Marsh & Gold
BY ANAAM IKRAM
Ahmed Al Ghareeb, the Bahraini entrepreneur behind Marsh & Gold brings luxury and sophistication to Bahrain with carefully selected brands. Offering its clients some of the best products in the luxury industry, Marsh & Gold has successfully introduced to the Kingdom a new wave of must-have brands that are making way internationally. By building strong relations with its partners, Marsh & Gold has been able to gain a strong and loyal customer base, create brand awareness in the Gulf about the up and coming brands, and making them accessible for customers in the region. Ahmed spoke to Perle Magazine about the inspiration behind starting the business venture and why he is incredibly selective when deciding what brands he works with.
Having studied in Tampa, Florida, Ahmed says he was fascinated by the culture of new-brand endorsement in the United States. Travelling to different cities, Ahmed says it was a usual sight to see a new boutique or brand being promoted on a regular basis. That, he says, is when he found an interest in entrepreneurship and decided to launch his own business upon his return to Bahrain, in the hopes to bring some of the brands to the region. Initially intending to launch a business in the food industry, Ahmed explains that though every step to open the business had been implemented, the idea had to be abandoned. Continuing to pursue his passion for entrepreneurship, Ahmed, along with three other partners, set up a marketing and design house. The marketing and design company provided Ahmed with opportunities to work with well-established brands and to further develop his skills as an entrepreneur. After two years in the market, Ahmed decided to go in a different direction and launched his trading company Marsh & Gold, in 2013. Immersing himself entirely in his new venture, Ahmed and his team carried out extensive market research to understand the demand of customers while focusing on their goal of bringing luxury products in the region.
A watch aficionado himself, Ahmed came across Dietrich watches in 2014, after they were introduced worldwide in Basel World Exhibition in Switzerland and watch enthusiast, The Horophile did an in-depth review. Impressed with the prototype collection that was presented, Ahmed decided to partner with the brand to bring the brand to the GCC. Meeting with owner Emanuel Dietrich, Ahmed says he was passionate about brand expansion as the Marsh & Gold team. “They created a niche in the watch industry within a certain price range, as a quality product, and it was something relatively new to the watch industry”, Ahmed explains about his interest in the brand. Starting the launch of the brand from Kuwait in August 2014 and eventually expanding throughout the GCC, Marsh & Gold are the official distributors of the luxury watch brand in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Ahmed explains they utilised the rise of social media influence to attract their clientele and form a strong following. Creating strong retail ties with other GCC countries, Marsh & Gold work in close association with distributors in the region to ensure the customers were able to access the watches with ease. With six collections released so far, Marsh & Gold has dedicated itself to represent Dietrich watches as the brand expands and making sure they are reaching a wider audience globally.
In Bahrain, Dietrich watches are currently being sold at Virgin Megastores, and Taqi Jewellers. Also taking on board the concept of BLK water, Ahmed has also introduced to the region the water infused with naturally black fulvic trace minerals mixed with alkaline minerals resulting in its unique black colour. Being the first in Bahrain to launch BLK water, Ahmed says when he came across the brand he immediately wanted to bring it to Bahrain. Getting into contact with MANSAM6, the regional distributors, Ahmed said he was able to acquire rights to be the exclusive distributors of the water in Bahrain. “We came across it at the time when the colour black especially is being widespread and utilised as a much more luxurious sense. It is also a one-off product that people want to be associated and seen with. People want to be the first ones to have it”, he explains.
Currently devoted to two brands, Ahmed says the reason they are so selective when choosing brands to work with is because they feel passionately about them. “You cannot make a brand flourish if you do not push it. We believe that as much marketing you put in a product, you will get as much in return”, Ahmed explains. He adds his experience from working with his previous marketing company as well as his own commitment to his brands has allowed him to successfully launch and cement these luxury brands in Bahrain and the region. “They are such different products from different industries, but they share the common thread of both being luxury products”, he says. Ahmed says as well as doing intense market research, it is also important to have a vision about how the brand will be placed within the market. In addition to creating marketing proposals, he says it is essential to make sure that everything is implemented the exact way as in the proposals to ensure the success of any brand or product. “That is what makes us different, we do a lot of our studies and we care about marketing and how we want to promote a product. A lot of companies don’t require us to develop business plans, but creating them also helps us to come back to them and review our plans for any brand.”
At the moment, Ahmed says, he is not looking to expand his brand portfolio as he wants Marsh & Gold to focus on the two they are working with and help them grow further within the region. He explains it is essential to focus on each new product for a year before deciding to add more brands to the portfolio. “We constantly think of new methods aimed to expand our reach, presence, and relentlessly devise structured marketing strategies to attract new consumers and retailers. We just don’t stop.”
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