The company has established a physical presence in the fast-changing Gulf and relishes the new business opportunities that will come its way from now on
French company Presto, engaged in the manufacture of water saving and tapware products, expects that a Middle East subsidiary it opened in the UAE last year will help build on its successes in the Gulf
The company makes a range of products for washbasins, showers, the flush area, urinals and kitchens and has expertise to serve the needs of medical establishments.
The Presto Group offers its products within three brands: Presto, Sanifirst and firstLabo. The Presto brand takes care of tapware solutions for toilets and accessibility to people with reduced mobility in collective facilities. Sanifirst focuses on tapware solutions for hygiene and safety in hospitals and care homes for dependent elderly people while firstLabo is a leading brand in France for laboratory tapware solutions.
“We have a unique 87-year experience in the water saving and tapware industry that has been converted into expertise and ability to advise developers, architects, designers and contractors,” said commercial director Tahar Cherrou.
“Our medical tapware range Sanifirst is dedicated to extremely challenging applications in hospitals, clinics, labs and other healthcare centres. Hygiene and safety for users is key.”
The company has participated in Gulf projects and, with the new subsidiary based in Dubai, it believes the field is clear for creating greater awareness of Presto Group products and bagging contracts in a region that has developed in leaps and bounds over the past two decades and is likely to maintain the momentum for the foreseeable future.
“The location allows us to be easy to reach and do business with and be available for real decision-makers and influencers in this area and obviously to develop business partnerships,” Cherrou pointed out.
He listed some of the major projects Presto has implemented. These include the Great Mosque of Abu Dhabi, Juvenile Centre, Fujairah; Military Barracks (all in the UAE), Mosque Al Hilal (Qatar), King Saud University, Riyadh; National Guard Buildings and Mall of Arabia (all in Saudi Arabia) and the OCC Convention Centre (Oman).
The new subsidiary’s hope is that regional builders, developers and contractors will seriously consider Presto products that have done well internationally for induction into their own projects. One of Presto’s best-selling product is the P1000 XL DVA, which is a concealed direct dual flush valve.
Commenting on the valve, Cherrou said: “Its success abroad is explained by the significant water savings made thanks to its two separately adjustable volumes. Managers can adjust the water flow for each volume to adapt their use to the users and thereby better control water expenditure without compromising effectiveness.
“Its clean-cut, contemporary design is not only hygienic and practical, but also safe and efficient: water is always available and the two flow rates are constant regardless of water pressure variations.
“Its anti-water hammering device shuts off the flush by gradually reducing the water flow, thus preserving the installations and guaranteeing their longevity.”
The product comes pre-assembled, which not only significantly reduces the installation time, but also provides the assurance that it is correctly placed. It has also been designed to give maximum accessibility during servicing or maintenance.
The other product generating strong sales globally is the Presto New Touch. Cherrou elaborated: “Thanks to its ultra-sensitive system (Piezo technology), a simple light touch on the button is all that’s required to activate or stop the flow of water – an intuitive effortless technology adapted to all types of public places and users including the disabled, the elderly, and children.”
The good thing about the Presto New Touch is that if one forgets to stop the water by touching the button, the water stops automatically after a six-second preset flow time.
“With a Start/Stop function saving up to 80 per cent more water than traditional non self-closing taps, New Touch has been designed to resist intensive utilisation in high-traffic public places and is perfectly suited for schools, healthcare facilities, businesses or even the residential market.”
Presto will shortly introduce to the Gulf its new self-closing taps range which won it an innovation award.
Presto Neo Duo automatically stops after dual-time flows (7 seconds and 11 seconds) or a single-timed flow (seven seconds or 15 seconds).
Key to the product are two coloured and ergonomic levers suitable for children, the elderly and disabled.
One of the focus areas for Presto in the Gulf will be transportation-related infrastructure such as airports, subways and railway stations with high-frequency movement.
The company will also be looking at mosques, both new and those to be renovated. There are great prospects emerging from projects related to the soccer World Cup in Qatar.
Hospital and healthcare facilities will be another area that will be tapped into for business growth.
The company’s origins go back to 1927 when Andre and Lucien Patient decided to act to cut water wastage in public places occurring because of carelessness, vandalism or intensive use. The self-closing tap was born and it was followed by hundreds of solutions most of which were patented.
In 2013, the Presto Group strengthened its tapware know-how by taking over the specialised Sanilab business.
All Presto products are made in France at two production sites in the Poitou-Charente region.