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Blue Star international to enter UAE MEP market

by Rajiv Ravindran Pillai on Oct 5, 2017

Dawood Bin Ozair, CEO of Blue Star International.
Dawood Bin Ozair, CEO of Blue Star International.

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Armed with sound MEP know-how, Blue Star International, revealed its intentions of entering the growing MEP market in the Middle East.

Blue Star International — an independent company registered in Dubai, UAE, and a subsidiary of India-based Blue Star Limited — at the moment runs the air conditioning and refrigeration products business outside India for its products and projects division.

Talking about the company’s plans, Dawood Bin Ozair, chief executive officer of Blue Star International, told MEP Middle East: “We want to enter this market. And within two years, we should be able to capture at least between 5% and 10% of the MEP market. We are very confident to achieve that. We have the expertise nearby, which is in India; we can bring in people as and when we want.”

Ozair adds that parent company Blue Star Limited does several MEP projects in India. He says: “[In India] We have worked on projects such as metros, district cooling plants, malls and hotels. So for us to get into the MEP market here is not difficult. We anticipate the MEP market here to be about $300bn. So if that is the size, then we need to look at that market very seriously.”

Blue Star International claims to have embarked on an aggressive channel expansion plan, in partnership with leading distributors in the new markets. Blue Star’s International Projects Business Group operates through joint ventures in Malaysia, Oman and other regions that focuses on HVAC&R as well as MEP projects for residential, commercial and industrial segments.

End of the year

When asked when the company intends start MEP operation in the Middle East, Ozair says: “By the end of this year, we will get in a big way into MEP projects and services. Blue Star being a very professional and futuristic organisation has taken a very careful decision. This is a growing and positive market. We feel that there is a place for good contractors in this market. We already have offices in JLT, Sharjah Free Zone, and our new office at Dubai Airport Free Zone.”

Reputation and products

Ozair says that Blue Star already has a good reputation in the market as a company that provides air-conditioning equipment, window air conditioners and even water coolers. He talks more about their water cooler products. “One very unique product that we have is overhead water coolers, which many of the big manufacturers don’t have. These are water coolers for each villa or each building, that can cool water. Today if you take shower, the water comes out very hot. We have a system by virtue of which you can cool that water to the temperature that you need. Every villa or building can have its own cooling system. Now that’s very innovative particularly for this market in order to capture a sizable portion. These [water cooler systems] are already in use here.”

“The advantage that Bluestar has is that we can do value engineering to your requirement. Because we have our own designer and and we manufacture ourselves. So the advantage is that we can take customise a product as per your requirement. We can bring it here and install it for you and service it.”

HVAC and MEP sector

The HVAC sector is a growing sector in the Middle East, according to Ozair. He says:  “The HVAC sector will continue to grow because of the hot climate in the Middle East. While district cooling plants are all over, a big portion is being taken over by varialble refrigerant flow (VRF) systems. A lot of VRF systems are being installed in hotels, buildings, schools, and hospitals.”

Elaborating on the demand drivers, particularly in the UAE, Ozair says: “It’s not just Expo 2020 [that’s driving the market], there’s a huge requirement of hotels, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure development.

“Of course, some of it would be related to Expo, but there is lot of requirement here because there is inflow of new businesses. In addition, there is the tourism industry, which is continuously growing at a very fast pace. Therfore, a large amount of hotel industry and hospitality industry will be required. And not only just five-star and high-rise buildings, but also three-star and four-star hotels, which is in a serious shortage in this region. The UAE is a very good and attractive market.”

On challenges

Ozair spoke on some of the challenges facing the market. He says: “Inconsistency in infrastructure spending due to low oil price and deficit budget spending will have a bearing on increased consumer spending. It will also trigger a consistent buying in the commercial space. While we can’t be insulated from challenges, Blue Star will focus on expanding its product portfolio, strengthening its distribution, including its retail strategy, and expanding in new markets. We will continue coordinate with the HVAC consultants and contractors across the region.”