Olympic Group History ; Activities Essay

HistoryOlympic Group traces its roots back to the 1920s and 1930s. Ideal was probably the first Egyptian manufacturer to produce household appliances in the 1920s. In the 1930s, Olympic Group’s founder, Abdallah Sallam started a manufacturing and trading operation selling radios, small appliances and producing electric transformers. By 1950, his enterprise expanded into retail operations with the establishment of a chain of stores, “Shaher”, specialized in consumer financing. “Shaher” remained amongst the best performing retailers of household appliances in Egypt until it was nationalized in 1963.

The manufacturing arm of Sallam’s operations continued in the form of a new venture, Cairo Light Industries. In the early 1970s, it introduced the first locally produced electric water heaters under the brand name Olympic Electric. This innovative product provided a safe alternative to the gas water heaters that were popular at the time. It also capitalized on emerging consumer demand for electrical appliances and affordable electrical energy prices as a result of government subsidies. The water heaters soon dominated the market, and the Olympic brand became synonymous with reliability and affordability. citation needed] In 1975, EPA was established as the main trading arm of the group, handling marketing, distribution and after-sales services for all Olympic brand products. Dr Saad Sallam, the oldest son of the founder, returned to Egypt in 1978 after receiving a Ph. D. in engineering from McMaster University in Ontario and became in charge of running the business, assisted by younger brothers Niazy Sallam, who looked after the trading side and Nabil Sallam who was responsible for the production side of the business.

Dr Saad Sallam’s international experience, having worked with North American multinationals, brought a modern vision to the business that still defines Olympic Group today. [citation needed] During the 1970s and 1980s, the company started to grow and prosper, through introducing new products that met customer demands and filled critical market gaps. Olympic maintained its market leadership through adopting new technologies in production, expanding product range and building a strong brand image. [citation needed]

To accommodate growth and complexity of operations, Olympic Group was established in 1995 as a holding company that overlooks a number of closely related subsidiaries engaged in manufacturing and trading of household appliances and related industries. Subsequent acquisitions and internal growth have led Olympic Group to become the market leader for white goods in Egypt with strong vertically and horizontally integrated operations. [citation needed] By the end of 1997, the group expanded its trading arm by establishing Olympic Stores, now B-Tech.

Today, B-Tech has become the biggest retail chain for household appliances in Egypt, focusing on consumer credit sales with 42 outlets spreading nationwide. In 1998, the group enhanced its leadership position in the white goods market with the acquisition of IDEAL, the largest public sector manufacturer of white goods in Egypt. IDEAL, which was established in the 1920s, complemented the Group’s product range with refrigerators and washing machines. Between 1997 and 2004 the Group went through a number of restructuring measures and investment projects that aimed at:

1. Separation of ownership from management 2. Boosting output capacity and quality 3. Enhancing business focus 4. Empowering staff through delegation of authority Today, the Group claims to be the market leader in household appliances in Egypt and to be rapidly penetrating regional markets. [1] [edit] ActivitiesOlympic Group incorporates a highly integrated cluster of companies, which has enabled the Group to maintain its dominant position as the market leader in the field of white goods in Egypt.

More than 98% of the products sold by the Group are manufactured in the Group’s own production facilities. A number of these facilities are dedicated to feeding industries, where essential product components are produced. The main products manufactured by Olympic Group are automatic washing machines, refrigerators, electric water heaters and gas cookers. Other products include fans, oil-filled radiators, exhaust fans, manual washing machines and coolers.

Olympic Group’s key international partners, suppliers and licensors include the world’s leader in electric appliances – Electrolux (Zanussi), the Korean giant Daewoo, the leading Dutch manufacturer Philips, the Turkish conglomerate KOC group and Merloni International Group “ARISTON and Indesit”. Ninety percent of the Group’s products are introduced into the market through Olympic Group’s wholly owned wholesale trader, EPA, which is the largest white goods trader in Egypt. EPA has 12 branches and a huge network of 1600 dealers and distributors.

The other trading arm of the Group, B-Tech, is handling retail operations with a focus on consumer credit sales. B-Tech was established in 1997 under the trading name “Olympic Stores”. Today B-Tech operates 42 outlets located at some of the best commercial centers in Cairo and other provinces within Egypt. In addition, EPA operates 16 Ideal and Olympic Electric retail outlets and 11 franchise retail outlets in unique locations. The core activities of the company are supported with the largest and most effective after-sales service network in Egypt, comprising a network of 25 service centers geographically spread throughout the country. [2]