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“We are Making Competitive Formulation of the Product to Compete in the Market”
By: Urfi Kidwai
In a conversation with Window & Façade Magazine, Kidwai talked about his journey in the industry, the offerings and achievements of Gulf Rubber Industries L.L.C, etc. Here are the excerpts…
Please brief us about your Gulf Rubber Industries’ journey.
Gulf Rubber Industries L.L.C has been established as one of the pioneers of the rubber manufacturing industries in the Middle East. Our company is formed by experienced professionals who have been in this business for more than 20 years. We are the first of its kind in the entire Middle East that have phenomenal range and capabilities of processing synthetic and silicone rubbers to manufacture profiles that comprise of multi durometer hardness, multi-material colour extrusion, profile pre-cut, TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), vulcanised frames, corners and various other combinations depending upon the customer requirements. In addition to the above products, we also provide additional service to customers such as testing, analysis, design and technical support to name a few.
As a part of the ongoing commitment to excellence, Gulf Rubber Industries LLC is been recognised with the most prestigious ‘Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA)’, Silver category in Manufacturing for 2019-2020, and ‘Dubai Quality Appreciation Award (DQA)’ for 2020 in appreciation of the persistent distinguished efforts and commitment to quality as an ideal approach towards achieving business excellence and is committed to provide the highest quality across all the company’s business areas. By consistently providing services that meet and exceed performance beyond customer expectations. We develop customer trust to achieve strong business performance.
Tell us about your product offerings? What benefits do they offer?
Our products include extruded dense EPDM profiles, sponge EPDM profiles, neoprene, SBR profiles, silicone profiles, co-extrusion profiles, silicone compatible EPDM, TPE profiles, IDPE & HDPE profiles, vulcanised frames, moulded corners & moulded parts, setting blocks, flame retardant profiles, self-adhesive profile, refrigerated van profiles, EPDM façade sealing membrane, rigid PVC profiles, d-fenders, wall guards, column guards, and O-rings & gaskets. Our products are known to provide a lot of benefits to the buildings, which includes: they are extremely durable for sealing to ensure weather tight joints and provide thermal insulation for façade industry (curtain walls, frames, OEM window seals, vents, door seals and skylights)
Name some of the major projects in the Middle East in which your products have been used?
Our products have been used in many landmark projects. Some of the projects are One Zabeel – Dubai, Museum of the future – Dubai, Royal Atlantis – Dubai, Iconic Metro Station – KSA, 160 Folsom – USA, Regent tower – USA, Abu Dhabi Plaza – Kazakhstan, Mobility Pavilion – Expo 2020 Dubai, and Sustainability pavilion – Expo 2020 Dubai.
What sustainability means to your business? How sustainable your products are?
We follow all the prerequisites of LEED compliance. In addition to this, we also encourage recycling of rubber which can be used for rubber tiles.
How do you ensure the quality of your products? Do you have a state-of-the-art facility? Please brief our readers about it.
We follow very strict guidelines for our quality control. All our incoming materials are inspected intensely to match the specification required. We EPDM profiles do a thorough check of the rheological property of our masterbatch with the finish material in order to avoid any problem of flow and scorching of material inside the extruder. The final extruded product is checked every half an hour interval for their dimension from profile projector and keep the section for at least 6 months or as per customer requirement. We have state-of-the art testing facilities to check all our chemicals and intermediate work in progress. GRI has the best lab in the region. We have coextrusion line, silicone line and salt bath line; from which we can produce different products which cater to all requirements of façade industry.
What are your expectations for your industry in the Middle East in the coming years? What changes do you foresee?
For our industry, it was a challenging year where we invested to upgrade ourselves in products as well as research and development in compounding. During the course of the time, we came up with different materials with coefficient value; energy saving material to save our environment. There is a lot of development taking place in the façade industry. Since there are different types of material used in façade, we get the opportunity to design our gaskets to assure the compatibility.
What do you see as the main challenges faced by your industry?
To procure the raw material at the right time
Maintenance of the machinery spare parts; as they are not available locally
Raw material costing is another challenge as it gets affected by the oil price
Most important is the unhealthy competition, where people reduce the prices that affects the overall product value
The COVID pandemic has affected all industries and businesses. How are you cope up with this difficult situation?
Due to this pandemic, businesses have shrunk by 20% and there is a deficit from different areas. We at GRI are currently focusing on customers in different regions, mainly for diversification. We are making competitive formulation of the product so that we are able to compete and act efficiently once the situation comes back to normal.
How do you see the present scenario of the construction industry for your products?
It is quite challenging, as there are lot of projects on hold and less new project are coming up. This in turn has reduced the volume business. We are meeting consultants and trying to get approval for specific projects so we can supply our material and continue to be in the business.
What are your goals and plans for the next 4-5 years?
We are planning to start our business in the US and Europe. Our strategy would be to make our factory 80% export oriented unit.
Founder & Managing Director
Urfi Kidwai is the founder of Gulf Rubber Industries LLC, United Arab Emirates. A unique, responsible, focused & innovative approach of URFI foresee Business endeavours that are conceptualised to maximise the market opportunity and intensify it in all economic and business cycles. Urfi Kidwai has done MBA from Bombay University and Post-graduation in Chemistry. He has set many milestones as an entrepreneur in rubber, EPDM, silicone, PVC extrusion polymer and its associated industries.