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Phileo PM says it is targeting an oft-ignored HVACR segment

Asserts it is looking to support the small contractor community through supplying capital goods, knowledge-sharing and adequate aftersales service

| | Dec 7, 2020 | 2:31 pm
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Moan Abraham

DUBAI, UAE, 7 December 2020: Phileo PM Aircondition & Refrigeration Trading said a key area of its focus is the small contractor segment, which it wishes to support through supplying capital goods, knowledge-sharing and adequate aftersales service.

Small contractors do not get the same respect as a Class A contractor, said Moan Abraham, the digital trading company’s Director & Managing Partner. “But, they can get you business,” he said. Typically, villa contractors, he said, are low profile but have regular monthly requirements for parts and consumables. Phileo, he said, is keen on offering them service design solutions to meet the specifications of the consultant and to satisfy the needs of the client. “We use our experience to give solutions and professional service to the small contractor, instead of merely selling products,” he said.

Philips Tharakan

Philips Tharakan, Chief Value Delivery Officer at the company, said the company simply stepped in to fill a vacuum, not only to properly serve small, below-the-radar contractors but also others in the line of activity. A lot of traditional distributors, he said, have not evolved with the changing needs of customers. And that is where, he added, Phileo is able to come in with the objective of serving them promptly and with strong technical support, in the process establishing trust. “We need to be on-the-ground type of people,” he said. “In the days of old, salespeople visited customers; today, they say they will reply if a customer sends an enquiry. We want to give a better solution.”

The other aspect – and an important one at that – Tharakan said, is pricing. “I told a large trading company that their prices are 20% more,” he said, adding this is not acceptable. Phileo, he said, by virtue of being an online platform, is able to offer competitive pricing, unburdened as it is by large overheads.

Elaborating on Phileo’s model, Abraham said the company represents brands that wish to operate without the costs involved in hiring a salesforce and other sales support structures. COVID-19, he said, severely impacted the ability of many manufacturers to operate in the market. Brands faced with the prospect of having to reduce their sales costs discovered they could get a sales team from us at a lower cost. “We simply made use of the COVID situation,” he said. “We were fortunate to get those brands, and they have shown faith is us to represent them not only in the Middle East but also in Africa.

One such brand is Triol, which manufactures only variable-frequency drives (VFDs) from 0.5kW to 8,000 kW in the low- and medium-voltage range, and which wound up its presence in the UAE after the onset of COVID-19. Phileo opted to represent Triol as a sales partner, because VFD is a proven technology, ideal for those, including small contractors, looking for energy savings with a short return on investment (ROI). “We want to make VFDs more popular and accessible to smaller players, who can use it even in smaller projects,” Abraham said. “VFDs can be done for villas and smaller applications as one of the means of energy savings. We will carry a buffer stock of fast-moving low-voltage VFDs for residential and commercial buildings. Our plan is to offer VFDs as retrofit solution for smaller contractors.”

Other brands in the Phileo portfolio include Mammoth screw chillers and heat pumps, Polar Air’s Delta T control solutions and Snowman’s refrigeration solutions.

The Phileo model works well for vendors and contractors, Abraham asserted. The market needs a certain type of approach, where the customer can save energy and, overall, have a low total cost of ownership (TCO). “We are going with existing buildings, where we can add value through VFDs or controllers or through replacing the compressor,” he said. “We cannot go to new construction, where you have to contend with tenders, negotiations and competition. We are going to clients with existing equipment and offering solutions that represent low-hanging fruit. Al Yousuf, for instance, has volumes of chillers in his property with different efficiencies. And so the question is, ‘How can we bring uniform efficiency – and that, too, through repairing instead of replacing?’ We are a digital platform that is lean and mean. We are disruptive.”



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