What initiatives did you undertake to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic?
The impact of COVID-19 on our performance has been similar to what is happening to any other manufacturing company around the world. The slowdown of demand for goods, the reduction of mobility and consumption of energy and the pausing of large initiatives subsidized and financed by the government in our sector has had a negative impact in our business sector. 2021 began with an additional challenge related to the unpredicted increase in the price and shortage of raw materials, which has affected the entire manufacturing sector. Most projects that were awarded in 2H2020 were based on costs of raw materials that are no longer applicable.
What developments do you expect in the medium term in the cable market?
The world is moving more and more into renewable production of energy. Energy production is shifting from large concentrated power plants based on traditional source and technology to distributed renewable production of energy. This means there are several power plants that require a strong network of distribution and transmission to bring energy where it is needed. This is already a reality in some parts of the world, such as Oman's maiden wind farm at Harweel in Dhofar Governorate in the south. Innovation will change our sector by pushing us to have more eco-friendly products. We need to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and figure out how to organize our supply chain for this goal. The manufacturing sector has to radically change the way it designs products. We have a roadmap regarding this specific action, which begins with the design of products, the selection of raw materials, and the way to produce, pack, and deliver them. Finally, we are dealing with the issue of reducing waste generated by the packaging and the overuse of materials in production processes.
How are you using technology to have more efficient operations?
In this unpredictable world where prices are increasing, it is important to plan the resources of the company, including raw materials and assets such as machines and, more importantly, people to give us flexibility to quickly adapt to any change. We invest heavily in IT and systems that involve the supply chain.