MEP Awards: Meet the sponsors

Interview with sponsors of the upcoming MEP Middle East Awards 2017

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INTERVIEWS, MEP

Andrey Burtsev, Commercial Director for Middle East, Africa and Asia markets, Interpipe

About Interpipe

We represent Interpipe, a reputable global steel pipes and railway company with five production assets in Ukraine. Interpipe supplies products to more than 80 countries worldwide to the major construction, oil and gas and machinery companies and national railway operators. With the more than 10 years’ experience in civil construction, we have become the major supplier for iconic projects in the GCC, including such landmarks as Dubai Marina (UAE), Hamad International Airport (Qatar), National Bank of Kuwait Tower (Kuwait), and King Abdullah Financial District (Saudi Arabia).

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What was your main motivation for signing up as a sponsor this year?

Interpipe is sponsoring the MEP Awards for the third year in a row. Previous events showed a positive outcome for our business. The MEP Middle East Awards is an important place to summarise the results of the work done by contractors, suppliers, and consultants during the year. Every year we meet leaders, innovators, talented engineers, and managers and have an opportunity to thank them for their noteworthy results.

At Interpipe, we firmly believe that sponsorship is also a way of contributing to the industry’s development. We appreciate the opportunity to support the highest standards in quality and best practices in project performance and are committed to apply these principles in our work.

What are you looking forward to the most at the awards this year?

The most exciting moment of the awards is the announcement of the GCC Project of the Year. As a rule, winners are a few steps ahead of the industry, and their case shows the direction for further development with advanced solutions.

What are your company's future plans?

In 2017, Interpipe is looking to grow the company’s business in the GCC and raise the awareness of our brand without compromising on the product quality. This year we are on target to finish construction of a pipe galvanizing line which will provide our customers with high quality, mill-galvanized products. Also the company is to enhance its finishing capabilities in 2017.

As a member of the Steel Alliance Against Counterfeiting, we are going to continue implementation of the preventive steps to defend our brand from counterfeiters. We believe in strong authorities’ support in the struggle against fake steel products to ensure environmental, safety and financial sustainability of construction projects.

How is the market shaping up? What market trends you noticed this year?

Certainly, the sharp decline in oil prices in 2015-2016 has still been affecting the economic climate. Major infrastructure projects have been slowed or halted. To reduce the negative impact market players have started to change strategies, for example increasing investments into growing areas or refocusing on the middle-sized projects.

Anyway, we expect the market to continue its growth due to the governmental development strategies and upcoming large scale events, namely World Expo 2020 in Dubai and FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha.

What are the main opportunities and challenges in the market?

The main challenges imposed on the market will be related to the complexity of the ongoing projects in the region. To stay ahead of the competitors, constructors, and consultants need to develop innovative solutions to guarantee the economic efficiency, environmental sustainability and safely operations of the buildings.

The second serious challenge is the increase in the level of fake steel products in the GCC countries. The increase in the level of unfair competition and use of fake steel products leads to the unpredictable health and safety risks. As recent disastrous fire incidents in Dubai show, it’s crucial to increase the accountability of contractors not only for the construction process but also for the quality of all materials. We believe that the revised Fire & Life Safety code will impose more stringent rules regarding the control of origin of steel and steel products.

Pramodh Idicheria, executive director, Leminar Air Conditioning Company

About Leminar

Established in Dubai in 1991, Leminar Air Conditioning Company, a member of the Al Shirawi Group of Companies, is the largest HVAC distribution company in the region, with offices in UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. The company represents some of the leading brands in the HVAC industry such as Rheem, S&P, Weicco, Georg Fischer, Alfa Laval, Hattersley, Frese, Mueller, Twin City, Napco, Armacell, and Kimmco. We recently added Mesan USA Cooling Towers to our portfolio of offerings in Kuwait and Qatar and signed an exclusive distribution deal with KIMMCO for its Climaver product in the UAE.

Leminar is a one-stop solution for all HVAC product needs. In fact, we are equipped to meet the majority of HVAC & plumbing requirements of any project almost immediately owing to the extensive inventory we maintain. What sets us apart from other businesses in the market is the quality of our offerings combined with our unmatched customer service.

The brands we represent are the best in their respective classes: Rheem is the leading DX air conditioning unit brand in GCC, S&P fans and Mueller copper coils are number one in the world, Kimmco leads the fibre insulation category, while Alfa Laval are the leaders for heat exchangers and Winters is the top manufacturer of thermometers and pressure gauges in the global market. Our services spectrum includes maintenance programmes, stress analysis, seismic analysis and plant room calculations.

What was your main motivation for signing up as a sponsor this year?

At Leminar, we are keen supporters of healthy competition and knowledge sharing. We feel it is important to support such events to establish benchmarks for the industry and inspire organisations in our industry to do better each year.

What are you looking forward to the most at the awards this year?

Winning and engaging with peers. As past winners, we have realised that these awards are unbiased and judged on concrete criteria. We, therefore, strive to outdo our own achievements in the hope of winning the trophy again this year.

What are your business plans?

We expect to sustain the growth in the UAE and Qatar markets and hope to increase our revenue in Oman and Kuwait by gaining market share.

How is the market shaping up? What market trends have you noticed this year?

The price levels continue to drop as yields on real estate projects decrease. Contractors are under pressure and hence suppliers to the industry are facing similar pressures. There are some liquidity concerns but we have tightened our credit control process to mitigate some of the risk associated with giving credit.

What are the main opportunities and challenges in the market?

We believe the lack of liquidity in the market is putting pressure on all companies and it has triggered a natural cleansing process in the industry. Only those companies with strong financial and operational fundamentals will survive in the medium term. We believe in exercising a certain level of caution and it might reflect on certain aspects of our strategy but we in the long term we will come out on top.

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