TBY talks to Gianluca Mattioli, General Director of Renco-AK, on construction and property management, relationships with contractors, and diversification opportunities.
TBY Does your portfolio of operations reflect Renco-AK’s global spread?
GIANLUCA MATTIOLI Renco-AK is a sister company of Renco Group, a leading worldwide company involved mainly in the oil and gas, construction, and building management sectors. At this stage Renco Group in Kazakhstan is acting through its sister company Renco-AK and Renco-Kat mostly in the real estate sector, but in the past was involved in the construction of oil and gas infrastructure in Kashagan.
Renco manages all phases of a real estate project from A to Z. What competitive edge does this give to your company?
To be the constructor and the management company of a building gives us the opportunity to guarantee high standards of construction and a uniqueness of service.
How has your relationship with contractors evolved over the years?
When we first came here we worked with very few sub-contractors. At the very beginning, all of our construction was carried out by our people with the help of local workers. The management, technical installations, and materials all came from Italy. We can combine our operations here with the company’s central operations in Italy in terms of getting all the provisions we need. Overall, everything you see on our project sites was built by us, right down to the aluminum frames used on the windows. We even have a large machine in Almaty for cutting granite, as Kazakhstan is a big granite producer and it seems logical to have that capacity locally. We cut and we sell, simple. The quick development of the Kazakhstani economy and production sector allows us to trust a large number of local sub-contractors that are able to guarantee the high level of quality that we expect.
Do you see room for building materials manufacturing to grow now that the government wants to diversify the country’s industrial base?
Yes, I believe there is a bountiful opportunity for the diversification of the industrial base. There is definitely enough space for more factories in the construction materials sector. The most important thing to concentrate on is infrastructure in terms of railways and roads, as well as pipelines. This kind of development will open the way for more factories to be opened.
What changes have you seen in the business environment over the past few years?
I have observed significant improvement since 1994, and even since 2004. The authorities have a positive mentality, and there has been a real push in order to see this country take advantage of its bountiful natural resources. In Soviet times the Kazakhstani economy was built on heavy industry, but now SMEs are the name of the game.
How do you see Kazakhstan growing over the coming years?
This country has a great presence and a bright future, not just because of the continued strength of the oil and gas sector. Unlike Europe, impressive economic growth rates have been recorded in recent years despite the economic crisis, and that is something I expect to continue into the future should certain challenges be met with action. Improved infrastructure, for example, should pave the way for an increased population.
What are your thoughts regarding the diversification of Renco’s activities?
Our business model is highly elastic, and we are always on the lookout for new areas to move into. It really depends on the flow of the market and our own strengths. Our future lies mainly in construction. However, as we have established a strong name for ourselves here, I see no reason why we won’t develop more of a presence in the oil and gas sector too.
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