MERGING TOWARD GREATNESS

Dubai 2018 | MARITIME | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Capt. Rado Antolovic, CEO & Managing Director of Maritime Services Division DP World and CEO of Dubai Drydocks World (DDW), on producing cylinders for the UK's Atomic Energy Authority, helping Dubai become the world's cleanest city, and creating innovative vessels.

Capt. Rado Antolovic,
BIOGRAPHY
Capt. Rado Antolovic has over three decades of experience across port and maritime industries. In his previous roles as CEO of JSC NCSP and a number of senior positions with DP World, P&O Ports, and APL, he successfully set-up, restructured, and managed numerous ports and marine businesses in several international locations. As CEO of P&O Maritime he has been at the forefront of the company’s successful turn over and fast global expansion. As the CEO and Managing Director of Maritime Services Division, his task is to efficiently consolidate all DP World group maritime business and provide a strong platform for long-term growth. He holds a PhD and an MBA in transport and economics.

How has the integration of DDW and DP World gone thus far, and how does DDW strengthen DP World's maritime services business?

We integrated DDW, P&O Maritime, P&O Ports, P&O Marinas, and Dubai Maritime City into one group, the Maritime Services Division (MSD) of DP World. Consolidating these companies improved efficiency and effectiveness through beneficial synergies across the group in enhanced specialized services, refined business strategies that maximize the skills of each entity, and streamlined processes to achieve significant improvements. Being associated with the DP World Group provides massive potential. In Dubai, we have the largest single-company operated port, and there are 25,000 different vessels coming through the port. Together, MSD has around 320 vessels of all kinds. These vessels require maintenance and rebuilds that can benefit from services within the group. At DDW, the yard benefits from an excellent location in the center of Dubai—a city that aims to be the cleanest in the world, and we would like to follow this excellent environmental objective. We want to bring added value through the testing services available in our marine section and restructure DDW to utilize solar for our energy needs. DDW is skilled in producing specialized vessels, including high-quality tugs, and we have a number of projects globally that are focused on creating innovative vessels. The yard can do many other specialized work, such as construction of crane frames, since we have the most sophisticated and diversified engineering welding team. We were recently approached by the UK's Atomic Energy Authority to produce special cylinders for a nuclear station, and we are also working with international banks and oil firms to clean the unused and derelict rigs polluting the North Sea. DDW is an open-minded company that is always looking for ways to grow and expand; under the MSD group, the yard can draw on synergies to strengthen performance.

What new businesses do you plan to capture?

We are negotiating with clients from various sectors, including the navy and passenger vessel owners, to create tailored innovative solutions to meet their specific needs. We also hope to capture more business overhauling the large LNG vessels. At the moment, our YoY market share has increased by 23%. The yard is currently working at 100% capacity, and improvements are being made to this capacity by sharpening our focus to ensure all business processes are more efficient. New specialists are being hired, and additional capital expenditures are being evaluated to integrate robotic technology in the yard. Our diverse services and facilities are capable of handling any type of vessel, are situated near to the largest port and economic free zone, as well as in close proximity to the Dubai city center and marinas.

What is your outlook for the year ahead?

DDW is fortunate to have a visionary chairman; we are now properly restructuring the company and aligning ourselves with projects of every type and size. DDW has over 240 clients, which is significant but not satisfactory. We are looking to create value-added services that will attract new clients. We have worked to outfit and repair some of the most high-profile and expensive yachts in the world. This is a niche market that requires highly skilled workers and is an area in which I foresee growth. The yard is positioned to offer excellent services to many areas of our operations, including yachts, navy vessels, and advanced specialized ships. Innovation and technology play a central theme in our outlook and strategy going forward. 2018 is full of opportunities and growth for DDW, as well as the MSD group; by thinking ahead, innovating, and adapting to change, we will generate significant growth in our global services.