Since its establishment in Korea in 1955, DORCO has been extending its reach globally on the back of superb technologies. Of markets around the world, Seungjin Shin, Sales Manager at Overseas Sales Team 3, provides a glimpse into Africa. DORCO is carrying out a variety of marketing activities in Africa, which is seemingly a distant and unfamiliar market to many in Korea, to bridge cultural and regional differences. Let’s dive in to see how DORCO has carved out its place in Africa in its globalization journey.
1. How long have you been working for DORCO’s sales operations in Africa? What is your role as a sales manager?
I have been working as DORCO’s sales manager in West and Central Africa since 2019. I took charge of the Francophone Africa region to gain experiences and knowledge related to French, which I studied in college. My primary job is to receive orders from buyers and ensure that products are manufactured and shipped in a timely manner.
2. What stands out most about the African market?
Except for South Africa, which is probably the most well-known country on the continent, countries in Africa have a relatively low per capita GDP, which means that consumers have low purchasing power and high price-sensitivity. In addition, as the countries are not well-equipped with infrastructure, traditional wholesale and retail distribution networks prevail over modern distribution channels. Accordingly, we carry out promotional activities through sales reps to directly engage in consumers in wholesale markets or use promotional materials to renew attention to DORCO products among consumers and retailers. Notably, as noise is more tolerated in Africa than in Korea, promotion activities can take place with sound equipment and amplifiers.
3. How big a presence does DORCO have in Africa?
DORCO has penetrated most countries in West and Central Africa. In particular, according to buyers, DORCO commands a market share of 60-70% in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Angola. One of the key products is double-edge blades. Local barbers put DORCO’s double-edge blade into a safety razor or cut it into half and use it for a finishing touch. In addition, in DR Congo, double-edge razor blades are not just used for shaving or barbering but also at industrial sites and livestock farms. One of the key products there is a disposable twin-blade razor, TD708. DORCO’s products are known for the comfortable handle with the right length, well-balanced blades and a great value for money and thus are as popular as major brands. For more information about DORCO’s products in Africa, please visit https://dorcosa.com.
4. What were the most challenging and rewarding parts of your experience as a sales manager?
As part of my job, I often communicate directly with buyers regarding orders and latest developments in the market. I sometimes struggle with differences in Francophone French in Africa and the French spoken in France, which I learned in college. That said, when DORCO’s products are well received in the market and attract additional orders, I take it a resounding vote of confidence in the quality and price merits that DORCO products offer beyond the bounds of language and region.
5. You are going to be relocated to DORCO UAE in December. What is your vision for the UAE market?
My transfer to DORCO UAE is primarily to facilitate direct communication with the African market. DORCO UAE is well positioned to smooth out communication barriers thanks to its proximity to Africa and smaller time difference with Korea. The geographical location of Dubai offers greater accessibility for buyers from Africa and creates a gateway to Africa for DORCO. Leveraging the convenient location, I will ensure that DORCO UAE serves as a communication channel between local markets and the headquarters, and DORCO products will get the recognition it deserves. I think many in DORCO have worked hard to sow the seeds in the African market, and my role here is to let them germinate. So, my new goal is to help DORCO become a market-leading brand in West and Central Africa.