AlmaDerm exports soaps and cosmetics to UAE

Small family company supported by USAID/Sweden FARMA II - From Kladanj via Sarajevo to Dubai

AlmaDerm, a small family business producing soap in the small Bosnian town of Kladanj, is gearing up for the Dubai Global Village fair and will export its products to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Alma Camdzic’s small business was one of the first in Bosnia to secure sales for their products in the Middle Eastern market. “We participate in the Global Village gathering, which begins on October 30 and lasts for six months. It is one of the biggest tourism and amusement events in that part of the world,” she said, adding that it represents “an extraordinary chance for the sale and promotion of our products.”

AlmaDerm is steadily distributing across several Bosnian towns. Production is growing daily and satisfying the needs of the market is challenging. “We sell our products in the Sarajevo City Centre and in two shops in Bascarsija (Sarajevo’s Old Town). We work up to 20 hours a day when we need to meet deadlines,” she said.

Camdzic explained that her company has had good cooperation with the USAID/Sweden FARMA II, who provide support with acquiring equipment which helped the company considerably.

“Now we have the chance to think about increasing our workforce,” she said. She pointed out that it is not easy in Bosnia for entrepreneurs, as there are many obligations they must fulfill in order to begin investing and developing their businesses. “We are slowly establishing ourselves as a brand trusted by consumers. Still, it requires a lot of effort and sacrifice in order to secure a pricing that is accessible for our standard,” she said, explaining that the costs that need to be met include the acquisition of quality packaging and raw material, putting together a good recipe and securing venues for sales.

“But we still manage to produce results. It was difficult for me to create a name for us in Sarajevo, as someone coming from Kladanj. Now we are creating a name for us in Dubai,” she said.

Social media promotion has helped a lot in the process as well, she explained. “Sometimes a promotion is costly, so you come out without any profit, but customers come back - it is important to gain their trust. When we go to foreign countries, we want to represent our country and secure for our products the image of good quality,” she said. “Because of all the challenges I have endured, I would like to send a message to other businesswomen that they shouldn’t give up and should continue pursuing their idea. With a lot of work and sacrifices, results are possible,” Camdzic concluded.