Global player: Hira targets international markets.
Hira Industries, a second-generation family-owned business based in the UAE has been around since 1980. In that time it has grown from a trading company into a full-fledged manufacturer of products for the building and construction industry in the Middle East and further afield.
Managing director Manish Hira says the big advantage of Hira being a local family-owned business is the trust it has built up with clients over the past 35 years.
"The Middle East is still very much a relationship driven market. That gives us an edge by having those decades old relationships in place as compared to a global player," Hira says. "Being a family-owned company means the decisions we make are also very quick so if a customer is in any way dissatisfied we can address that very quickly."
In 2014 the company took the decision to focus on growing internationally and is now building a management team that can takeover running of the Middle East business in order to free up senior management to look at international markets.
"We want our senior management to spend at least 30-40% of their time to grow international markets," says Hira, before adding that it currently distributes sound blanket products and roof insulation products in Australia.
"We have good market share in Australia. Our distributors there have demanded these products from us," Hira says. "We listen and see if what they are asking for fits in our eco-system. If it does, we will provide a solution for it.
"If the market reaches a level where it can sustain production then we would go to the next stage of investment."
Despite the company expanding globally, Hira says the Middle East market remains busy, especially in the UAE. For instance, last year it launched two new factories in Ras Al Khaimah for ventilation systems and thermal insulation foams. And over the next year it will launch a further two factories, one in Ras Al Khaimah again and another in Dubai TechnoPark which will produce pipe supports systems as part of its joint venture with Walraven.
"Right now we are extremely busy working on multiple projects across the UAE," Hira says. "It's very easy to grow the business right now because there is a lot of work. But strategically growing is the hard part and not taking too much exposed risk. Everyone has seen players come in the market and go out."
Hira says the company will most certainly be introducing new product lines either through organic growth or acquisitions.
"We are hiring a lot of people now that have a lot of technical expertise and that all goes into our research and development of new and existing product lines," he says.
"This is very initial but I'm sure it will happen over the next year or two where more verticals will be added."
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