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PPCJ spoke to Paul Symons, recently appointed Sales Director of Dubai-based Delta Coatings, to discuss the company’s expansion across the Middle East market and how the Gulf region no longer has to rely on European suppliers
Q. Can you give us a brief introduction as to what Delta does?
A. I am pleased to introduce Delta Coatings International as an independent, Dubai-based waterproofing specialist and protective coatings system house with almost 20 years’ experience in manufacturing best-in-class Polyurea, Polyurethane & Polyaspartic liquid coatings, linings and membranes. We also provide a range of turnkey waterproofing project delivery services internationally.
We have provided waterproofing and protective coatings solutions for many iconic projects across the Middle East as well as globally, including Legoland Water Park, Meydan Lagoons and Jebel Ali Wastewater Treatment Plant to name but a few. Delta Coatings also has the added advantage of being a fully authorised distributor of Graco HPCF spray equipment since 2006, so we have sound technical knowledge from the point of view of both the manufacturers and applicators.
Our high-performance protective coatings and linings are most commonly used in the construction and heavy industry markets. However, we also provide protective lining systems for water and wastewater applications, abrasion and impact lining systems for heavy industry, blast mitigation linings and, of course, lining systems for large scale commercial and industrial waterproofing, including resort pools and lagoons covering new builds. Furthermore, we deliver refurbishment and remedial work on existing structures in the built environment.
Leveraging our industry experience, we are excited to shortly release a consumer version of our innovative roll-on waterproofing product for the self-applied and DIY markets. Our extensive market research has shown high demand exists for a convenient, ready-to-use, hand-applied product.
"Middle Eastern customers no longer need to look to Europe or the USA for world-class products and face prolonged delivery times - we make them right here in Dubai, specifically customised to the extreme local climatic conditions in the Gulf region."
Q. How important is the Middle East region to Delta?
A. As a Dubai-based company, I can say the Middle East is a very important region for Delta Coatings. It’s our home market, with many clients who have been with us for nearly two decades, so we always aim to offer our Middle Eastern clients the same type of personalised service and best-in-class products and solutions we have become known for. Essentially, we are bringing the best technologies from around the world and manufacturing them locally in Dubai. Middle Eastern customers no longer need to look to Europe or the USA for world-class products and face prolonged delivery times – we make them right here in Dubai, specifically customised to the extreme local climatic conditions in the Gulf region.
Q. Why have Oman, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in particular been targeted for expansion?
A. Simply put, our products manufactured in Dubai are better suited to the extreme Middle East conditions than alternative products manufactured in Europe, for example. Customers appreciate our products are formulated specifically for the Middle East environment. Therefore, we are actively leveraging our local supply chain advantage, which means shorter delivery times. Together with our localised, on-the-ground technical and customer support, we are seeing these factors as major advantages for customers in these markets and our unique selling point.
I also believe Middle Eastern customers are actively seeking new technologies that can provide faster turnaround times to improve staff productivity and superior, more durable results. For many years, some markets were not ready to embrace new technologies, but now we are seeing a rapid step change, with Delta Coatings well positioned to service this growing demand.
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Q. Will you be focusing expansion efforts into any other geographical regions, and if so, where?
A. Now, we are focusing predominantly on the Middle Eastern markets, but we do handle major turnkey waterproofing projects as far afield as South East Asia and Europe. Of course, when opportunities present themselves in other parts of the world, we always consider them. For example, we recently shipped product to South Africa, Hong Kong and as far afield as Australia.
Q. What trends are you seeing in the construction industry that are influencing Delta’s products and innovations?
A. The construction industry has largely accepted polyurea technology and today it is being used more and more as a waterproofing and protective coating solution, however pricing and ease of application factors remain at the forefront of concerns. We are observing an evolution in the market where the demand remains high for the superior benefits of polyurea on one hand, but customers are reluctant to commit to the capital expenditure necessary for expensive, specialised spray application equipment on the other. Therefore, Delta Coatings is responding to this need through R&D and by launching new polyurea-based technology and a range of innovative waterproofing linings that do not require this expensive spray application equipment. These new hand-applied products will make application easier and cheaper, significantly expanding the overall market for polyurea-based solutions.
Q. What attracted you to your new role at Delta and what will be the first thing/s you focus on?
A. The new Director of Sales position at Delta Coatings really was a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity for me. Fully engaging my skills from a background in construction chemicals, together with my experience working not only for a manufacturer but also working closely with approved specialist applicators as well, means I can effortlessly provide clients with the right solutions for their budgetary, aesthetic and technical requirements.
Specifically, I was drawn to Delta Coatings’ unique global reach, with a combination of both regional and international market opportunities. The company’s mission to ambitiously grow and expand the business really excites me. Additionally, given my past industry experience not only in sales but also in commercial operations, my background gives me a distinctive vantage point to create new opportunities for the company and to further elevate Delta Coatings to the next level as it embarks on an ambitious three-year strategic growth plan. This plan has a range of new products and services in the pipeline, as well as international expansion.
Q. Some big trends in the industry at the moment are AI and big data – are digitalisation and these themes having an impact at Delta?
A. We don’t see any real demand in our industry for AI or big data at this stage, however we are employing these technologies in our international marketing and customer outreach activities. Delta Coatings is a very customer focused company evidenced by our consistently high 4.4 out of 5 star customer review ratings and repeat clientele, so we are committed to maintaining this close personal working relationship with our key customers. We are more than just a product supplier. We aim to partner with our customers from start to finish, to design and install the best possible solutions for our customers’ projects.
Q. Sustainability is a constant topic of interest for the industry. What ‘green’ credentials does Delta Coatings have?
A. I’m pleased to say Delta Coatings manufactures products that are environmentally friendly. Our products are VOC-free and generally do not contain solvents. We’re working on new formulations based on mass-balanced and bio-based ingredients that will further enhance our green credentials to meet our own sustainability goals.
Q. Do you have any predictions for the future of the industry in the next 10 years? Are there any geographic regions that you think will open up more, or maybe industry trends that will become more prominent, etc?
A. My opinion is that Polyurea is becoming “commoditised” as the large, multi-national raw material suppliers and construction chemical companies enter the supply market. These upstream suppliers seek volume product sales from midstream and especially downstream, end-user customers. Delta Coatings, on the other hand, differs in that it offers so much more in terms of R&D, personalised service and ongoing technical support, not to mention our industry-leading turnkey project delivery services.
I’m predicting more discerning customers will require end-to-end technical support and full turnkey solutions for their waterproofing and lining problems in the near term, as opposed to simply buying standalone products on their own, without any professional advice and backup support. Delta Coatings is perfectly positioned to cater to this growing need due to our extensive technical experience and capabilities covering all process aspects. Our single supplier advantage – as both manufacturer and applicator – means we have the necessary experienced technical and application personnel able to advise and specify the right solution for customers.
We are seeing more customers seeking a single contractor that can complete all stages of major waterproofing projects. Delta Coatings’ turnkey model – our ‘supply and apply’ service – means we are responsible for the supply, planning, management and execution phases of all coating and lining projects, without the customer requiring other third-party vendors or applicators. This single point-of-contact concept streamlines project delivery, while reducing risks for asset owners and providing a more cost-effective option.
I believe in the future customers will increasingly demand this single point-of-contact solution for all aspects of their upcoming project needs, and I’m pleased to say Delta Coatings is well positioned to meet this need, both regionally and globally.
The 30th edition of the Middle East Coatings Show takes place in April 2024, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information, visit: www.middleeastcoatingsshow.com