Issue 32

Wawel SA

Confection Perfection Wawel has been making confectionery for more than a century, the key to its longevity being the ability to move with the times    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby Of all the foodstuffs produced, confectionery is arguably the category that produces the most smiles.   From fruit jellies and cream fudges to caramel candies and cocoa-rich chocolate, the tremendous variety of flavours and textures makes for a market that can identify with almost every consumer.   In Poland, Wawel has become synonymous with the rich tradition of the confectionery industry, producing a huge variety of sweet treats for 110 years in and around Krakow.   Staying true to original recipes and hand-made processes in some areas, the company has also been able to thrive during this time because of its ability to innovate and change with the times, adapting products and processes to meet the evolving needs of Polish and international consumers.   “Wawel is a leader in the manufacturing of confectionery in Poland, but we cannot forget about export sales, which are a very important part of our business,” explains Wojciech Winkel, Technical Director and Board Member at the company.    “We are systematically working on our international expansion and growing the popularity of our sweets, their high quality, and the ready-made system solutions for our product merchandising and sales, all of which stimulate the positive results we achieve.”  Modern tastes  Winkel attributes the long-lasting success of Wawel to several crucial factors, among them its pioneering approach to removing what he describes as unnecessary additives.   This ties into the company’s Good Ingredients project. Launched in 2018, the programme commits to producing the highest quality

Editorial Team By Editorial Team


Empowered by Expertise Drawing on a rich Indian heritage, Voltas has been transferring formidable levels of MEP contracting knowledge into the GCC, proven by a rich track record and a pipeline of projects that continues to grow   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  The UAE is hurtling towards the highly anticipated Expo 2020.   Lasting six months and officially the largest event ever staged in the Arab World, this celebration of cosmopolitanism will see the world’s commercial eyes cast upon Dubai, with delegates from 190 countries and millions of international visitors set to pour into the city.   It is an enormous operation, one which began as soon as the award to host the event was made in November 2013.   For the UAE’s construction industry, it has provided a massive opportunity to showcase the best of what it can offer, a fact not lost on Suresh Kumar, Senior General Manager of Operations for Voltas’s International Operations Business Group.   “The country is getting ready and the infrastructure and building sector has been gearing up in a big way,” he reports. “All the contractors and vendors are busy in and around Expo 2020. Away from this, Dubai is developing in all directions and a lot of projects, especially in the residential and hospitality sector, have come up.”  The final push to prepare for Expo 2020 has provided a welcome boost to a sector which has not always been easy to operate in over recent years, and Kumar is quick to recognise a positive impact that such a challenge has brought with it.   “While there has been a slowdown, this

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Norm LLC

Laying the Foundations for Change The largest cement producer in the South Caucasus is facilitating cement-empowered economic diversification for both Azerbaijan and the wider region. Henning Sasse tells its story   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  Azerbaijan has historically been an energy-led economy.  Less industrially developed than neighbours Armenia and Georgia throughout the Soviet period, the country’s oil boom during the nineties and noughties saw its GDP growth rates skyrocket year after year, peaking at 34.6 percent in 2006.  In more recent years, however, the government has recognised that its reliance on energy exports has to change, the country resultantly focussing on economic reform and sustainable macroeconomic stabilisation.  Under this renewed strategy, the construction industry has excelled. According to annual numbers from the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan, the sector now accounts for 44.2 percent of GDP (based on 2018’s figures), up from 32.9 percent in 2015.  Norm LLC has thrived in this environment, which has become indispensable to the continued development of the non-oil sector.   “The construction industry in Azerbaijan has become one of the fastest growing verticals of today, now firmly a key driving force behind the country’s economic development,” affirms Henning Sasse, the organisation’s CEO.  “Considering this context, there was a growing demand for and indeed need for investments into cement production. It was this that stimulated Norm LLC to launch the Norm Sement plant project, now one of the largest non-oil sector entities and a key facilitator of social and economic benefit.”  Instigating innovation  Such a reputation has been established in the space of just half a decade, owed to the company’s willingness to proactively remain ahead

