60 Seconds With...
Eduard Faig, Regional Sales Manager at Ritchie Bros.
What are the major opportunities you spot in the GCC construction industry?
There are a lot of major construction projects on the agenda at the moment, including the Dubai World Expo, construction of major airports, large infrastructure projects in Oman, Saudi and more. Of course, these are great opportunities for the builders in the region that will, in some way or another, cascade down to the heavy equipment industry in the form of supply and demand.
What is the biggest challenge for you in the market this year and why?
The instability in the wider region has had an impact on the economy. Low oil prices contributed to slowing down the flow in the market and ultimately making it harder for businesses here to plan ahead and make decisions regarding their equipment fleets. What we’ve tried to do is listen and work closer with our construction customers to find solutions that meet their changing needs.
According to you, what are today’s top 3 industry trends?
In the region we see an increased appetite for small and medium sized construction equipment. In general, this had been somewhat down over the last few years. Secondly the demand for the heavier used construction equipment items and trucks had been a bit slow, but is now seeing increased demand as well. Lastly, after a few years we see a gentle return in demand for mining equipment, mainly due to increased activity in Africa. We’re getting more phone calls and see web visits increase on mining assets, which is great for companies who’ve been sitting on idle mining units for some time. But also for heavier construction units that see more bidding competition between construction and mining equipment buyers.
What are the major growth drivers for the industry in the UAE?
Besides the major construction initiatives, both privatized and government, I believe the UAE’s central location is always a key driver for growth. Neighboring growth markets are only a stone’s throw away. Tourism continuously grows in the region, stimulating construction projects. We’ve experienced the power of the UAE’s central location first hand since our first Dubai auction back in 1997.
How do you think the local construction and infrastructure industry will evolve in the next 5 years?
Oil prices and economy in the region would pick up at some point, giving more confidence to plan ahead in construction. Major construction projects, tourism investments and infrastructure could have a very positive impact on the industry. In the end what we need is growth and stability.
Ritchie Bros. is a global asset management and disposition company, offering customers end-to-end solutions for buying and selling used heavy equipment, trucks and other assets. We help thousands of people around the world appraise, sell, inspect, buy, refurbish, ship and finance heavy equipment, trucks, and other assets every month. With our multiple onsite and online selling platforms and commitment to first-class customer service, Ritchie Bros. is trusted worldwide because we make buying and selling easy, efficient, fair, and transparent.