“It was definitely the most tasking thing I’ve ever done in my life so far.
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Sacha set for October launch in Panama
October is the deadline which Sacha Cosmetics Ltd (SCL) has set to launch in the Panama market, said managing director Kama Maharaj. Already, the company has partnered with Latin Vogue magazine and would also be participating in several fashion shows. The company, which began 35 years ago, has four brands: Sacha, Arista, Rouane and Nature’s Secret.
Maharaj spoke to Guardian yesterday after the pre-launch ceremony to signal the company’s intention to enter Panama. The ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain.
Explaining the rationale behind choosing Panama, Maharaj said: “Panama is the gateway to Latin America with the new (Panama) Canal and with Copa Airlines as an international partner. We thought that after Cuba, that should be the next place to position the brand. This market is about four million people, they wear a lot of make-up, it gives us access into all of Central America and Latin America.
“We are partnering with Latin Vogue magazine and the largest fashion brand in Latin America, FA Studio design with a lot of their fashion shows, so it gives us a great entry into Latin America.”
Asked what strategy is going to be used going into the Panamanian market, Maharaj said: “It (Sacha cosmetics) might the official cosmetics at the Ms Panama pageant, we did the big Excomer trade show. We are doing a fashion show next week and we are going Fashion Week in Panama and then we are launching. We are creating a buzz before we get into the market.”
There are no language barriers for the company entering the Panama market. In November 2013, the company announced it had been appointed sole supplier for Tiendas TRD Caribe, the largest distribution company in Latin America with 2,179 retail outlets in Cuba.
“It is an extremely lucrative market. It is going to be our number one market in 2015, because 11 million people, with no American brands on the shelves, We are the largest distributor over there. We have a virtual monopoly in the market. There’s going to be no competition in 2,179 stores. The only imported brand is going to be Sacha. There are no challenges in the market anymore,” he said. Maharaj said the company is willing to mentor any other manufacturer wishing to enter the markets Sacha Cosmetics already has a presence in.
“We love to see all the T&T brands get out in those markets and we hope that we are setting an example and paving the way for other manufacturers.” Confident his company has done its part in assisting with Government’s diversification thrust, Maharaj said the efforts would continue. For more than a decade, Sacha Cosmetics has also been on the online business.
“We have been selling online for 16 years. E-commerce is at an infancy stage and people are still trying to understand how to maximise e-commerce. We are finally seeing a way to do it. Bloggers are blogging about Sacha and sales are going through the roof.”