Interview with Faheem Suleman from IVG
Since 2016 IVG – also known as I Vape Great - serve over 100 countries, earned more than 50 awards and helped millions of people to quit smoking. IVG was first British brand to have won award in Canada, South Korea and many other countries, If you are a vaper, you would know IVG, and you must have heard about Summer Blaze.
IVG has been dominant on the vaping market from last many years.
IVG products can be found in almost every vape shop around the United Kingdom and many other countries across Europe and rest of the world, if you attend vape conventions you will see for sure see IVG at every convention around the globe too, but what is their secret?
We interviewed Faheem Suleman to find out more about IVG, how did they handle 2020, and couldn’t help to ask; what does he vape every day?
Would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey, Thank you for having me here, I am one of the directors at IVG, I am a passionate vapour myself which makes me love my work even more...
I head the sales side of IVG business, I love travelling, in last 3 - 4 years I have travelled all around the globe multiple times for IVG and met some fantastic people from many different countries, cultures it’s been a amazing journey to be honest, we have received so much love from people around globe and we appreciate every bit of it at IVG so therefore we always put our end consumers first before anything else at IVG, we exist because our customers love our products it’s as simple as that otherwise we wouldn’t be here today.
IVG went through several name changes, I LOVE VG, I HEART VG, I CLOUD VG… What was the reason for that?
We started a manufacturing company called Acme Labs back in 2016 and at the point our business was focused on multiple brands, we had several brands and we manufactured several other brands for other companies as well which we still do.
I LOVE VG or Now IVG was just one of the many in house brands we owned at the time for us in 2016 but in couple of the months of the brand we received immense amount of love from vapours and we decided to focus mainly on IVG which was a great decision in my opinion and it has worked really well for sure.
Since we decided to invest heavily in IVG brand and saw potential in focusing on one brand, we wanted to mature the brand and ensure it’s unique and does not clash with any other brand, in short we did not want to be associated with another brand with a similar names and at the same have mature branding to it. In the end we decided to keep it simple – IVG - I VAPE GREAT, which eventually became a brand on global level.
What is the secret of IVG's success?
First of all credit goes to all the IVG team, we have some fantastic people working hard every day to ensure IVG’s success and then I think IVG has been a very innovative brand, we have always starved to keep the brand as fresh as possible by adopting to the ever changing vape industry, we respond fairly quickly to our customers demand as well. We aim to be one step ahead, and again we're always adjusting to the market needs. Whichever country we go in, we make sure that our product is a good fit; whether it's packaging, the compliance, flavours – we adapt to every country. Obviously not every single country has the same taste buds, so we readapt for that. For example Italy: they vape lots of tobacco flavours. So our mixologists team made a tobacco range especially for the Italian market.
Another reason why IVG successful is because we have a very big marketing budget and a very big team. Compared to other companies in the vape industry, not many other brands are traveling to as many shows as we do, or don't have as many employees as we do. We've got literally every single person that speaks every single language in the world.
What is your goal, as a company?
Our main goal is to keep our customers happy and satisfied with our products and service, also help to switch as many people as possible from smoking habit. We've done a lot of quit smoking campaigns around globe. At the moment we run a campaign on our website where the smokers can get our pod system for Free if they wish to switch to help them quit smoking. We also have done several campaigns for #Stoptober.
You have a massive selection, which is not usual in the industry. Is there a particular reason for that? Have you ever experienced confusion from the customer's side?
We need to cater for many vapers. We need to offer a variety of flavours for the different vapours out there. All our flavours sell well for us - although obviously some sell more than others; but we want to provide products for every taste. Desserts, menthols, sweets, fruits… we do everything.
The Summer Blaze is one of our best sellers, what do you think, why is it so popular?
Summer Blaze was our first flavour even launched by IVG, since day one it’s been popular and has been growing every year, it’s a very complex mix with lots of different types of berries, and lemonade, I think there are not many flavours like that on the market. And it was made with love and we spent long time to develop this flavour! It's available in a 50/50, nic salt and shortfill version as well and it’s popular in all 3 variants and is our number one seller just ahead of another iconic flavour Riberry Lemoande.
How do you create new flavours?
It's a team effort. We have an award winning mixologist team, who brainstorm ideas of new flavours depending of the time of the year. For winter, they might mix some warm dessert flavours. For summer they might come up with some fresh, icy, fruity flavours.
We get the flavours, and test them with our testing team. We have an internal testing team, and we do external testing all over the world.
Our marketing team plays a big role as well, they design the labels. They create all the images, and all the artwork needed for the brand. Our retailers play a big role as well, for example launching on Vapegreen with a nice banner, or they post a nice dessert shot with the bottle.
We have been happy to leave 2020 behind; what challenges did you face last year?
Pandemic has been difficult for all the businesses around the globe especially for vape shops so our priority has been to help and support them through these difficult times, therefore we have offered several loans to them in a attempt they survive lockdown period and come back stronger post pandemic.
On the positive side, Difficult situations make you stronger and we have worked hard in these difficult times and continued to manufacture great liquids for our loyal customer base.
Do you plan anything exciting in 2021?
We have several things to look forward to in 2021, team is all excited about the new IVG offices and manufacturing, which should be ready by the end of the year. Which will allow us to expand even more, currently team is divided on multiple sites due to space issues but we are looking forward to our facility where we can work under one roof with more space to produce more great liquids.
We also several big things planned and a lot of new launches are coming - unfortunately, I can’t disclose too much. Some very nice and great flavours are being launched very soon. We have got some big hits on hold, which are ready to be unlocked.
Did Brexit affect your business?
We supply to all almost all the countries in Europe, so yes it’s been difficult for some of customers to receive their parcels on time. Some orders have been stuck in customs for 4 to 8 weeks. Back and forth with the courier companies trying to get them released.. Yes, Brexit has been difficult for us in terms of shipping orders. But we will get through it, it’s getting better.
Do you remember your first vape kit? What was it?
I don’t remember the name of it, but it was a Smok device, one of the big, chunky ones. Back in the days, 4 years ago.. I got it as a gift from one of my customers.
Which device do you use these days?
What is your current favourite e-juice?
My daily vape is Riberry Lemonade.
Get Faheem's favourites today!