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Munck Cranes

Uplifting Global Industries  Operating out of Bergen, Norway, Munck Cranes is raising the bar across global industries with its technologically enabled, innovative, multi-faceted solutions  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  Despite being a common sight within urban environments, cranes remain somewhat alien to the untrained eye.   Often found dwarfing skyscrapers, the world’s largest crane able to lift 1,179 tonnes up to 550 feet in the air, they have become a crucial facet of modern-day urbanisation and construction. Yet from erection to operation cranes seemingly defy physics, lifting huge weights by using extensive horizontal booms, all while not tipping over.  For Rune Vabo, such pure innovation was more than enough to captivate his curiosity and interest almost four decades ago.  “I’ve worked for Munck Cranes for 38 years and have always found this industry to be highly exciting, full of technology and forward-thinking ideas,” he reveals.  Remaining committed to Munck Cranes for such a lengthy stint, Vabo has witnessed and indeed helped to oversee an extensive amount of change in the latter part of the company’s 95-year life span, having now stood as its Managing Director for 11 years.  “Born from the vision of Founder Sverre Munck in October 1924, Munck Cranes has gradually yet consistently risen over the past century to become a pioneer of Norwegian exports,” he states. “Having shipped our first hoist to Sweden in 1948, we now sell an ever-expanding portfolio of crane and hoist related products to markets the world over.”  Indulging innovation  Indeed, the products it sells today are distinctly more advanced than their predecessors, the business most recently taking advantage of the advent of industry 4.0.  This is no better evidenced than by its relatively

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Moelven Limtre

Timber Titan Moelven Limtre continues to champion glulam as a viable building material, acting as a key supplier to Norway’s construction industry as the country embraces sustainable infrastructure  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray   Lillehammer, February 1994 – the sporting eyes of the world watch over what is commonly touted the greatest ever Winter Olympics.   Having missed out to French commune Albertville in hosting the games two years earlier, the ski resort town nestled in Oppland County in southern Norway served up one of the nation’s proudest moments in recent history over 17 days of memorable competition and story making.   More than 1,700 athletes from 67 nations attended, notable landmarks being the former Soviet countries competing as separate teams and the participation of post-apartheid South Africa following a 34-year absence.   Behind the scenes, the 17th Winter Olympics also marked a crucial turning point in Norway’s building industry.   For Rune Abrahamsen, attending the event as an engineering student was a real eye opener. “I was fascinated by the enormous and spectacular timber structures that were built for the arenas,” he says. “It inspired me to pursue a career in the construction trade and in particular the timber subsector.   “The idea of using timber was quite controversial and unconventional at the time. Traditionally, large arenas used for sports like ice hockey and speed skating used materials such as concrete and steel, but the Norwegian government strongly believed in using what we have here in our own country.  “The use of timber materials in 1994 has carried great importance for Norway’s construction industry, and it has been a tremendous journey since then,

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Kronan : Putting the Green in Grocers

Iceland’s leading discount supermarket, Kronan, has established itself as an exemplary industry figurehead, stocking its shelves with progressive products and grocery goodness.

Editorial Team Josh Hyland By Editorial Team Josh Hyland

Inchcape Shipping Services

Global, Local, Transparent By adding a global, technology-enabled layer of transparency to shipping agency operations, Inchcape Shipping Services continues to gain the trust of clients to manage their vessels and cargo the world over   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: David Knott  Around 6,000 years ago Egyptians navigated 100-metre-long boats up and down the Nile.   Powered by oars and featuring sails, these wooden vessels carried enormous obelisks and were a serious feat of engineering for their time, so much so that very little evolution in boat mechanics occurred until the advent of steam propulsion.   The British East India Company took full advantage of this long-awaited breakthrough, initially using steamships to help manoeuvre large sailing ships into the narrow harbours of India before reducing travel time between Asia and Britain.   In 1856 the Company awarded a contract to carry mail between Calcutta and Rangoon to the Calcutta & Burmah Steam Navigation Company, which incorporated in London and became an agent for the new shipping line. This was the work of William Mackinnon, who, together with Robert Mackenzie, formed a general merchanting partnership named Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company (MMC).   It is the formation of this company in Calcutta in 1847 that the Inchcape Group proudly traces its origins.   Exponentially growing its influence between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and even Australia, MMC became a crucial enabler of British sea trade, the Inchcape name taking over in the 1950s and continuing to serve as agents for a tremendous array of clients to this very day.   But, much like the steamship’s

David Knott By David Knott

Futaba Czech s.r.o : Accelerating Automotive Excellence

Striking the balance between innovation and consistency, auto manufacturing specialist Futaba Czech s.r.o has established an esteemed reputation by providing quality at a lower cost.

Thomas Arnold Kierron Rose By Thomas Arnold Kierron Rose

Echo Marine Group : Wind in the Sails

Having proven itself and Australia as a viable alternative to the traditional European establishment, Echo Marine Group is poised to serve the growing demand across Asia Pacific for superyachts.

