Q1. ACP, for the past few decades, has been consistently delivering quality products and services. To what do you attribute this stupendous growth shown by the company ?
Ans. The growth story of Assarain Concrete Products & Trading LLC (popularly known as ACP in the industry fraternity) rests mainly on its people, team work and the fire within. As our key focus areas, we have always looked at business expansion, continuous improvement and continuous aligning of people, processes and technology to ensure this growth. Over the last decade, we have also been able to create a much higher pull on ACP’s product movement through brand development, close customer networking and forming partnerships with many key decision makers.
My team and I have always tried to move forward, continued to relook at ourselves critically and then think “what next?“. This has helped us gain year on year good growth, raise the bar of excellence within the company and overall, has created an electrified committed team.
Q2. Kindly describe in detail, the role of the higher management of the Group towards this growth process and success.
Ans. Well, the unstinted support and guidance from our higher management has been the main backbone to our growth story. In fact, nothing much would have been possible without the dynamism and supportive attitude of our Managing Director, Mr. Khalid Said Al Wahaibi. The Executive Committee members comprising mainly of our MD Mr Khalid, Group Finance Director, Mr SP Nanda and our Group General Manager, Mr DM Gulwadi have always listened to our ever increasing demands with patience and have given full support through quick decisions. The exceptional three-dimensional vision of our Managing Director and the top management at Head Office have given adequate focus on our business never cutting corners on technology and capacity building, The signature hallmark of our top management, in my opinion, has been also “quick decision” and “approvals” through our respected Chairman, Lt. Col. Said Salem Al Wahaibi and the young & dynamic Managing Director Mr. Khalid Said Al Wahaibi.
I think they have been clearly focussed throughout on finally adding value to the country’s infrastructure development with Assarain Concrete’s quality products.
Q3. In which direction will we see ACP headed in the next couple of years ?
Ans. I, as the General Manager of the company, can only foresee ACP heading only “North” in next couple of years. This is because I have always tried to create a razor sharp competitive advantage for us to distinguish us in the over-crowed market. We have expanded year on year to meet the growing demand of our products and all our manufacturing plants are technologically very advanced, manufacturing high quality products with enhanced productivity.
Intrinsic to this towards growth is people and we have to able to build an enviably strong team which is continuously focused on the deliverables in their respective areas of responsibility under my overall participative guidance, close monitoring and responsibility.
Q4. From a product development and customer support perspective, what does the future of ACP hold ?
Ans. Over the last 13 years, I have tried to enrich the bouquet of product offering to our customers which has been only possible by continuous product development, inclusion of new products and addition of special designs, special products and smart construction solutions.
From the customer support perspective, we are hinged on to providing the latest products and giving our valued customers “single roof access” to their overall requirements for external landscaping and construction solutions. Our product portfolio is indeed very strong comprising of most diverse and colourful external paving solutions, roof slabs, building blocks, kerbstones, etc. Added to this are light weight blocks, cable protection tiles, special shotblasted coloured pavers, shotblasted kerbstones, paving slabs and luxury segment patterned tiles. We also offer Street Furniture comprising of Planters, Bollards, Benches, Wheel Stoppers, Fences, Led-lit Stones, Rubber Tiles, Playground Equipment, etc.
Hence, on an overall basis, our product offerings in years to come are going to get better and stronger and our customers are already getting aware as to “where to” find these. With such a robust product portfolio, ACP is well poised to become the natural choice of many Consultants and Contracting Companies and contribute towards building their projects with ACP’s quality products and multiple solutions that it offers.
Q5. What is the fastest growing component of your business?
Ans. Whether I look back or look ahead, it is clear that ACP has evolved as the Leader in paving and the kerbing industry. Our fastest growing component is the significant requirement of our high quality Pavers, from the construction industry. However, in the same breath, I cannot also deny that all our products are very fast moving and in fact, this is the exact reason we look at capacity enhancement, year on year. The quality finishes, wide spectrum of designs, the choices offered right from the big-ticket clients to even families for their requirements, ACP is the natural choice and we have enough to thank our customers who bestow their faith in ACP. I can only reassure that our focus in giving back to society by way of our quality products, enhanced customer service and improved CRM measures is the best gesture that ACP can have towards its customers that have reposed their faith in us.
Q6. What is the biggest challenge for ACP right now ? How are you addressing it ?
Ans. Generally, across the industry and even with us, the biggest challenge faced by us is towards lowering manpower costs by attracting qualified manpower, with higher productivity. In the current competitive, free labour market, it is indeed a challenge to retain good people, get the best productivity and also continuously also retain our quality national manpower. On the office side, we have good quality national manpower which are continuously helping us achieving our targets and we are constantly focusing towards addressing our ever-increasing requirements. With new innovative retaining strategies, we are trying to address this challenge.
On the contrary, for the construction sector, we are quite buoyant towards future outlook as under the wise guidance and leadership of His Majesty, we see a lot of initiatives taken by the government towards infrastructure development.
Q7. ACP’s profile has quite changed towards the positive in the recent years in the construction industry. What is your main thrust area and what are your management principles?
Ans. My role and accountability has been towards ensuring the overall financial performance, strategic management, day-to-day management, business development, relationship management, commercial decisions and also managing people and their performances. Apart from all this, my focus has always been to create productive teams with good inter-departmental weave. This has been possible through participative management and teamwork. I have always believed in leading from front and leading by example. In my opinion, people who lead should be knowledgeable, diligent, sharp, analytical and decisive. This gives an edge to create a strong and sustainable partnership, both outside and within the organization.
All this is towards making ACP a customer-centric company with all efforts guided towards making the company unique and distinctive for the Oman Construction industry and diverse valued customers, the prime users of concrete products.