A PICTURE OF SUCCESS

Dubai 2018 | ENERGY & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ferran Bueno, General Manager of Jotun UAE, on key accomplishments, the importance of its Dubai operations, and its focus on innovation.

Ferran Bueno
BIOGRAPHY
Ferran Bueno is the General Manager of Jotun UAE, where his leadership also extends to Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. He joined Jotun Spain in 2004 as a sales manager. Then, in 2011, he moved to Rio de Janeiro as the Managing Director of Jotun Brazil. He transformed it from a sales operation model into a production unit, the first production plant for Jotun in South America. Jotun UAE serves the decorative, marine, and protective coating segments in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Africa.

How do you assess the performance of Jotun UAE in the past year?

Our main accomplishment in the past year was our success in maintaining our number-one position in the market. We are also proud to have achieved this through growth in all the business segments that we operate in, which includes decorative retail and projects, protective coatings, and marine. We had a great year with several significant developments and achievements. Firstly, we had a year without any fatalities or major incidents in our operations. On the environmental front, we certified many of our coating systems according to new international green LEED standards. We have shown major strength both in decorative paints and marine products. Our breadth of operations ranges from painting individuals' homes to iconic and distinguished landmarks in the UAE, including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. Meanwhile, our marine products cater to private elite yachts as well as large oil tankers. Moreover, Jotun protects numerous steel structures from fire and corrosion though its state-of-the-art protective assortment. This defines the quality of our paint and coatings and further exemplifies our ability to supply projects of such a size and scale. It is not only about the paint, but the entire team—from the technical department, to sales, aftersales, and customer service.

What is the relevance of Dubai for Jotun's operations internationally?

Although the size we cover is not that large geographically, Dubai is a vital location in our global operations, and we see a positive future for at least the next two and a half years. When we look at our business in the UAE's construction and residential segments, we see both iconic, remarkable projects that achieve great volume as well as strong brand awareness among individuals and homeowners. In terms of operations, Dubai is the biggest production hub that supplies emerging countries in the region. That is not only because of the production capacity of our plant in Dubai, but also because of the advanced logistics in Dubai that make our operations smooth and efficient. Another general driver for growth in Jotun is being a leader in innovation, which follows Dubai's vision of being the most innovative city in the world. This vision reflects our boldness in launching innovative products and our global and regional concepts and processes. Innovation has sustained our growth and leading position for the last 25 years. For example, we have a full training and development concept for the retail segment that ensures an excellent shopping experience for end users at our stores. A year ago, we launched Fenomastic Wonderwall, a long lasting, high-quality paint that provides a smooth surface and is easy to apply; it generated 1 million liters in sales in first year of launch. In May, we launched ColourDesign, a mobile application that simplifies the process of color matching for interior and exterior walls. Jotun has three R&D hubs: Norway, Malaysia, and the UAE. Considering the unique climate trends in Dubai, we have a full R&D setup here to develop concepts and products adapted to this region. Dubai is more than a sales office located in a country; it is a regional hub for Jotun.

What is your outlook for the year ahead, and what will be your main objectives?

Our main objectives are growing our business profitably, ensuring the best purchase experience for our customers, keeping up with innovations, and making our operations greener and safer for our employees and stakeholders. My expectations for Jotun's performance in the UAE are extremely positive. One of our key strengths is that we have been established in the UAE for 41 years. Being in Dubai for this length of time has proven to be a great success for Jotun and has given us a competitive edge over our competitors.