Editorial Team Joshua Mann By Editorial Team Joshua Mann

Dubai Refreshment Company (DRC)

A Refreshed Approach Operating in a complex food and beverage market, industry veteran Dubai Refreshment PJSC is responding to challenges and opportunities by diversifying its product portfolio    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby  The UAE’s food and drink industry is in a stable state.    Home to several longstanding and successful enterprises, the sector represents one of if not the most important manufacturing segments contributing to the nation’s economy, an economy which the government is determined to further diversify outside of oil.   And it appears to be doing a commendable job. In 2017 the BMI Risk/Reward index ranked the UAE as the most favourable environment in the GCC for the food and drink trade, and fourth most attractive globally.   Further research suggests the industry will reach $196 billion in 2021, up from $130 billion recorded in 2018, with subsectors such as non-alcoholic beverages among those tipped for solid growth.   Indeed, this market is tipped to expand by an annual rate of around 5.9 percent thanks to the popularity of products including fruit and vegetable juices, soft drinks, mineral water and spring water.   For F&B manufacturing and distribution specialist Dubai Refreshment PJSC (DRC), today’s dynamic backdrop offers tremendous potential to grow both its core and supplementary lines of business, building on a legacy stretching back 60 years.   “The fact I am working for a company with such an extensive legacy fills me with great pride,” comments Chief Operations Officer Sherif Elmeligy.   “We are very well-known to the local communities here in Dubai who will know DRC for its factory that was a landmark on Sheikh Zayed Road for over 40 years. It was

Editorial Team By Editorial Team

Dico si Tiganas

Raising the bar Determined to impart international standards on Romanian construction projects, Dico Si Tiganas is uplifting the industry through a series of large-scale developments for a mixture of clients   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  For many of us, the question about when you decided to be an architect is a usual one. Some have a precise answer, like when I was about 14 years old, after visiting a special place, or it was like I knew forever.  “The short answer in my case is yes – the passion for design and buildings comes from my childhood and family, being the son of a couple of civil engineers. But I need to add something to this. At the time of my childhood and youth, to become an architect meant an escape from the real world, a way to imagine something completely different than the abhorrent dictatorship of Ceaușescu.”  The fall of the iron curtain in 1989 marked a huge turning point for countries like Romania in the Eastern Bloc. An end of authoritarian communist rule and emergence of free market economics brought hope of a brighter future, one which can be defined by freedom of opportunity.   For Serban Tigănaș, Co-Founder and President of architectural firm Dico si Tiganas and orator of the opening words, the passion for building has been heightened by a love of country.   Setting up the practice in 1997 after meeting civil engineer and skilled CAD operator Florin Dico, Tigănaș highlights an important experience which triggered his desire to make an impact in Romania, an experience which occurred not in his home country, but in the UK.   “I was enrolled in teaching at the

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray


Cutting Edge A dynamic, 16-year evolution has seen Alusystem rise to pre-eminence in Romania’s construction industry. Razvan Popa tells the façade specialist’s story   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  Shrugging off the slight downturn of 2017 and 2018, this year has seen Romania’s buoyant construction sector once again capitalise on numerous tailwinds.  Take January and February, for instance. According to GlobalData, the country’s national construction works index grew by 4.8 percent year-on-year, while the new construction segment rose by 8.7 percent. Equally, this upward trajectory has been maintained as the year has shifted from spring to summer and now autumn, so much so that the industry is anticipated to grow at approximately 3.37 percent per year until 2023.  From the optimism surrounding a revival in public sector investments to financial commitments coming from the European Union, geared towards national infrastructure development, positivity is being projected across the commercial and residential segments alike.  “Romania has huge potential,” Razvan Popa affirms.   “The ambition of our architects and the quality of construction work in this country is truly amazing. In my eyes, it is like a pearl for Eastern Europe and investors can expect to see an abundance of opportunities emerging here in the coming years.”  Echoing GlobalData’s own bright outlook, Popa’s insight its similarly well informed.  Having led a fruitful career in Romania’s construction industry for more than a decade, he now stands as the Executive Director of Alusystem – a façade and curtain wall specialist that is thriving against this optimistic backdrop.  “Engineering runs in my family; I’ve been surrounded by the industry ever since I was a child,” he reveals, pointing to

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

Lisbon, Portugal : Business Travel Guide

Sat in the estuary of the Tagus River, Lisbon is the westernmost capital city in continental Europe and serves as Portugal’s chief port, largest and capital city, and commercial, political and tourist centre.

Editor By Editor

How Inchcape is transforming the dynamics of the global shipping industry

“We’ve been in the industry for over 170 years, and the issues around shipping have always been that what happens in faraway lands has always been a faraway thing,” explains Frank Olsen, present-day CEO of Inchcape Shipping Services.“There has not always been enough information, communication, control or transparency, and therefore a lack of trust, in what is occurring in places which are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.”Inchcape Shipping Services was formed to integrate what was then a loose federation of ship agents into a robust, transparent international network with defined and common service standards worldwide. “Historically, the criteria for selecting an agent has been localised knowledge of the port in question, and trust in this knowledge and subsequent track record," Olsen adds in an exclusive interview. "Trust is everything, and our mantra is that you can only establish genuine trust if you have transparency first – it is not enough anymore to simply say trust me."Olsen began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Inchcape Shipping Services in July 2018, previously serving as COO of the group’s Marine Services division.A major focus of his time in the Marine Services business was to enhance its use of technology and data, something which he has transitioned into his role of CEO.“My background in terms of getting to where I am today is quite a simple one,” Olsen recalls.“I started my career as a seafarer and master mariner on ships which journeyed around the world, and in 2007 I moved onshore in the marine service industry but was

