Diverse products helps Mapei double sales in 2011

Business development chief cites correct timing for newest products

Mapei is still seeing sales from Dubai as more buildings near completion.
Mapei is still seeing sales from Dubai as more buildings near completion.

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Diversifying the product range at the right time has helped Mapei to post sales that are “100% up on last year” according to the business development director.

Leith Haboubi, who oversees client relationships for the Italian construction chemical maker mainly in the UAE, said the company has been bolstered by new products related to concrete and other basic building materials just while the industry faces ongoing challenges.

“Where some parts of the industry have faced delays and payment issues, we’ve been fine from that point of view, and we’re in a strong position in the market,” he told CW on Wednesday morning.

Mapei supplies chemical products across the construction process, including additives, admixtures and sealants, as well as products for tiles, wall protections and wooden floors. In the last year the company has introduced cementitious floor coverings and waterproofing products to expand the range and retain sales growth.

In May, Mapei acquired all adhesives and building products of Henkel Group under the Ceresit and Thomsit brands in South Korea, further sustaining its aggressive global expansion programme.

“We’re still 100% up on last year and we’re pleased with that. One good thing has been the new products ... we’re diversifying quite a lot.”

Construction chemical makers see rises in sales when projects such as towers and buildings are close to completion and require the specialist finishing products. This happened last year in November, he said, and has happened recently as Dubai – often associated with the depth of the region’s downturn – witnesses more structures near completion.

“Mapei still has lot of work in Dubai where project are coming on, so it’s good for us,” he said. “But there’s also a lot of work in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve worked on projects like Capital Gate and the Nation Tower, as well as work on Saadiyat Island. So, overall things have been fine for the year.” Dubai-based Haboubi spends an average of one day a week in Abu Dhabi meeting clients, he said.

As the contracting market remains squeezed in the emirates, Mapei’s focus this year is to think beyond supplying quality products and towards offering things in a way that will ultimately save time and money for the user.

“The key is to think about the contractor and the installers and think how there is an economy of scale [using the products] to be able to save costs long term.”

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