ROLL IT OUT

Abu Dhabi 2016 | INDUSTRY & AGRICULTURE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Mounir S. Haddad, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Industrial Projects Co. (ADNIP), on the company's subsidiaries, expansion, and growth cycles.

Mounir S. Haddad
BIOGRAPHY
Mounir S. Haddad has a wealth of experience spanning more than 30 years in industry in the Gulf and the Middle East. He held the position of General Manager at Indevco Group, Managing Director at Takween Industries in Saudi Arabia, and is currently the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Industrial Projects Co. (ADNIP). Haddad holds a degree in chemical engineering from the American University of Beirut.

The company has had its four subsidiaries for a long time. Are there plans in the pipeline to diversify the portfolio or are you working toward consolidation?

We are always on the look out for innovation, but it has usually been within one of our divisions. For example, there is a new type of tissue paper machine that produces to specification, which makes it easier for buyers to make a profit. We are one of three plants across the world that produces this product. So far it has only been available in Chile and Mexico. We anticipate considerable interest from European converters who are interested in the new specifications. In terms of carpets, we have also diversified and increased our capacity to make new lines and introduce new concepts. We are the only company in the UAE that produces carpets using a machine called Ax Minster. This is mainly used to serve hotels and we are the only company in the region doing this. The other one, the medical line, uses auto-disable syringes, and this is a patent that belongs to the Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company.

These products are unique in the region. What kind of market access does that grant you?

For the medical devices company, we are only selling abroad, and our share in the local market is minimal. We have a line in normal syringes, which we sell here, but our main line is the auto-disable syringes and they are not used here. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target for these to be used everywhere by 2020. The majority of our sales are to UNICEF and to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and they are mainly for sale in Africa, South America, and Asia. Regarding the tissue line, our main markets are in the GCC, plus some African and Middle Eastern countries. The new line of tissue has interested European markets, and we have started expanding there. One of the major objectives of acquiring this machine was to open new markets. We know that some European and American companies are thinking of investing in this, but for the time being we can capitalize on our uniqueness.

Established in 1997, the group has seen various cycles of the economy. Today the economy is at the bottom of the cycle. How is the company strategizing for this?

The company started with tissue manufacturing and just one machine. In September 2015 we launched a third line, and our output has gone from zero in 2001 to 95,000 tons. We are now the second-biggest producer in the GCC. In our other major business line, carpets, we started with a low output and have grown to between 10,000 and 11,000 tons a year, and there is still room for growth. The third area is vaccination syringes, for which we have a patent for auto-disable syringes. We are one of the major suppliers to UNICEF for this product internationally. The company has faced some difficult times in the past, but today I am confident that we can manage. I am optimistic about our operations. We are exceeding our expectations, and I anticipate a good year. This year, we will have a new plant for the carpet division, and we are thinking about new lines in this area. We are also expecting expansion of our medical devices or other new acquisitions. With the upcoming Expo, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, there are many opportunities in real estate and hospitality. We attended conferences with the government on post-oil strategies, and these will work well. The country is set for growth. We have a good reputation for quality, and our costs are not that high. We can always be competitive.