Seizing Opportunities and Anticipating Change
Project Manager:Tom Arnold
Corys Building Materials has always taken a long-term view when it comes to devising and implementing its Company strategy; having worked hard to build its reputation for quality, innovation and customer service over the years, it intends to build on and strengthen this in the future.
Gaining the title as an industry leader in both product technology and manufacturing excellence, Corys Building Materials retains its core customer focus, with a number of initiatives in place to improve efficiency and speed of response.
As part of Green Coast Enterprises, a private Group established in Dubai by Abdul Ghaffar Hussain in the 1970s, the Company has a solid network of support. The Group currently employs more than 1,000 people, and actively manages a number of industrial and commercial businesses and financial investments.
“Despite the fact that Corys Building Materials was formed relatively recently as a holding Company for Green Coast Enterprise’s businesses in the building materials sector,” explains Jeremy Rowson, Chief Executive Officer at Corys Building Materials. “Its roots can be traced back to 1977 when its subsidiary, Hepworth was established as a manufacturer and supplier of piping systems in the UAE. As well as having manufacturing companies in the UAE and Qatar, we also have subsidiary companies in Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.”
From this early start, the organisation has expanded and diversified into three main business units: Hepworth, Corys Build Centre and Corys Geosynthetics.
Hepworth, based in Dubai, is the leading manufacturer and supplier of plastic pipes and fittings in the UAE and Qatar; marketing integrated piping systems to the construction industry. This branch of the Company supplies a full range of products based on PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, ABS and polybutylene technologies.
“We are proud of our long and fruitful association with two of the world’s leading plastic pipe technology providers; Wavin, based in the Netherlands, and Georg Fischer, based in Switzerland,” continues Rowson. “Both of these relationships are more than 30 years old and have greatly contributed to the success of Hepworth’s brand and reputation for quality in the region.”
Hepworth’s focus is split into key market segments, including, buildings, utilities and infrastructure, industrial and irrigation and agriculture; all of which are supported by dedicated sales and technical support teams which concentrate on each sector. In addition to this, Hepworth has a skilled and experienced contracting team which provide on-site support to customers for welding and assistance with installation.
Corys Build Centre is a new concept in the retailing of building materials for small to medium-sized contractors and maintenance companies in the region. This sector of the Company operates from newly refurbished premises in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain and Muscat.
“Although the main product range that we offer at Corys Build Centre is currently pipes, fittings and related items, our portfolio is being expanded with the aim of becoming a one-stop shop for target customers with a much broader range of MEP products,” adds Rowson. “Our goal over the next three years is to have 20 outlets of Corys Build Centre in the region.”
The third business unit of the Company is Corys Geosynthetics, a specialist supplier of geomembranes, geotextiles and other complementary products for infrastructural and industrial projects. Corys Geosynthetics has been manufacturing geomembranes in Dubai for eight years under the Kangaroo Plastics brand, has a dedicated team of technical experts and supplies projects running throughout the region. More recently, export sales have included Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq and Central Asia.
In order to keep up with industry demands, the Company is continuously expanding its capacity; last year increasing its manufacturing capacity with the addition of new plastic pipe extruders in Dubai and Qatar and a new injection moulding machine in Dubai.
“In order to expand our manufacturing capacity, we have not only been buying new equipment but a we have also been building new factories,” clarifies Rowson. “In January, 2017 we began manufacturing operations at our new factory in Dubai Investments Park, with the intention to relocate our staff to this new Head Office in a couple of months.
“This will be the newest PVC pipes and fittings factory in the world, which is very exciting for the Company. Last year we also completed the construction of our second factory in Qatar which will increase our manufacturing capacity there.”
The Company has also started on its new polyethylene pipe factory in Abu Dhabi, which will be complete at the end of 2018.However, the Company is also looking at opportunities to increase its footprint and access new markets though acquisitions as well as through organic growth.
“Last year we were proud to launch our new Technocore range of multilayer PVC pipes. We have purchased two Rollepaal extruders for the UAE and Qatar, enabling us to introduce this technology for the first time in the GCC,” adds Rowson. “PVC multilayer pipes are commonly used in Europe and North America as they offer higher performance and enhanced handling properties.
“Technocore pipes have walls comprising foamed PVC held between solid PVC inner and outer layers. The reduced carbon content of the foam is absolutely in line with recent trends for sustainability and reduced carbon footprints in the construction industry.”
The Company worked closely with Wavin, the world’s leading technologists in this area, to launch the technology and gain acceptance in the local markets; continuing Corys Building Materials’s many decades of technical and commercial work with this strategic partner. It is a clear example of the Company showing leadership in its industry and differentiating itself through technical and market innovation.
“At the end of last year we launched an entirely new range of solvent-socket PVC pipes to provide high quality but economical systems for large villa projects within and outside the region; we are expecting huge growth from our new Dacta range and have already made our first sales.”
For a Company with such vast experience in the industry, Corys Building Materials is aware of what it takes to be a success and considers that, in the main part, this lies with engaging skilled, experienced and motivated employees.
“Throughout our recruitment process we are very careful, ensuring that any potential new staff not only meet the requirements of the position we need to fill, but also have the personal values which are compatible with the Group’s core value set,” affirms Rowson. “Within the region, we have employees of approximately 30 different nationalities, who have diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds. This has created a highly varied working environment.
“For the manufacturing industry our staff turnover is low, which we believe is a strong reflection of the fact that our staff are highly committed and feel that they are a vital part of the working community.”
Corys Building Materials differentiates itself through its product quality, technical expertise and customer service. Recently, Hepworth was congratulated by one of Dubai’s largest developers because of an urgent issue on a site at the centre of the city. Hepworth was able to get a technical team on-site within 20 minutes of receiving the first phone call from the client.
“We are aiming to keep this level of fast response and strong customer relations throughout all sectors in the business. Corys Building Materials is already a strong competitor, but is getting even stronger, and in three years’ time we will be operating from more manufacturing sites and will have more retail outlets open through Corys Build Centre,” concludes Rowson. “We have already identified some new technologies that we are keen to introduce to the region, and hope to have these launched and adopted by the industry in the next few years.
“We are particularly excited by the opportunities and challenges to be faced in the coming years as Dubai prepares for Expo 2020.”