Matchmaking Event Builds Matelco’s Success
Established in 2009 with only one employee, Matelco Inc. is a dealer in over 900 different varieties of goods. Goods on sale include everything from agro tools to construction, electrical, electronic, safety gear, tractors, household materials, plumbing materials, construction equipment and all types of plastic materials. The list seems endless. “Even though the economy is challenging, my business is experiencing unprecedented levels of growth,” said General Manager, Afif Sami Osseily. “The key factor to my business growth is my participation in a mining Matchmaking event organized and sponsored by Building Markets in August of 2012.”
In August 2012, Building Markets hosted a Mining Matchmaking event in Monrovia. The event brought together nine mining companies with about 50 local small and medium-sized businesses. Buyers attending the event included Arcelor Mittal, AMLIB, Aureus Mining, BHP Billiton, China Union, Planet Mineral Ltd, Putu Iron Ore Mining, UNMIL, West Peak Iron and Western Cluster. During the Mining event Osseily, established a long-term relationship with Aureus Mining and Putu Iron Ore.
Buyers and suppliers often have a difficult time finding each other. Available goods and services on the Liberian market are often unknown by many large concessions and multi-national corporations. On the other hand, small and medium suppliers are unaware of the procurement needs of such buyers. This knowledge gap on the part of both buyers and suppliers, compounded with rigid procurement policies and procedures, makes it difficult to plant the seeds to doing business together.
While meeting Putu Iron Ore and Aureus Mining at the event, Osseily learned of the procurement needs of each company. He told them that his business could match their needs. Both companies requested mining safety gear and construction materials. Directly from meeting at the Matchmaking event Putu Iron Ore and Aureus Mining both placed orders with Matelco worth over $42,000 total “Since that time until now we have kept that business relationship and every time they need something we can supply, these companies come to buy from me,” said Osseily.
Since the Matchmaking event, Putu Iron Ore Mining Company has purchased $80,000 worth of goods and Aureus Mining Company bought $28,000. “I can say business is good for me because the economy is hard and I can get sales like that,” said Osseily. “I thank God for Building Markets.”
Because of the business with Putu Iorn Ore and Aureus Mining, Osseily hired 10 more full-time employees. Even though Matelco sells to smaller buyers, Osseily says his business is specialized in big deliveries. Matelco sells to over 19 buyers including several United Nations Agencies, about four Government Ministries, and a host of INGOs and donor agencies.
Building Markets Matchmaking events create a platform where buyers and suppliers can meet and build relationships that can be of benefit to both buyers and sellers now and into the future.