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Growth Market


  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 7:47 a.m. December 28, 2012
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
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A year of preparation at C Products Defense is about to give way to a year of production.

At least that's what Adel Jamil, CEO of the Manatee County-based firearms magazine manufacturer, projects will happen. “I'm very optimistic and looking forward to a fantastic year,” says Jamil. “The market has really embraced out product.”

That's why Jamil is in expansion mode: He seeks to build an addition at the current facility or buy another building next year. The firm currently operates out of a 19,600-square-foot plant, and Jamil believes demand for the product will call for at least 30,000 more square feet. The extra space, Jamil says, will likely require the 15-employee company to hire more people and possibly add more shifts.

Jamil also predicts 2013 will be a year of massive sales growth. He says $10 million in revenues is the target — a significant increase over current annual sales, which are around $1 million.

Jamil came to the U.S. from Lebanon in 1980, and he soon got into the auto parts business, on the export side. He stayed in exports, and later moved into parts for arms and weapons manufacturers. Along the way, Jamil developed an affinity for product development.

It was such an affinity, in fact, that Jamil bought C Products, a Connecticut-based firm that shut down in 2010. Jamil's firm had been a C Products client, and he thought there was value left in the company's assets. He added “Defense” to the name and moved it, and his family, to Manatee County in 2011. Manatee County provided performance-based incentives and permit assistance to aid the move.

In July, Jamil told the Business Review that Manatee County has been helpful and proactive in working with him and the company. “In Connecticut, it's the total opposite,” says Jamil. “You can stay or leave — they don't care.”

Most of the first year in Manatee County, Jamil says, has been spent refining the products. The company's stainless steel magazines range in weight from 3.1 to 7.2 ounces, which Jamil says are 20,000ths of an inch thinner than plastic or aluminum. That gives ammunition rounds more space to function if dust or mud gets lodged inside. The firm further developed a chemical process for a matte, scratch-resistant, smudge-proof finish.

Jamil says the finicky approach is the only way he knows how to work. “From the beginning, I always wanted to make the best weapon in the world,” says Jamil. “This has been an obsession for me.”

A lingering challenge in his quest is something many other small businesses face: financing. Jamil says he has funded the business, well into the six figures, mostly on his own so far. But he plans to purchase at least four machines in 2013 to meet the projected increased demand. That includes automated devices to speed up production.

But bank loans and alternative lines of credit have been hard to come by. “If I was dependent on banks to grow this business,” says Jamil, “I would be bankrupt now.”

 

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