Five minutes with: Abdel Razzak Dajani,

Abdel Razzak Dajani, managing director of UAE-based Xtramix, tells whyu he expects the GCC concrete market to develop in 2016

INTERVIEWS, Projects

How would you rate Xtramix’s performance during the first nine months of 2015?

This has definitely been a good year for Xtramix. We have grown by around 15% to 20% during the first nine months of 2015, compared to the same period of last year.

This has been possible due to the excellent performance of our business in the UAE and Qatar during 2015. Our operations in these two countries have helped to strengthen our turnover significantly.

We are now moving out of the slump that our industry has been facing for the past few years. I am pleased with the direction in which our company has been moving, and I hope that this will continue in 2016.

Which projects will Xtramix be targeting during the coming year?

Primarily, we will be targeting projects in Dubai because that’s where most construction work is taking place – particularly in the housing sector. We will focus on Abu Dhabi’s residential sector as well, including developments on Saadiyat Island, Yas Island, and Shahama.

Xtramix will also look to make inroads in commercial and retail projects. But our main target for 2016 will be the region’s huge residential segment.

Are you planning to introduce any new products or services in 2016?

Next year, we will launch a variant of green concrete using recycled materials. We have been carrying out lots of research and development with local government bodies and other authorities for this product.

We have been conducting tests and trials to make it right, and hopefully we will perfect the formula soon. We are pushing very hard to make this product a success.

For 2016, our main aim will be to come up with products that are more sustainable than conventional ones.

Do you have any plans for expansion?

Right now, we are only present in the UAE and Qatar. We will definitely look into Saudi Arabia and Oman next year, since they are growing markets. We are also working on overseas expansion, but right now, it’s too early to say divulge any specific details.

What strategies do you intend to adopt to make 2016 a successful year?

During difficult times, everybody pays attention to cost-cutting measures. Some try to cut corners, but we are committed to the development of our workforce.

One of our main focuses in 2016 will be to continue to strengthen our human resources. I am trying to bring out the best in everybody, through awareness and new ideas.

More than 1,000 people from 30 different countries comprise Xtramix’s current workforce.

The Gulf is a very volatile market, and sometimes, salaries are low compared to global standards. It can be very tough to retain people, especially the labour workforce. Loyalty is also difficult to capture.

We are therefore pushing very hard to train our workforce. In turn, we will check their capabilities, and if they are at the required standard, we will increase their salaries.

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