By The Nation
It has successfully established a foothold in Vietnam after realising the high potential of continuing economic growth in this region where people have more income and like to use Thai products.
It also intends to subsequently enter Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia and aims to be No 1 in sales of window film within five years.
Sales in Vietnam have reached Bt20 million in just six months.
Hi-Kool also has been able to maintain its leadership in Thailand, capturing a market share of 35 per cent by volume, and expects its sales in 2018 to meet the target of Bt650 million. For 2019, it anticipates a growth of 17 per cent.
Chalok Vanichakornphongs, Managing Director, said Lee Vanich has been marketing the Hi-Kool window film for both automobile and residential installations for over 35 years in Thailand and become an expert in the field.
Hi-Kool films are produced by customised orders by the best converters in America that use the latest technology known as “sputter-coated metalising” in accordance with the specifications provided, he said.
He said Hi-Kool film has been very popular in Thailand because it is most suitable for the weather conditions here, repelling heat by up to 84 per cent and UV rays by 99 per cent.
Hi-Kool film is the most popular brand and has a market share of 35 per cent and a warranty period of seven years, he said.
Chalok said people in the CLMV countries love to use Thai products. Vietnam has become the first country in which Hi-Kool was successfully represented as its automobile industry has high potential for growth and its people have more income to buy cars.
He said that in 2019 Vietnam will manufacture its own cars, which is a good sign of growth in the country. In the first 10 months of 2017, overall sales of all type of automobiles in Vietnam grew by 5 per cent, of which sedans represented 22 per cent (147,422 cars).
“We have a plan to fully market the Hi-Kool products in the CLMV countries in 3-5 years with a sales target of Bt100-150 million. A business development team has been set up to take care of this project.
“We have successfully launched our full marketing campaign in Vietnam and Hi-Kool films have been very well accepted by the local consumers. In the last six months we’ve had sales value of Bt20 million. Although this figure is not much, we can see the potential that can be expanded to this region. We have set our goal to be No 1 in market share in Southeast Asia within five years”, Chalok said.
Chalok said that in the first two years, Lee Vanich will emphasise building the brand in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia before moving on to the Philippines and Indonesia.
“The most important thing in our strategy is we have to find the right local partner, who must have the real intention and capability and potential to cooperate with us in marketing our products,” Chalok said.
He thanked the Department of International Trade Promotion at the Thai Commerce Ministry for guidance and assistance in conducting a market survey and business-matching in promoting the sales of the Thai brand Hi-Kool products abroad.
“For the Thai market, in 2018 Hi-Kool has still been able to maintain its position as No 1 market share of 35 per cent in terms of the number of cars that installed Hi-Kool films, with a growth rate of 12-15 per cent.
“In 2018 there were about 980,000 new cars sold and installed with films, representing 12 per cent increase and about 800,000 cars 6-7 years old that have to change the films, representing 15-20 per cent as after-market sales,” Chalok said
He said that the sale total for this year is expected to be around Bt650 million, growth of about 12-15 per cent, representing Bt630 in domestic sales and Bt20 million in international sales.
For 2019, the company has set a sales target of Bt730 million, representing growth of 17 per cent, and in order to achieve this, the company has to try to maintain its market share, continue to upgrade and improve its products quality, continue to build its brand Hi-Kool and further expand its business to foreign countries, he said.
“Competition is very intense as there are newcomers entering the market. However, Hi-Kool is in a better position as it has been well established and is the best-known Thai brand. It can provide quality products with high heat rejection and other added functions that other brands do not have.
“For example, Hi-Kool UV Care, which is a ceramic film, can repel UV rays up to the range of 400 NM, which is the harmful range that damages your eyes. Normal films have UV protection up to only 380 NM.
“In addition, two years ago, we launched Hi-Kool Black Carbon series, which is clear when looking out from inside the car and a black tone when looking from outside. This series has been overwhelmingly accepted by customers.
“In 2019, we will launch, possibly at the next Motor Show, another series of premium-grade film that we believe can repel the highest heat among all the window films in the market,” Chalok said.