Two sisters, one dream. Reem and her sister, Tamara, merged their talents in 2005 and also merged their names to call their business, Rimara Pak. They started their manufacturing company creating packaging for disposable cutlery sets. Starting with just one machine and one employee, Rimara Pak quickly became the leading company in the Jordanian market because they had very few competitors. They now control 40% of the market share in Jordan.
While an unsaturated market might seem like the ideal environment for a new business, Reem and Tamara were constantly looking for the next challenge. Three years after starting their company, they thought: “Why not create our own cutlery, as well as the packaging”. They invested in a plastic injection machine and began producing 15 different types of disposable plastic cutlery products.
Gradually, competition started to rise in the Jordanian market and their customers at hospitals, restaurants and catering companies began looking for a branded cutlery to better market themselves. This was expensive and printing was only viable for large amounts. But this didn’t stop the sisters. It was only a matter of weeks until the Rimara Pak factory took delivery of a new napkin embossing machine that could print, fold and cut napkins.
The sisters were soon producing personalised napkins that fit easily inside the cutlery packets they were already producing, without the need for people to physically insert them! This was a huge step in Rimara Pak’s growth, as the sisters were now able to provide branded products for any customer, regardless of the size of the order.
“Small inputs will have huge outputs”
Reem, an active member of the Jordan Chamber of Industry, was recently introduced to SPARK’s MSME growth programme and local training partner, Taqaddam. “We heard that SPARK was providing training sessions with experts on the market. There’s always something new to learn at any meeting or in any training”, said Reem. So they went for it.
The sisters divided the sessions between them, depending on their skills. Reem focused on finance and Tamara on the managerial and external relations. Tamara’s favorite part of the programme was the customer satisfaction training, where she learnt how to categorise customers and measure their satisfaction. “Small inputs will have huge outputs”, is now Tamara’s golden rule.
When competitors started slashing their prices, Rimara Pak instead applied the ‘Customer Classification’ technique, whereby consumer’s rates of consumption and payment types were analysed. Rimara Pak offered bonuses for each shipment from loyal customers, which increased loyalty toward their products and saved them from needing to compete with other companies on price.
Supporting women and refugees
Today, the sisters employ over 20 people, mostly women. They hope to continue to grow their female workforce in the coming years, and also hire more Syrians. However, the rules and regulations surrounding employment of Syrian refugees in Jordan are unclear. Between 2012-17, employers were encouraged to take on Syrians, they were even offered tax exemptions. Yet, these days there are rumours of benefits on offer for hiring Jordanians instead.
“In order to succeed, keep yourself surrounded with women; the first supporter of a woman is another woman”, says Tamara. No matter what, the sisters are supporting themselves and their community with their growing business by providing jobs Syrians and women.