Wood & Panel

Sebastian Huisman

Sebastian Huisman

In an exclusive interview with Sebastian Huisman, Managing Director, Hettich Mexico, focuses on the Mexican market as a whole, their participation and expectations from the show to our editor-in-chief, Apratim Ghoshal during MEM 2020.

woodandpaneleurope How do you feel about the new edition of MEM in 2020? What changes you have noticed?

Sebastian Huisman: It’s absolutely a change. It’s very interesting, the quality of the visitors we have. We had 60 leads just in the first day which is interesting for us basically because 60 people on a expo at Mexico city; this is something new for us. We can say its high quality and it could be a potential customer for our products. Also, we like the interactive way how the show is organized this year with providers like Felder who is showcasing a production line. It’s very interesting to see German, Austrian and Switzerland companies here in Mexico. The German stand is very interesting as well. There are a lot of companies which I got in contact and to just feel that something is changing and for Hettich Mexico it’s a very big booth.

woodandpaneleurope As a German brand, how is the demand of the products in Latin America? Are you competing with any local product?
Sebastian Huisman: Yes, I would say, it’s more of indirect competition with the local products because local products are not bad but they don’t have the quality we have. Also, our technology is 130 years and people adore and love German products but it’s always the question of price. We usually have to compete with an Austrian company which is very strong as well. They have the same quality as we have and it’s more like who offers the high discounts he gets the project, he gets the client! Mexicans still ask for price but we too have Mexican local clients. They understand the concept of quality and they would never ever change from Hettich products to any other products.
woodandpaneleurope The innovation: ‘AvanTech YOU Drawer System’, you showcased in Cologne show. What are the main features and how Mexican market is adapting the new innovation and technology?
Sebastian Huisman: Well, when you present something in Germany, first of all you implement like in the biggest market and you start implementing in the most important markets. So, Mexico as we are a small subsidiary still, we are focusing on the demand of market, what the market can afford because we have our ArciTech for example, the other drawer which is also a very good quality and very nice design. Yes, AvanTech YOU is an upgrade but we are still selling our lowest segment drawers here. Basically Mexico is not ready yet to receive AvanTech YOU from our point of view. The upgrade is coming soon, but first of all we are pushing the products we see the Mexican local market is asking for.
woodandpaneleurope Are you planning to organise any workshop to educate people or to educate buyers that why they need German technology and why they need Hettich in Mexico?
Sebastian Huisman: Absolutely it is a core argument but it is absolutely necessary to say because we are from Germany and we have German technology. You have to feed the customers with all the arguments and you have to show them why price difference is high! So basically to start to educate them, it’s a work from the bottom to the top. It will go to school, the people from the beginning. So basically invest once in the beginning your clients will be happy and yes these are all our core argument. We are always getting closer to our clients to explain them and thus for distributors and clients we do a lot of training so that they have also these types of arguments and they can convince why they should buy your kitchen products from us! With our hinge we give years of guarantee that there will be no problem. We give them different products so that they can use it and bring back their experience and share with the industry department or the technical managers like they will check and see what is there inside the hinge or what’s inside the Hettich products. They can open, they can look inside or they can measure and check everything till the clients say, “yes I am convinced as I saw what is inside”.
woodandpaneleurope Will you be participating at Tecnomueble in August?
Sebastian Huisman: Yes we participated there last year as well and it was a big success! This year we are very happy with this expo and know that it will not be the same as Deutsche Messe is organizing it. We will be there; we will participate and will show new products in the show, maybe AvantechYou. We will launch new products in the expo and we will also make public our new concept of distribution so basically every Mexican is informed about our sales channel and all these kind of innovative products we bring.

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