Woosung IB Europe, from the Canary Islands to the five continents
Woosong IB Europe is a company specialized in the production of inflatables for water parks. The idea rose up because we saw that tourism is a big growing industry. We realized that all countries have national strategies for increasing the number of visitors, and currently the number of tourists is increasing steadily. According to UNWTO data there were more than 1200 million tourists around the world in 2016, 25% more than in 2008, and that just counting people going to different countries. On the other side, the tourists have evolved.
"...we have suffered the Canary Islands long distance and we have had to learn to manage the logistics of our products. Sometimes getting the product to our client is the difference between winning or losing an operation."
Having a hotel with hammocks and a swimming pool is not enough anymore. Now, tourists want to feel and live experiences, so the water parks industry is booming. We have went from water parks that were nothing but a few pools and a springboard at best, to breakthrough technology water parks with electronic devices in the inflatables that check who went faster and who was more precise in pressing some bottom. All together led us into the adventure of producing inflatables for water slides.
Our range of products includes standard inflatables like individual and double rubber rings or water park mats. At the same time we have managed to be the exclusive producers for some water park rides construction companies that needed a particular type of inflatables called clovers, a four seat clover shaped inflatable used in a funnel shaped ride. We have already signed an exclusivity agreement with the Canadian company Proslide which is for the water park industry what Mercedes or BMW are for the car industry. We are also negotiating with an important Mexican constructor.
From the very beginning, when we designed our business plan, we knew that the Canary Islands were a good place to set the company up. They have great conditions like the low taxation, qualified personnel, and a location that allow us to speak with our European clients in the morning and with the American ones in the evening. Nevertheless we also knew that we would need to expand overseas. There are more than 1,200 water parks around the world, half from them are level 2 or above, and those are the ones that have the rides that use our products.
There are six water parks in the Canary Islands and we have a market share of 100%, but that is not enough to maintain our company. That is why we needed to think about internationalize our activity. We made a demand research and hired local staff to guarantee that we fully understood our clients. We started with the closest countries and leapt to gain some market share. First in mainland Spain, Portugal, France, Italy…
Currently, we feel satisfied because we are present in 27 countries and we continue growing, both in sales and in clients. What is more, we have a 100% market share in some countries like Uruguay, and above 50% in mainland Spain and Portugal.
Our business is currently expanding. As we strengthen our position in some countries we start approaching to others. This year we have done our first sale in morocco, as well as in Belarus, Bulgaria and Panama. We are also trying to enter into the Brazilian and the Middle East markets. Brazil is a great touristic destination with good water parks. United Arab Emirates and Arabia have also built great modern water parks.
The internationalization is not an easy project and we had to deal with many issues. Among them to make our clients understand that our products are not the cheapest, but they are better than what our rivals offer. We have showed them that in the long term the numbers prove that it is better to buy a good product than a cheap one. Likewise we succeeded with our staff policy. We were able to make or potential clients to take us into account, and we close many operations.
Currently, our greatest achievement is to be selling in a regular basis in four of the five continents. For achieving that goal we had the support of PROEXCA and the Canarias Aporta program that allowed us to be present in many international fairs in our sector, and also to conduct research missions.
Nevertheless, the process has not been a bed of roses. We have had difficulties, as any other company. Getting started is not easy and you make many mistakes at the beginning. The key is to learn from them and not committing them twice. In our case, we have suffered the Canary Islands long distance and we had to learn to manage the logistics of our products. Sometimes getting the product to our client is the difference between winning or losing an operation.
All in all, we feel satisfied. Woosunf sells in a great part of Europe. We have regular clients in America, in Mexico, Uruguay and Aruba, and we also do some sales to other countries. We have also close some operations in Asia and Africa where we have regularly worked in Ivory Coast, and since a month ago also in Morocco. We are clearly a company with international projection.
CEO/WOOSUNG INFLABLE BOAT EUROPE, S.L.
Tel: +34 922 820 606
Translated by Daniel Palacios Martínez, March 12th 2018