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Having recently entered into the paint and coatings industry, chemicals company AquaChemie exhibited at the recent Saudi Arabia Coatings Show in Dammam, where the company’s Saudi operations are based. Founded in the UAE in 2008, AquaChemie has since gone from strength to strength in the field of chemical manufacture, distribution and services and has grown its presence across the breadth of the GCC nations, as well as having a strategic foothold in China and Hong Kong.
PPCJ caught up with Anand Kumar Varadharajulu, Managing Director, to find out more about the company’s new venture and the importance of the Saudi Arabian market.
Do you have much business in Saudi Arabia already?
We do have business in Saudi Arabia, we have been in Saudi since 2009, focusing on the downstream business. Recently we have built a state-of-the-art chemical terminal in Jebel Ali, and with this terminal we have set foot into various solvents catering to the paints and coating industry. It operates as a break-of-bulk point to switch cargo to smaller and flexible packing. It would serve as an extended arm to support Regional & Global Manufacturers to distribute their products. It certainly opens possibilities for strategic partnerships with Manufacturers and Global players to explore petrochemical trade and distribution in the region.
Saudi is one of the biggest distribution markets for us and since we are new to the paint and coatings industry, we have hired local agents to assist us in having a better reach to the right customers. We have infrastructure on the ground in Jubail and Dammam and we are also manufacturing in Dammam industrial area for our speciality chemicals, so we have all the infrastructure in place to serve our customers better.
Is Saudi a region you see expanding in the near future?
Both Saudi and UAE are undoubtedly seeing a tremendous growth. Overall, the GCC is expanding with lots of action, compared to Europe where there is not much happening.
What are the main factors influencing business growth in this region?
Saudi is growing in leaps and bounds and a lot of new projects like NEOM have been announced. Driven by Vision 2030 projects, Saudi’s construction market is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years. Even the UAE region is picking up a faster pace in the real estate business, which fuels the demand for the paints and coating industry. Saudi is a huge contributing factor for the petrochemical industry, so with the raw material for the paints and coatings being manufactured here, it complements each other.
Why are exhibitions like Saudi Arabia Coatings Show important?
Exhibitions like this give us vast visibility and facilitate serious business and networking opportunities. With us being a new entrant into paints and coatings, this is an excellent platform for us to showcase our terminal capabilities, reaching out to the maximum number of customers, when we have something new for them and to show what we can offer them differently from the competition. We can see a lot of Saudi customers coming in, more than we expected.
We have been an established player in the oil and gas upstream and downstream sector and we always believe in differentiating ourselves from the competition. We are a very customer-centric company and we want to translate all those things that work very well for us into this new industry. We want to extend our success story from the oil and gas sector to this industry as well.
The next Middle East Coatings Show takes place in Cairo in June: www.middleeastcoatingsshow.com
Photo caption: Neom’s The Line is one of the many construction projects currently underway in Saudi Arabia