60 Seconds With...
Ali Kassem, Regional Sales Manager, Liebherr
What are the major opportunities you spot in the GCC construction industry?
The GCC construction market is a dynamic, highly demanding and growing market. With all the ups and downs since the last economic crisis, still this sector proves it is a highly resilient performer. 30% growth in construction was recorded in 2017, mainly driven by young and fast-growing demographics in addition to long-term transformational plans such as Saudi Vision 2030 and the UAE Vision 2021. Therefore, for Liebherr the opportunities are many, it just a matter of getting the right product at the right time in such a rapidly evolving market.
What is the biggest challenge for you in the market this year and why?
Longer payment periods and fall in liquidity resulting from this put a lot of pressure on the sector. Moreover, less favorable contract conditions and rising disputes hinder spending and blur vision for proper planning. Short term planning prevail and makes it difficult for a premium product manufacturer like Liebherr. Key is adaptation and realization of the new value cycle and finding solutions that fit our customers as well as aligns with our principles…!
According to you, what are today’s top 3 industry trends?
There is a drive into more Telematics, IoT and Construction Management Systems at different levels. All are into having better grip and control over the business to achieve operational goals such as reducing costs, improving efficiency, increasing safety, and supporting compliance.
Construction Market is full with words like “Mobile”, “Modular”, “Prefab” and “3D Printing”, obviously pouring into the related technologies will be a key to help facing the decreasing profit margins by finding innovative ways of lowering construction costs.
Finance options and liquidity and new legislations make it tougher for the market. Considering this fact as a part of a packaged solution might be a winner!
What are the major growth drivers for the industry in the UAE?
The essential growth driver for the industry in UAE is the bright vision the government has got, which expand market dimensions continuously. UAE is progressively growing hub and this attracts more people, businesses, investors, activities, exhibitions, world expos, and tourists and obviously this land huge demand on services, infrastructure and all related construction projects. Moreover, the shift into more diversification in the GDP away from oil raise demands to fulfill other sectors development.
Any forecast for the next 5 years?
Studies predict the global construction industry to grow at a CAGR of 4% in the next five years. There is no doubt the GCC region has got the potential and will always be an important part of that growth.
Are you presenting / launching any new products at The Big 5 Heavy 2018? If yes, please provide details
Liebherr Concrete Technology division will have their new HTM1304 mixer displayed in the outside area. This is a new mixer ideal for handling high flow concrete of a nominal volume of 12 cubic meters. With the HTM1304, Readymix Concrete Suppliers will fill 12m³ of highly liquid concrete with paramount safety, stability and economy in transport.
Why is The Big 5 Heavy the best place to showcase your products?
The Big 5 Heavy is the leading regional event where industry stake holders meet. As much as exhibitors compete with their experiences and latest technologies and products they also house experiences and knowledge through socializing and seminars directed to the end users and that is definitely an advantageous exposure for all.
The Liebherr Group comprises more than 130 companies on every continent of the world and employs a workforce of over 42,000 people. The family business is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction machinery and is also an acknowledged supplier of technically innovative user-oriented products and services in numerous other industries.