What have been the most important achievements in your first years?
Muntajat has started to fulfill its promise of bringing value to Qatar and assumed responsibility for the marketing and distributing rights of all of Qatar's chemical and petrochemical products. Looking back at 2014, we can say that it was a vital year to Muntajat as we completed the migration of sales, marketing and distribution activities of Qatar-produced chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers. This allowed us to implement our strategy and we were able to penetrate the market and connect with our customers without any disturbance. Over these first two years, we managed to increase our export from 7.7 million tons in 2013, to 10 million tons in 2014. In 2014, our focus shifted toward building scale and expanding our reach through the establishment of our global marketing network, Muntajat B.V., which we inaugurated the headquarters for in The Hague, Netherlands, on the December 2, 2014. We have already opened 17 marketing offices around the world, which currently service customers in more than 120 countries.
Muntajat represents the majority of Qatar's chemical and petrochemicals industry on the global stage. How do you work together with these companies in order to maximize the benefits?
We work closely with our business associates to orchestrate production, because it will be key to our and their success. Muntajat was created with the idea to generate the best value for our shareholders and the different producing entities, so we enjoy great support in our efforts to maximize benefits. In practice, this means that our supply-chain committee has regular meetings in which we communicate on how to manage the different stockpiles and help each other to improve the undertaking and cater to the requirements of the customer. On the management level, we organize quarterly meetings where we review all activities and align our objectives to ensure that we are reaching our target. We all share the idea that communication is one of the keys to our success.
What is the specific competitive edge of Qatar when compared to the region?
Without competition life becomes boring, so we embrace this healthy challenge. I believe that it forces us to be creative and to enhance the services that we provide to the customer, be it before or after sales. Competition also requires you to enhance your production, efficiency, and quality. Our production is largely based on gas, so when it comes to production cost we have the advantage over everybody. Another strength of Qatar is our geographical location, as we can easily reach out to the Asian and European markets. Shale gas will have an impact on the market and will increase competition, but we don't shy away from that. With a volatile oil price and a market in flux, we need to be ready and look after efficiency and have a tight control on the operation.
How are you planning to further develop your international reach?
Muntajat already has a foothold in over 120 countries with its products. The global marketing, sales and distribution activities are overseen by 17 Muntajat B.V. overseas offices. The offices are distributed in South-East Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe. The US and Latin America are already important markets for us, so we are currently assessing how to be closer to our customers in these markets.
How does Muntajat prepare itself to accommodate growth in the petrochemicals industry?
The industry is projected to increase its production figures in the coming years. Muntajat is ready and prepared to accommodate this plan. Muntajat is not only selling, marketing, and distributing the products; we are also part of the team that is managing these projects in which we are heavily invested. Qatar will utilize the majority of hydrocarbon resources to develop the downstream industries. The government is investing in infrastructure and we expect the new port to have a major influence on our operations. It will allow us more flexibility as delivery times will be shortened.
How does the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 inspire you?
The QNV 2030 is of great importance and we should appreciate what Qatar has given us as individuals and as companies. It is our turn to respond to this by putting all our energy and knowledge into the realization of this vision. We have to pass this on to the next generations and at Muntajat we are currently training 35 Qataris to lead this company forward in the future. We are hoping to drive this economy forward with the young talent that is coming in. There is still so much to achieve and Qatar is doing a lot to put this together.