Can you outline your operations in Dubai and the region?
YASSER NAGI Our aim at Wilo is to introduce energy-efficient products that will enable businesses to optimize overall efficiency while developing innovative and intelligent solutions in the industrial sector in the UAE and the larger Middle East. Countries around the world are looking to enhance their infrastructure, and cities have been looking for innovative, future-proofing solutions. In a bid to align with Dubai Smart 2021 initiative to become a smart city, Wilo is developing intelligent products to contribute to transformation of the urban environment. This has been a major driving force behind the decision to increase our presence in Dubai and why we opened a new facility. We need to acknowledge this region's growing prominence and respond to its growing requirements. We are looking at synergies that we can leverage in not only the Middle East but also North Africa as well. We want to have a North African platform that can be readily supported by what we have in Dubai. In general, the UAE is one of the strongest markets in terms of sales within the MENA region; it is the top market in terms of annual turnover. We see a great deal of potential.
JENS WINKELMANN At our core, we produce measurement equipment for industry. Our slogan is “what you cannot measure, you cannot control." To optimize things, one first has to measure where they are, set their key performance indicators (KPIs), and then optimize according to those KPIs. We work globally in seven focus industries; however, in this region, our industries are mainly oil, gas, and petrochemicals. The other major sector here is water, such as freshwater supply to cities, water treatment, desalination, and district cooling, to name a few. Another major part of this segment is strategic water reserves, which is a vulnerable part of the country. If someone shuts off the power, Dubai would run dry; it could not produce any fresh water. Where Europe is building strategic reserves for oil, in this region we are building reserves for water. We also work in aluminum, steel, and cement. The majority of our work is in measuring liquids. In the power industry, we work with power plants. While globally we are a leader in the food and beverage segment, the food and beverage sector here is relatively small due to the small population size.
How do you work to provide innovative solutions for the market?
YN We strive to be pioneers in technology-inspired developments. A major focus for us is creating urban areas that are as smart as possible. We want our products to be smart in every sense of the word, and we want them to be able to fulfil whatever function is required of them to make smart cities and support a broader effort toward efficiency and sustainability. We have, for instance, a smart pump that can be controlled via mobile phone. We have utilized our position in Dubai to win major contracts across the region in each segment. In fact, we recently installed water pumps for potable water in one of Egypt's new cities. We have been able to participate in some of the largest projects in the region, which are extremely important for us because they allow us to truly demonstrate what we are capable of.
JW In oil and gas, there is a strategic security issue in terms of data. For aluminum and steel, we work closely with Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) to supply equipment and integrate that equipment digitally, so EGA can optimize its processes. We deliver data to interpret the processes to optimize it. We work in two different ways digitally: with the products we produce and in business processes, such as digitalizing procurement, for example. Technology in the B2B space is still small. Something we launched in this region is B2B online integration. A customer can see all the products they bought or the products specific to their industry. It is a way to ease business for customers. Our main business is producing, developing, and servicing measurement instrumentation for the industry.