Styro products are the ideal solution for wide range of interior/exterior decor, construction and art projects. – An interview with STYRO GM, Walid Wakim

Re-engineering-interior-and-exterior-solutions - emirates business newspaper

Established in 1999, Styro is a leading manufacturer and supplier of supreme quality fire retardant Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) products. Headquartered in the UAE, it has served many iconic projects in the MENA region. Highly durable, fire retardant and eco-friendly, Styro EPS products can be used for multitude applications. Such as construction, Interior and exterior decor and packaging industry.

Styro has become a product of choice for several iconic developments in the UAE, such as Dubai resort and parks, Smurf City, and Dubai Canal amongst others. Walid Wakim GM Partner of Styro talks to Emirates Business about the construction and infrastructure industry in UAE.

Complete Interview Transcript

Q: There has been a robust growth in the construction industry over the past few years. What is your opinion on the UAE’s construction market at present?

The construction industry remains positive in the UAE; however, it will pick momentum by the end of 2016. The UAE was found to be the strongest market in terms of opportunities and with many projects in the pipeline. Also, the Expo 2020 has given a boost to a lot of construction developments. We are really excited and expect great business growth in the coming 5 years.

Q: What are the other segments you are involved in art from interior and exterior decor?

Our product is not only used in commercial interior and exterior decoration but also as a heat insulating material, floor raising, void filling, floatation in marines etc.

Our product is so versatile and light that it has been used in a number of applications as it can easily be moulded into any desired shape or design. So we cater to regular customers, weddings, events to large commercial projects. Some of these include Louvre, St. Regis Hotel, Nuclear Plant in Abu Dhabi, Atlantis & City Walk in Dubai.

Q: Can you share details about the technology you are using?

Many refer to our product as Styrofoam or Thermocol but we have re-engineered the process to offer a completely durable solution, which is an advanced rigid cellular plastic called Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).

We source our raw products from Europe and manufacture them in our Sharjah plant using advanced technology, our product is 95% air, which makes it completely light and 100 percent recyclable. Furthermore, after rigorous testing and breakthroughs – our products become completely fire retardant, shock and tremor proof making it the suitable product for many interior and exterior applications and especially for middle east weather. All our products comply with ASTM E84 standard and approved by the local body – Dubai Central Laboratory and Dubai Municipality.

Q: There has been an amendment to the fire safety code in the UAE. Can you highlight the various aspects you need to consider before initiating a project?

Fire incidents are happening all over the world, not only in UAE. The main reason can be some human error or carelessness or a mechanical failure / accident can start a fire, the good thing is that Civil Defense in the UAE is considered as on of the best in the region. That’s why all fire incidents are well controlled with Zero deaths. The Civil defence new code will be out soon that will help create a better and safer environment for everybody. Our product is a certified CLASS A fire retardant. Also, EPS is one the lightest construction materials allowing ease of handling and faster construction times. Its outstanding thermal insulation properties and durability ensure performance throughout the full lifetime of the construction application in which it was used. EPS is mostly used in wall insulation exterior wall insulation and ceiling heat prevention.

Q: Can you tell us about your ongoing projects?

Due to the construction boom and the number of projects being developed in the Middle East – have at least 65% of the market share. Some of the current are City Walk Dubai, Dubai Parks and resorts insulation supply, and the Abu Dhabi New airport terminal amongst others.

Q: How do you plan to capture the growing interiors and fit-out market that is currently valued at approx US $8.8 Billion?

Our product is that of a superior product. Since it can be easily moulded into any shape and size, this flexibility makes Styro products the ideal solution for wide range of interior and exterior decor, construction and art projects. So this way we are already targeting different sectors, to off a wide range of creative solutions. Innovation is always the key which will further drive us to capture the growing segment.

Q: Can you elaborate on the latest trends in the Industry?

With every business, customers always want more for less. Especially with developers and contractors they mainly look for 3 things – durability, a quality that complies with industry standards and cost-effective products. Another important aspect is the turnaround time, Keeping all this in mind – the final project significantly depends on the unique design and interiors. So there is always a need to innovate. In terms of materials, we are seeing a great demand for our products as they are easily customizable and CLASS A fire-proof and completely eco-friendly.

Also, we are seeing a trend for Mosaic patterns. Intricate patterns are becoming more popular – architects are incorporating this various design element in an increasingly sophisticated manner. The colour palette makes a considerable impact on the mosaic itself. Organic colours from sky blue to grassy greens to muted browns, are becoming increasingly popular and can be easily used on our Styro products.

We have reflected some of these elements in the designing of our stand for INDEX 2016 exhibition, which has a blend of European and Islamic design.

The Styro Domes with EIFS (Exterior insulation Finishing System) is one such example as it can be customised as per specifications. EIFS in energy and environmental design (LEED). The turnaround time could be within few days.

Q: What is your business strategy for the next five years?

We invest a lot in research and development to offer a supreme equality product which will always remain a core business strategy. In addition, we expanded our team strength and geographical reach to target the booming market.

We also want to focus on our retail division and eventually move to e-commerce as well.

Do you have any expansion plans in the pipeline?

Yes, we will expand our team and branches in the upcoming 2 years to cater to the growing demand for our products. We will also expand our geographical reach as a rise in construction in KSA and Qatar have paved opportunities for the interior fit-out market.

 

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