MEP Awards 2016: Meet the sponsors

Interpipe and Energi People talk about the state of their market sectors

ANALYSIS, SPECIAL REPORTS, MEP, Sectors, Energi people, Interpipe, Market, Market sectors, MEP AWARDS 2016, Sector

MEP Middle East has reintroduced the Supplier of the Year category for the 2016 MEP Middle East Awards.

The exclusive gala event, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is set to place in Dubai on November 16.

The Supplier of the Year award recognises any Middle East-based supplier involved in the MEP supply chain, from ductwork to HVAC, plumbing and sanitaryware, security and access control, firefighting and alarm systems, for example.

The criteria will be overall involvement in the sector, recognition from major MEP contractors, and any special achievements in terms of logistics, timeframe or special requirements.

Entries should ultimately show how suppliers have helped their clients meet their targets and objectives – and where possible – include commendations from those same clients.

*** For more information on the MEP Middle East Awards 2016 and the new Supplier of the Year Category, visit the MEP Middle East Awards webpage:

James Mowat, international manager of recruiter Energi People, discusses where the skills gaps are in the MEP sector

How long have you been involved with the Awards?

Energi People proudly sponsored the 2015 MEP Awards and have already signed up for this year’s event.

What was your main motivation for signing up as a sponsor this year?

I have been recruiting high calibre MEP engineers within the GCC for over 10 years and feel it is very important to be involved and to stay at the forefront of the MEP industry. The event last year was fantastic. It was great to see engineers of all levels receiving recognition for their relentless hardwork and achievements in the region on some incredibly innovative projects. It was also a great opportunity to network with old industry contacts and to forge new business relationships.

What are you looking forward to at this year’s Awards?

It is a great platform to celebrate everyone’s success in the industry. A number of engineers I have personally secured employment for over the years have won awards, or have been nominated, which is always great to see. I hope to see a few more on stage this year.

What have you been up to this year business wise?

Energi People has grown already this year at quite some pace and we are moving offices next month due to our continued growth and success as a valued, global MEP recruitment partner to our clients. Aside from our long-term commitment to the GCC MEP industry, we have recently placed a number of engineers in the Caribbean, Philippines and Eastern Europe.

How is the market shaping up?

After a tough few months at the turn of this year, the market seems to be moving in the right direction across the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia with various projects being awarded. There is still a big demand for BIM and a real shortage of talented BIM staff who understand the full engineering aspects and benefits of BIM for the design team and the end-user.

Where are the skills gaps in the MEP industry?

There is still a huge skill shortage for MEP engineers at all levels. However, the real gold dust are intermediate MEP engineers with four to six years of experience. This is mainly a result of the global economic downturn, which has created a large gap for talent at this level in the industry.

What are the main opportunities and challenges in the market?

The market has been very challenging over the past few months due to low oil prices. There has however been a lot of positivity in seeing a steady increase in the growth of small-to-medium size engineering consultancies over the past year across the GCC. The release of further projects for Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in Qata should see a lot of opportunities available for many of the regions consultancies and contractors over the coming 12-18 months.

Andrey Burtsev, Interpipe vice president – commercial – for the Middle East, Africa, Asia, gives his thoughts on the fight against fake products

What was your main motivation for signing up as a sponsor this year?

We believe that the MEP Middle East Awards is a strong communication platform for all producers of materials for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing sector. It is a great thing to be a part of new construction projects and innovations. This event gives every attendee the opportunity to establish new relations with the key companies in the sector.

What have you been up to this year business wise?

In 2015 Interpipe strengthened its position at the MENA market. We participated in major construction projects in the UAE as well as around the Gulf. Today I can assume that every second or third building in Dubai is equipped with Interpipe pipes. The biggest construction projects we supplied to are: Dubai Marina, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Investment Park, Ferrari World, Yas Mall, Yas Marina Circuit and other iconic buildings in UAE. In 2015 we’ve received UL certification, which approves Interpipe full product range of pipes for firefighting.

How is the market shaping up?

The MENA market is in tough times. The situation in the oil and gas sector has had an effect on other market spheres. But despite this, the construction industry is passing this period almost without major losses. High-end and high-quality materials are still in demand and we do hope that the construction sector will continue to remain stable.

Market trends are more negative than positive. Some companies are going to buy cheap products from unreliable suppliers and manufacturers in order to save their budgets. As I mentioned before, the oil and gas situation has an impact on the construction sector also, and it has forced some countries to reduce investments in construction projects. At the end of 2015 we could see that some projects in the region had been postponed. Nevertheless, we believe that the situation in construction sector will turn in a positive direction in 2016. The MENA region has countries which are on a development stage where there is still demand for pipes.

What are the main challenges in the market?

The biggest challenges for Interpipe are oversupply in the market and Interpipe counterfeit products. This fact injures end consumers of the pipe products and faithful producers. Interpipe has become a member of the Association of Manufactures to fight fake products. Interpipe also officially registered its trademark with the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2015. It is a first step in the fight against the emergence of a counterfeit steel pipe industry on the market, and reinforces our commitment to delivering the highest quality certified steel.

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