Innovation, quality and efficiency are key watchwords that differentiate Geberit and give it a competitive edge in the market, according to Tamer Qazi, the newly appointed Managing Director Gulf Representative Office for the Swiss sanitary ware specialist.
Qazi, who joined Geberit in July 2021, said he was immediately impressed by the organisation’s culture and vision.
“Upon visiting Geberit’s headquarters, production facility and logistics centre, I witnessed first-hand the emphasis placed on Geberit’s holistic approach in all aspects of the business,” he told Gulf Construction.
Qazi attributes Geberit’s success to various factors: “Firstly, our strategy has to be consistent and sustainable. Secondly, with our business model, we interact regularly with the key decision-makers – above all, owners, operators and designers, with whom we often maintain relationships for decades, and who appreciate the quality of our products, services and reliability.
“In addition, we have a strong focus on creativity and a forward-thinking mindset with a high willingness to invest, without which you cannot continuously improve. Another reason for our success is our purely functional and lean organisation, which ensures a high degree of expertise and internal know-how,” he said.
In line with this business ethos, Geberit will prioritise its energy in two areas in particular to drive further business in the region. The company intends to establish a distribution model that empowers its channels to offer best-in-class products and services to customers.
“Be it projects, retail or wholesale, our network will be capable of delivering high quality and consistent service,” he said.
“The second area is the enhancement of its technical/design service offered. Here we provide invaluable support and insight to investors, designers, and contractors.
“We have a team of experts across various disciplines in the Gulf specialised on these activities, from building construction to operations,” he added.
Geberit’s comprehensive approach positions it uniquely to offer an end-to-end water transportation solution within buildings. The company focuses on installation and flushing systems for sanitary facilities, piping systems for transporting water in buildings, and bathroom systems, supplying high-quality, integrated and water-saving sanitary technology. It leverages its long-standing experience in these systems to deliver innovative installation methods of the highest quality and functional design. These solutions feature Geberit’s proven expertise in the field of sanitary products and provide added value in numerous ways, whether it is optimising space, saving time, reducing the risk or ensuring comfort and quality.
In addition, Geberit keeps sustainability at the heart of its philosophy and formulated its first sustainability strategy back in 1990; hence, it continually designs its products so that they consume less water. In terms of innovation, the company ploughs back approximately 2.5 per cent of the annual turnover in research and development.
“In nominal terms, this is around $90 million per year, making us a leader in this sector. However, a noteworthy part of our annual growth comes from innovations that we introduced over the past four years,” he emphasised.
Feedback from customers and end-users also plays a vital role in product development and after-sales support. Here, it relies on close cooperation with its customers and partners within the construction industry. “Understanding all stakeholders’ needs is key to ensuring alignment with their expectations. Today, our clients demand well-engineered products that offer sustainable solutions in durability, function, and design alongside a wide range to suit all types of projects,” he stated.
One such well-engineered product from Geberit is its SuperTube drainage system, which consists of the Geberit PE Sovent fitting, Geberit PE Bottom Turn Bend and Geberit PE Back Flip Bend. A recent successful installation in the region was at the Sobha Hartland Creek Vistas project in the UAE.
“Traditionally, the GCC market uses a triple-stack drainage design in construction. With SuperTube, the stacks can be installed without any parallel ventilation pipes and can be placed in narrow ducts with smaller pipe dimensions (110d as opposed to 160d). Furthermore, horizontal installation of pipelines of up to 6 m can be installed with a zero slope. This makes it possible to fasten ceiling suspensions extremely close to the concrete ceiling at an offset.
“With Geberit SuperTube, you achieve an optimised system using less space and fewer products, addressing value engineering and improving the drainage system’s function,” he explained.
Qazi came to Geberit in July this year from the building efficiency and technologies industry, having led businesses across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia with leading multinationals. “I have been in the GCC region for more than 15 years and relish the market dynamism enriched by a diverse population. Moreover, my multi-cultural background has enabled me to appreciate and thrive in this melting pot of nationalities,” he remarked.
He believes the region’s construction industry is now showing signs of recovery –which will continue in 2022 – after a major setback caused by low oil prices, further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a result, the Gulf region is one of the most active construction markets globally. Over the next decade, there is enormous potential, particularly in Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030. Since it was announced in 2016, the Saudi government has moved ahead at an incredible pace with developments that have immediately impacted construction demand across all sectors.
“With the ceramic and sanitary ware market being one of the fastest-growing sectors, Geberit is ideally placed with a product portfolio and a devoted team to meet the demand anticipated in this region,” he concluded.