PMV Live Roundtable pt 4: The GCC

The PMV Live Roundtable looks at the GCC market outside of the UAE and KSA


CMME previews the PMV Live event in Dubai

With the start of PMV Live around the corner, CMME presents it coverage of the special PMV Live Roundtable that took place in October. 

Taking part of a lively discussion was: Putzmeister’s regional director Jens Bawidamann Martin Kirby, managing director, Wolffkran Arabia; Talal Al Mahroos, marketing manager, M H Al Mahroos (brands include: Putzmeister, Genie, Karcher, Yanmar); Abdul Qader Mohamed Al Ali, president, Al Wasit Machinery (brands include: Hyundai, Sumitomo); Nabil Al Zahlawi, managing partner, NFT Cranes (Potain, Orbit); and Nathan Waugh, event director, PMV Live.

The panel examines the changing situation of the GCC countries outside of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Raising the current situation in Qatar draws mixed views from the panel.

“I was there last week, drove everywhere and saw a lot activity,” says Al Ali. “A few years ago I got land for storage, and I noticed that now everyone else has built (their facilities) except me! Hyundai has sold 400 machines in Qatar. It’s a big market for earthmoving.”

While demand generated from infrastructure building may be good enough to shift excavators and wheel loaders, the panel agreed that other style projects were yet to kick in. A Fifa World Cup boom is yet to happen.

“For me, rental rates are not where they should be,” says Kirby.

Bawidamann adds: “We’re already involved there with our clients but I would say that the market is very bad. Why? Well in Qatar you have more than 70 ready-mix companies, which is a lot. There are no projects announced, when there is 70 companies will bid. So there is no cash flow. I have to say I don’t see a proper plan. I see only promises.”

As the needs of plant and fleets owners, contractors and, yes, banks have changed the Gulf’s distributors have also had to change.

Talal Al Mahroos of M H Mahroos explains that the Bahrain-based company has adapted by growing regionally and being focused on service and aftersales. Since 2007, the company has had dealers around the GCC for various products in Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi, Oman and Qatar. Pre-boom the approach was to assess the volume of construction work, the types of applications where Al Mahroos could supply and the number of machines required.

The downturn forced the company to reel back its book of dealers, however it is now rolling out a physical presence in Kuwait and Oman; complementing operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“Our focus is more into service, serving our customers with the right technicians trained from the factories to be trainers. We have an office, warehouse and service centre in Dubai Investment Park, premises in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. Each country has different product lines in construction but all the technicians and sales teams share the same background.”

Among brands such as Genie, Yanmar excavators, Karcher, it also is a distributor for Putzmeister. (“We started off in light equipment, then compactors and now we have Putzmeister,” begins Mahroos. “…because we are very light and tiny!” adds Bawidamann.)

Bawidamann describes their relationship as a natural fit.

“What you can see in many countries is that there are dealers that sell, but what happens when there is a recession? How do you keep your business running when you don’t have sales? You have to have service,” says Bawidamann. “This is why we are working together. First and second Al Mahroos is a service provider.”

Both Al AIi and Mahroos whose respective companies operate in Oman agree that market still holds a lot of potential especially surrounding the Sultanate’s investment into infrastructure.

“That’s why we are planning on being there. In Muscat we have mini excavators, compactor, light equipment, and this moves,” he adds emphatically.

“We also have light machines there but we are only concentrated on Hyundai,” explains Al Ali.

Stayed tune for more from the PMV Live Roundtable as CMME continues to preview this month’s big event later this month. Up next the panel look ahead to 2014. 

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