Economy, Business And Markets

Gleaming Prospects for Glass, Crystal Industry

Gleaming Prospects for Glass, Crystal IndustryGleaming Prospects for Glass, Crystal Industry

Producers of glass and crystals in Iran believe the field is open to investment and new blood.

“Lack of liquidity and recession in the market are major downsides in the field, but we need to put on a brave face and tackle the problems. Although state authorities have made promises to support businesses, no production lines have been added and loans are granted, if any, to only big firms,” said Hassan Simark, an old hand at producing glass and crystals, was quoted as saying by the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz. According to Simark, currently four to five factories are producing glass and crystal in the country, some of which still use traditional methods while others are mechanized.

“Unfortunately, mismanagement has caused numerous problems in the sector, such as the closure of Qazvin’s Abgineh factory with some 500 workers,” he said.

“In our factory, we produce some 300 tons of chandeliers and other crystal ornaments every year, yet wholesalers who buy our products, inscribe well-known Czech brands on our goods and sell them as foreign products since those are more popular with Iranians. On the other hand, the market is crammed with imported Chinese goods and this interferes with domestic production.”

Simark believes entering the field requires not only adequate capital but also market awareness and skilled workforce. He says mastering skills such as turnery, painting and other intricacies of the art is crucial to successful production of handmade crystals.

“Business-owners themselves must be familiar with the art and techniques of the work, since delicacy is of paramount importance and the smallest bubble in the product for example indicates lack of quality. This is the reason why over 10 glass and crystal factories have been founded and later closed in the past 15 years. They had the required capital and imported production lines from countries such as Armenia, but could not continue activity due to lack of expertise,” he said.

Simark believes if the government offers support, jobs can be created in the field in large numbers, for people with different skills and in areas such as supply of raw material, transportation and sales.

In his factory, for example, 40 people are working directly and 120 people indirectly.

According to the business-owner, if sales markets and enough raw materials is provided, some 20,000 jobs can be created.

“We have the raw material and energy is cheap in our country. Since more than 400 Czech factories producing crystals and most German ones have also been shut down due to expensive energy costs, great opportunity has been provided for Iranian producers as well as foreign investors to become active in the field. We also have trained and innovative artists who increase the prospects of exports,” said Simark.

“To start work, one needs 40 to 200 billion rials ($11.5-57.5 million at market exchange rate) depending on the size of the business and a 1,000-square-meter industrial shed in a 3,000-square-meter plot of land. Raw material for producing 300 tons of products would cost $115,000 annually.”