Editor By Editor

Exclusive: How Tetra Pak is helping to turn the tide on plastics

Blue Planet II won’t be forgotten anytime soon.Created using 6,000 hours of footage collected from 125 expeditions in 39 countries across a four-year period, the subsequent six-episode, 364-minute on-screen series that was shown to millions of viewers around the world can only be described as one of the most immersive, eye-opening nature documentaries ever made.And while the second chapter of the production captured the beauty of the natural world through different aquatic lenses, the focus of its legacy has been significantly more topical than its predecessor.“Sir David Attenborough and the BBC really helped to bring key issues surrounding global plastic pollution to the fore of public consciousness with Blue Planet II,” explains Erik Lindroth. “It really helped to visualise the plastic problem in a concrete, emotional, visceral way, and people understandably became upset when they realised the reality of the situation.“But it wasn’t necessarily news at the time of release. Plastic elements ending up where they absolutely should not be has been a concern for many years.”Lindroth himself became particularly engaged with the subject back in 2006 and 2007 while working in the commercial and marketing department of multinational food packaging company Tetra Pak. Now standing as the organisation’s Sustainability Director for Europe & Central Asia, 2019 marks his jubilee year at the firm.“I’ve been with Tetra Pak for 25 years this year,” he affirms. “It’s a bit of a shock to hear myself say that out loud – time really does fly when you’re having fun. I joined the sustainability team a little over a

Editor By Editor

John Luck on Carabao’s challenge to the UK energy drinks establishment

Written by: Tom WadlowIn 2017 UK consumers drank 669 million litres of energy drink. In monetary terms, this amounts to expenditure of £1.65 billion on topping up energy levels through the likes of Red Bull, Monster, Lucozade and other brands populating what is an extremely saturated category that occupies significant retail shelf space.And the trend is only set to continue. According to research by Mordor Intelligence, the period 2019 to 2024 is forecast to deliver an average annual growth rate of 4.3 percent. So, while the market may be an extremely competitive one, it is open to disruptors to not only take market share from established players, but also expand the category into new audiences. Indeed, for Thai energy drink giant Carabao, the UK is already proving fertile ground for European expansion. Founded by rockstar and national icon Aed Carabao, the brand is making waves in western markets in no small part to the eccentricity of its marketing campaigns, reflective of the character that founded the company back in 2002.It is second only to M-150 in its home market and is now taking on the global heavyweights (notably Red Bull) in the UK, with Chief Marketing Officer John Luck leading the branding charge.“Carabao is intriguing,” he says. “The challenge of making a new energy drink successful in the UK, an already packed market, was appealing to me. “Around 750 energy drinks have tried and failed to launch here prior to Carabao – the fact we knew something new was needed was the hook that lured me in. I am also

Editor By Editor

Portugal’s 2027 Vision : Sustainable Tourism Destinations

The Official Portuguese Tourism Board will manage the 2027 strategy, approved by the Portuguese Government in 2017, to embed sustainability into the national tourism policy.

Editor By Editor

Q&A: Claire Carter, Lenovo’s Marketing Director for MEA

Claire Carter, Lenovo’s Marketing Director for MEA, chats about the business benefits of having more women in the tech industry and why Lenovo sees this as a priority.When you started at Lenovo two years ago, you had spent nearly two decades in the FMCG industry, working for brands like KFC and Flora. From a gender balance perspective, what first struck you about the differences between working for a consumer technology company and an FMCG company?"Tech is undoubtedly more of a male-dominated field, particularly in the Middle East region, which was very different to what I was used to in FMCG. But I moved to this industry because I wanted to be part of the digital revolution, as technology becomes more and more embedded into our everyday lives. It wasn’t an easy switch to make, but I was drawn to Lenovo particularly because of their focus on supporting women in their leadership journeys."Only 25 percent of people working in the tech industry are female. What do you think is the reason for this? "Certain fields have a gender-skewed legacy; for example, historically technology has been seen as a ‘male’ industry, just as areas like teaching have been regarded as ‘female’. It’s precisely this legacy that the Women in Lenovo @ Leadership (WILL) network is redressing by focusing on hiring, retaining, mentoring and promoting women. Thirty percent of Lenovo’s workforce is female, which is above the industry average."Why do you think gender balance is crucial for companies, and specifically tech organisations?"There have been many studies showing that gender-balanced teams

Editor By Editor