fmME Supplier focus: Anis Sajan, Danube Group

Anis Sajan, Managing Director of Danube Group, tells fmME why suppliers that feature diversified product lines will succeed with regional service providers in the years to come

Anis Sajan, Managing Director of Danube Group
Anis Sajan, Managing Director of Danube Group

What is your operational presence in the UAE?

Danube operates in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. From our headquarters in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), we serve all our warehouses around the region. These in turn – on a daily basis – supply and service our 34 B2B and B2C branches, apart from our other channels such as trading companies, facilities management (FM) outfits, and projects.

Please list some of your FM clients in the Middle East.

We work with a number of FM and related companies in the region. The FM sector is a great opportunity for Danube due to its vast product offering, which includes approximately 2,500 products.

Over the years, we have been associated with a number of projects and our clients include Deyaar, Imdaad, Nakheel, Inaya, Chicago, MAB FM, Farnek, Fixperts, and Nitty Gritty, among others.

How would you say FM operations are evolving in the GCC?

In line with regional development across other sectors, FM companies have flourished in a big way. However, operators are now starting to deal – and more frequently than earlier – with building renewal processes.

The ‘green’ culture that is promoted by regional governments is leading developers to focus more on partners that are able to supply eco-friendly products, innovative services, and alternate solutions for their buildings.

Servicing is the key to success in today’s business environment, because only by offering great services can you assist your partners meet their key performance indicators (KPIs) and maintain their market reputation.

FM companies in Dubai – and indeed across the UAE – will require an increasing amount of high-quality services given the growing focus to transform the country into a tourism- and service-oriented economy.

What type of services can regional FM companies expect to find at Danube?

First of all – like any other business – FM companies need to respond to certain basic demands coming from their own sector; these needs have changed a lot in the last five years.

FM service providers not only require a high-quality product or brand, but they are also more sensitive to the quality of services offered by suppliers, as well as finding a fair quality-to-price ratio. Theirs is a very competitive market and they know that they can distinguish themselves from competitors only through excellence.

This translates into the quality of products offered and service provided, and their timing. Danube, which owns the Milano bath solutions brand, is the response that FM firms need.

What are the current trends and challenges in the regional FM market?

The ongoing green revolution, a more educated and aware market – that requests for quality products over brand names – and tourism-oriented economies are some of the trends that are shaping FM in the Middle East. Nevertheless, these trends are also posing challenges to FM companies. New environment-friendly regulations and knowledgeable end-users demand that FM service providers pay attention and choose reliable suppliers that can safeguard and guarantee operator reputation.

Moreover, we are seeing a number of projects being launched as the Dubai Expo 2020 nears, and this will be a demanding time for supplying products to FM companies.

Should a slowdown in construction activity concern FM providers?

Not necessarily, since the real estate market is moving towards a strong recovery with numerous projects being under-construction and new ones being launched every day. FM service providers must use this time to detect new market needs and accordingly find solutions and supply these products.

Where do you see the Middle East’s FM industry in the next five years?

We expect the FM market to undergo a tremendous change in the next five years. New services demanded by the market, advanced information technology (IT) solutions being offered to the sector, and the regional presence of diversified suppliers such as Danube will make a difference in the market.

This, combined with upcoming events such as Dubai Expo 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, will definitely bring new light to the regional FM industry.

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