In Central Asian first, Kazakh water filters launch on Alibaba
Billion Filters is the only company in Kazakhstan that produces polypropylene filters that clean water for drinking. Now it’s become the first water filter producer from Central Asia to sell on Alibaba.
Billion Filters produces 340,000 filters annually, supplying around two million people with clean, sediment-free water. Rapidly expanding, the company has captured the domestic market and is ready to grow abroad.
Ambitious as ever, the firm joined the Export Management Coaching Initiative (EMCI) at the International Trade Centre (ITC) to enhance their packaging and to optimize their logistics and supply chain. Through the EU-funded Ready4Trade project, coach Alikhan Kanapiya guided Billion Filters toward export success.
Enhancing global market access through strategic changes
As a result of the initiative and Alikhan's recommendations, the company enhanced its global market access. Substantial improvements included:
Minimizing the damage of long-distance transportation by replacing packaging cardboard with plywood
Mitigating export payment risks by seeking state support. That includes guidance on certificates of origin from the Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan (Atameken) and partnering with the specialized insurance organization KazakhExport
Increasing cooperation with state organizations to support the expansion of sales markets.
‘We considered all the recommendations on logistics and customs clearance. Thanks to the coaching, we learned about the possibility to recoup transportation expenses,' said Billion Filters founder Toktalyk Ziyekenov.
'Alikhan also told us about government-supported financial instruments, such as letters of credit (L/Cs). We will be using the L/Cs in our export operations, which would help us increase the volume of exports. Inspired by the EMCI, we also plan to establish the production of carbon filters for chlorine removal outside the country shortly,’
Paving the path to EU market entry
Thanks to the EMCI initiative, the company has secured an export contract with Macedonia. As Billion Filters sets its sights on entering the EU market, the knowledge gained in EU conformity standards and sustainable packaging requirements will be critical.
About the ITC's Export Management Coaching Initiative (EMCI) in Central Asia
The Export Management Coaching Initiative offers practical and action-oriented advisory services to businesses. It is delivered by local experts with extensive experience in import/export, freight forwarding and logistics.
More about EMCI in Central Asia here
About the Ready4Trade Central Asia Project
Ready4Trade Central Asia is a four-year EU-funded project implemented by the International Trade Centre in close collaboration with national partners, designed to contribute to Central Asia's overall sustainable and inclusive economic development by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region's countries. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.