IN UAE FOR 41 YEARS

Dubai 2018 | INDUSTRY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Ferran Bueno, General Manager of Jotun UAE, on the company's performance, the MEIA region, and plans for the year ahead.

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

Our main accomplishment in the past year was our success to maintain our number one position in the market. We are also proud to have achieved this through growth in all the business segments where we are operating within, which includes decorative retail and projects, protective coatings, and marine. We have had a good year with several significant developments and achievements. Firstly, we have had a safe year without any fatalities or major incidents in our operations. On the environmental front, we have certified many of our coating systems into the 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' beautiful homes to iconic and distinguished landmarks in the UAE including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. We also produce for deep sea vessels that pass-through Dubai and operate all over the world, as well as for the local smaller-sized vessels. So, we can also say that our marine products cater to the need s of the private elite yachts as well as to the needs of the 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 capability to supply projects of such a size and scale. It is not only about the paint, but the whole team involved; right from the technical department, to sales, aftersales, customer service and efficient production.

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

Although geographically the size that we cover is not that large, Dubai is a vital location in our global operations. In Dubai, if we rely on the data and contracts signed and awarded at present, 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, large, remarkable projects that achieve great volume as well as very strong brand awareness among individuals and home owners. For the operations, Dubai is the biggest production hub that supplies to merging countries in MEIA. That's because of not only 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 driver for growth in Jotun in general is to be a leader in innovation. This goes along Dubai vision towards being the most innovative cist in the world. This vision reflects a lot on our boldness in launching innovative products, global and regional concepts and processes. Innovation has sustained our growth and position for the last 25 years. For example, we have a full training and development concept for the retail segment which ensures an excellent shopping experience for end users at our stores. When it comes to products, one year ago we launched Fenomastic Wonderwall, a long lasting, high-quality paint that gives a smooth surface and is easy to apply that generated 1 million liters in first year of launch. In May, we launched ColourDesign; a mobile application that simplifies the process of colour matching for interior, as well as exterior walls. Jotun has three R&D hubs; Norway, Malaysia, and Dubai. 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 to keep growing our business profitably, assure the best purchase experience for our customers, keeping up with innovations and make our operations greener and safer for our employees and stakeholders. So, my expectations are very positive for Jotun performance in the UAE. To conclude, 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 among our customers and over our competitors.