Member of the Month

Member of the Month September 2019 – ELITE SA

CEO François Pugliese talks about their internationalization in an interview

Elite SA offers a large collection of beds, box-springs, and mattresses specially developed and traditionally handcrafted. The company began its international expansion in 2011 after participating in specialized trade fairs in France, Germany, Singapore, Milan, and Moscow. This created opportunities for many new partnerships and collaborations around the world. In the following interview, CEO François Pugliese shares his recipe for successful export, provides insights into his challenges and his knowledge of export.

Member of the Month September 2019 – ELITE SA

In collaboration with partners in France, Germany, Shanghai, Singapore, Milan, London, Kiev, Moscow, and South Africa, the showrooms enable the company to offer the products, personalized service, and advice to Elite clients worldwide.

Mr. Pugliese, what’s your recipe for successful export?
Our competitive advantage and success lies in the intrinsic quality of our products, our competitive prices, and the flexibility of our production. The Swiss-made brand is well-known and stands for high-quality manufacturing. Smart Lease is a bed/mattress rental system developed by Elite SA for the hotel and hospitality industry. The pay-per-use system is based on occupancy. It is the first and only system in the world that integrates modern technologies, making it affordable for hotels to offer their guests high-quality beds and mattresses and allowing Elite SA to access highly competitive markets.

Which export decision are you particularly proud of and why? 
Opening our showrooms was certainly the best strategic decision we have made. Showrooms give Elite SA permanent visibility around the world and allow customers to experience Elite SA before ordering.

What are the challenges when entering a new market?
Entering a new market is a real challenge. It is necessary to determine the competitive advantage and to enter the market with a suitable strategy and an economically viable solution. The corporate culture should be preserved. At the same time, it is necessary to adapt to local conditions. It is therefore important to find the right people to act as bridge builders and to coordinate local activities. In addition, the trade structure and the product range must be adapted to the local market. It can be crucial to adapt the business model to gain new customers.

Which product should be invented? 
Elite SA is not just a mattress manufacturer: we aim to provide people with a good night’s sleep. When discussing quality of sleep with our partners, the key questions are: how can we offer our customers added value and how can we improve their sleep and well-being? This is and will always be our main concern. We are not afraid of change, but are constantly developing new business areas, tailor-made services, and innovative products.

What do you particularly appreciate about S-GE’s consultations? 
S-GE is an important organization because it supports us in all our export projects. Through in-depth market knowledge, S-GE is able to offer us the full range of services that a company like ours needs to successfully export its products internationally.

In short, S-GE makes life easier for us and its network allows us to avoid pitfalls and quickly enter a new market.

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