Designing a smarter living with Areef Saeed, General Manager, Oxon Tech and Marko Bogdanovic, Marketing Executive & Export Manager, Peštan

PUBLISHED January 10, 2023

With the introduction of tech savvy brands like Orbita and TIS, Oxon Tech is bringing a new dimension to automated homes and smart living in the Maldives. With real-estate booming in this tourist hub of a nation, this perhaps could be a game changer when it comes to opting for luxury living. 

Today, we are more than exhilarated to meet the man responsible for initiating this dynamic addition to living and lifestyle.

Mr. Areef, kindly tell us about yourself and what inspired you to tap into this market?

I am the director of Oxon Pvt Ltd, which is a tech company in Maldives with different portfolios. One of them being Oxon Tech under which we are presenting two brands, TIS and Orbita. I believe that with a lot of high end residential and corporate complexes emerging in Hulhumale’, and overall, in this region, we would like to go into automation for better living and witness modernization at is best with high-tech products incorporated into the existing homes and upcoming high-rises. 

Tell us about the brands Oxon Tech represents and why you chose to partner with them?

The two brands currently in association with Oxon Tech are Orbita and TIS. Orbita is one of the leading brands in the international hotel industry. They are having all amenities requiring by hoteliers, from hotel management system to a wide range of hotel door lock systems. As for TIS, it is an Australian brand and is manufactured in Australia and China as well. TIS has been in the market for a decade and is also one of the leading brands of automation in middle east and many other regions of the world. 

Do you believe that the local homeowners are ready to welcome automation into their homes and integrate smart technology in their day-to-day home living?

Yes, we do. We believe we are absolutely ready. We are spending more than 4 million to procure a 3-bedroom apartment in Maldives, then why not spend a fraction of that investment amount to  enhance the experience and acquire host of conveniences.. 

You have introduced ‘home automation packages’ in association with your brand ‘TIS’ for homeowners. What kind of R&D was carried out before coming up with this offer package and how successful have you been in reaching your target audience?

As I mentioned earlier, TIS has been in the market for over a decade and has garnered huge popularity in similar overseas markets such as Dubai. The hotel owners and homeowners of Maldives now demand for their properties to be automated as well. Hence there is an inherent desire for smart living. 

As for the R&D, it is carried out by the brand themselves while we engage in the role of intermediaries by facilitating and customizing their solutions to our market. With orders and inquiries coming not only from resorts and hotels, but also from homeowners, we believe we are achieving our targets. 

With Maldives being one of the biggest tourist attraction centers in the world, resorts and hotels have been a very well-established industry for almost half a century now, with guest houses being the current and latest norm. Are you currently supplying to any of the local resorts/guest houses and what is your marketing plan to penetrate this industry?

Of course, we have been working with different resorts and other hotels in the country. Currently more than 85% of hotels are having Orbita lock systems. Also we are working with hotels with TIS as well. 

It’s an advantage for us to market these products as they have been around. They are very much present in the market and have been globally acclaimed for long now, so their reputation precedes themselves. 

How long will it take to implement smart technology into an existing apartment?

It won’t be much difficult as there won’t be much difference compared to traditional wiring, especially if it is done during the construction period. Application of smart wiring to a finished apartment however is going to require some effort. 

Through your tech enhanced products & services, you are adding ‘smart’ to the lifestyle of ‘luxury living’ in Maldives. What is the ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal is to bring up our standard to the European standard. To raise the bar since we have the capacity to enhance our lifestyle to that standard through the utilization of these innovative products.

If you get the opportunity to advocate this product to the millennials and youngsters, would you be interested in partaking in a panel discussion or give a keynote speech?

Definitely, I would love to. They are the future of this nation and prospective consumers of these products.

Oxon Tech has launched another international brand during the Maldives Living Expo 2022 held in December, ‘Peštan’. We have with us the Marketing Executive & Export Manager, Mr. Marko Bogdanovic who is enthusiastic to give us an insight into their brand.

Pleasure to meet you Mr. Marko. Please enlighten us about the brand and products of Peštan, and your target market demographics?

First of all, thank you very much for your time and I would also like to thank all the visitors of the expo and those that visited our stall. Peštan company is a European producer, mainly from Serbia and our portfolio is dedicated to more than 8500 articles. We produce plastic pipes and fittings used for various purposes, from drinking water, sewage, drainage to rainwater collection for above the ground and below the ground projects. Mostly we are dedicated towards exporting; we export to more than 80 different countries over 5 continents. Owning one of the biggest factories in Europe with over 1200 workers, all our portfolios are produced in house in Europe, from PVC, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and PPR.

What would you say is the UPS of the Peštan products?

Today we are facing with the time and period that more of the construction companies and the government are committed towards environment friendly solutions that they can provide. That is one of our biggest objectives we pledge for and that which we are planning to achieve in the Maldives as well. So, we are proposing to provide the Maldivian market with revolutionary solutions to the plastic pipe and fitting requirements in the country. 

What kind of research did your company indulge in before deciding to affiliate with Oxon and entering the Maldivian market?

As mentioned previously, the presence of the brand in more than 80 countries worldwide gives us a lot of knowledge of this market. We have carried out successful projects in surrounding countries like Sri Lanka, India, and African countries like Ethiopia and Kenya. From time to time we have been getting more and more enquiries from Maldives and we finally decided to approach with market research and analysis that made us realize there is huge space for our solutions that we are providing since the materials utilized in Maldives construction industry that are aligning with our product portfolio seems to be outdated, and what we offer is that of the European standard. So, we hope to introduce this new technology to Maldives through our partner and change this trend. 

Could you share with us your marketing plans to launch your brand and challenges you perceive to face in Maldives?

When it comes to marketing, it is strictly connected to our local partner, I believe that is one of the main agendas for this affiliation, for them to convey the solutions we bring forth as they being the local focal point of the project, are more closely aware of the problems that need to be catered to. 

For example, in Maldives above ground infrastructure projects are using PVC for sewage which has not been used in Europe for over 25-30 years because PVC is a highly flammable material. We offer a product with better technical specification; Polypropylene as better modern solution. Further solutions like using rubber material instead of gluing connection which is easier to adopt and implement whilst keeping the overall cost low. 

Do you see Peštan as a revolutionary product that can enhance the construction industry of Maldives?

Already it is, as we are offering different solutions that enlarge the heritage of the construction industry of the Maldives. Through this expo as well, we have received a lot of positive feedback which again gives us a clear indication that we are on the right path. 

Besides the piping solutions which is more than 95% of our assortment, we provide bathroom solutions as well. So when we speak about complete installation in terms of bathroom, it means that we provide everything from one place, one company. It’s a hassle-free synchronized solution for your bathroom. 

Lastly how would you promote your product to the coming up generation of entrepreneurs of the industry?

We will be using a similar strategy and mission that we have been implementing in other global markets as well, which is introducing and innovative new technologies and products that would make the work of the representing industry easier and efficient. What I saw personally together with Mr. Areef from Oxon company is that on local market they are presenting material and solutions that has been in the market for many years and therefore, there is nothing new in the market. In some cases, it can be good but considering how the technology is rising and the new generation is coming, the new knowledge of the new technology we must be willing to present; the last living technology we are having in our factory and that we have in our company, we would like to share with the many markets in the world. With Maldives, I believe not only we can provide the good solutions to this market, but I also believe this market will educate us on how to make it better and that is the synergy we can share with the local companies and the generation that is coming.  



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