Sheikh up for the electronic cigarette market?

3 May 2013, News

British-based electronic cigarette manufacturer and distributor Gamucci, founded by brothers Taz and Umer Sheikh in 2007, could be set to shake up this fast-growing £1.3bn global market, having secured a UK patent for its pioneering integrated electronic cigarette technology. The company is believed to be the first UK electronic cigarette company to receive such a patent and has a similar patent application pending in the USA.

The earliest electronic cigarettes comprised three separate components: a cartridge containing a nicotine dilution, an atomisation device and a battery. The Sheikh brothers recognised the inherent weaknesses of the separate nicotine cartridge and atomisation components and integrated them into a more robust and efficient device – now known universally as the ‘cartomizer’. This technology is now also widely used in disposable electronic cigarettes.

Says Taz: “With the patent for our integrated design behind us, we now have a clear differentiator from other companies in this fiercely competitive marketplace. The patent gives us a number of options which we are considering together with our IP lawyers, including licensing our IP. We believe that the patent affirms our position as the technological powerhouse in the UK electronic cigarette market.”

Some industry analysts estimate that up to 40% of smokers could switch to non-combustible products in the coming years, resulting in an industry with the potential to deliver a retail value of at least £2.2 billion per annum in the UK and $9.6 billion in the USA, at today’s prices. With its sales rapidly increasing year-on-year and a focus on the US and UK markets which offer significant growth potential, Gamucci is one of the leading players in the sector today. The UK market alone is valued at around £50m, despite the fact it has reached less than 1% of its full potential. 

Gamucci, which is predicting a trebling of revenues in 2013 to £15m, will this year also enter the fast-growing Indian market, where it already has operational expertise.

Gamucci is the only electronic cigarette company to manufacture its own products. Its wholly owned factory in Shenzhen, China, ensures end-to-end control of the supply chain and complete product integrity.

The company recently appointed Tony Scanlan as Chief Executive to drive its international expansion. Scanlan held a number of senior management roles in his twenty-year career with former multinational tobacco company Rothmans International, including Strategic New Brands Director.

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