaign?
As a market challenger, we like to make things differently. While the market leader has a strategy built at the global level and followed locally, we create the strategy having in mind our market specificity. We study very well our competitors, we think of how we can be different from them. We look at every single market sub-segment and, once we spot an opportunity, we move fast in order to grab it.
What is Interstar’s future strategy for the Romanian market in order to diversify the offer provided here but also to increase sales and revenues?
We plan to enter new market segments, to launch new products and to invest long-term in our brands in order to generate consumer demand.
What are the results for the first three quarters of this year as compared with the previous year?
For the first 9 months of this year, we continue to grow double-digit.
How does Interstar combine its development strategy with the care for the environment?
We make sure that in the new product development process we create products which are not harming the environment in any way. We obey the law -the European regulations in force- for all the products – both the ones that we produce and the ones outsourced from other suppliers.
In this way we set the standards right from the development stage for our finished goods. As for our raw materials & packing we have strict quality control procedures to ensure that they meet the standards as they were set at the development stage. We have invested in a waste water treatment facility and we follow all legal and approved procedures when in need of destroying unnecessary materials or expired goods.