Insulation Strategy

MEP Middle East talks to Hira Industries MD Manish Hira

Manish Hira, managing director, Hira Industries
Manish Hira, managing director, Hira Industries

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MEP Middle East talks to Manish Hira, managing director of the burgeoning Hira Industries, an insulation and HVAC component manufacturer that is going places

What is the story behind Hira Industries? How did it come about? We started as a trading company and over the course of the years; we’ve expanded the business into different manufacturing activities.

Over the last two years, we’ve moved into manufacturing products that not only go into the HVAC field, but also go into general construction, OEM’s, customised products that go into the automotive industry, the aluminium and plastic industries, so it’s quite diverse now.

We manage seven manufacturing plants, three of which are in India and four in the Middle East. The basic four components (of our business) that we produce are: HVAC products, rubber products, adhesive tapes and of late, insulation products.

Back in the 1980s, even in the 1990s, we were trading in the insulation business; it was one of the last few products we were not manufacturing, so that is how we got into the manufacturing field.

What projects are you currently working on?
Recently, we completed the Palm Sofitel Hotel, one of the biggest jobs here. We’re currently working on a job, which is the King Abdullah Financial City in Saudi Arabia. We’re working on a number of big jobs, but they’re all around the GCC. There are just a few that I can mention right now, unfortunately.

How do you stand out from your competitors?
One of the achievements we’ve had, is that we’re obviously testing out materials towards global standards, and so we’ve achieved class O, which is obviously one of the main requirements for an insulation product.

Typically, you do come across some local manufacturing companies that do not have it.
It’s a good achievement to have as it allows you to benchmark yourself in comparison to the global players.

What do you offer clients?
Right now, we manufacture two types of insulation, not just one.
We manufacture the elastomeric BR insulation and we also manufacture polyethylene foam insulation.

First of all, we’re the only ones manufacturing polyethylene foam insulation in the Middle East. Secondly, we’re the only guys who can offer clients both of them, obviously at pretty competitive prices and up to global standards.

Apart from that, a lot of manufacturing plants aren’t able to customise their products over here.

A lot of the plants are still importing their products, but we have the ability to fabricate and customise the product completely in-house.

Whether it’s applying a solution or giving an adhesive with insulation, or enhancing the density of products, we can do it because we have the machines and the capabilities in-house.

There’s a lot of investment put in here and we’re pretty vertically integrated in giving the customer exactly what they want, not just a product off the shelf.
What are your plans for 2012?
Our strategy at the moment is to focus on three main regions: Africa, the Middle East and India. We are focused on these regions because of the amount of investment that have been put in; we cannot just focus on one region.

At the moment, the biggest markets in the Middle East would be Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. We also have a strong distribution network in Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait and Jordan as well.

In Africa, we already have distributors in Sudan, Algeria, Nigeria, Kenya and even Johannesburg. One of the strategies for the future is that we don’t want to remain a regional player in terms of manufacturing insulation products.

The long term plan is to take the company on a global manufacturing scale for the insulation business and we’re looking at different geographical areas to expand the manufacturing. We haven’t exactly pinpointed where we’re going to go, but we’re looking at places to consider.

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