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Napco calls for merit-based approach

Says its products are at par with international brands

| | May 30, 2011 | 9:30 am
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Says its products are at par with international brands

Napco, a UK-based adhesives, coatings and sealants company, having a manufacturing unit in Sharjah since 1995, has called for a merit-based evaluation of products rather than rely on perceptions.

Speaking to Climate Control Middle East, the company’s chairman, Dr Mumraiz K Awan, said: “The Middle East is a bit late in bringing up or meeting environment-related issues. But in our case, owing to our European approach, we are a step ahead. We are the only company manufacturing according to UL and Green Seal. And we are always trying to improve. In 2002, we got ISO 9001 certification, and then we worked hard to get UL certification, which is a long procedure. In 2010, we became a UL listed company.”

Nabil Awan, Dr Mumraiz K Awan and Ajit Abraham

Nabil Awan, Dr Mumraiz K Awan and Ajit Abraham

Dr Awan bemoaned the fact that a lot of companies which had mushroomed in the UAE were trying to create inferior clones, and warned that certain standards needed to be maintained. “For instance, these products need to have fire-retardant properties and anti-fungal properties, weathering and be UV-resistant,” he said. He believed that by using cheap raw materials, a few companies short-changed not only the customers but also endangered the health of their employees. “Toulene is carcinogenic, and you cannot use it in foundations,” he said. “Here in some companies, the workers do not use any protective masks. Our main competitor is in Europe and the US, and so we strive to be European in our approach.”

Dr Awan, pointing out the flip side of having a local unit, said it was difficult to erase the perception that specifications of locally manufactured products were not up to American or British standards. Calling it a mental block, he said, “There is a resistance in the region, because some of the consultants have been using European products for a long time.” He asserted that Napco’s products were at par with those in Europe, as it used raw materials from Europe. These being expensive, it impacted the price tag, as compared to the ones using sub-standard material.

“Unfortunately, price is the driver when it comes to people selecting products,” said Nabil Awan, Managing Director, Napco Middle East, explaining the market trend.

Napco’s product range includes protective coating for thermal insulation, anti-fungus protective coating for thermal insulation, insulation adhesives, protective vapour barrier coating, anti-fungus vapour barrier coating, anti-fungus asbestos-free sealant, close-cell insulation adhesives, said that its R&D department was researching new products.

Dr Awan revealed that the company was working with the Ministry of Defence. “We are working on fire-retardant sealants. In the event of a fire, the sealant will swell up and starve the oxygen, so the fire will not progress further,” he explained.

Leminar, Napco’s, distributor in the region, claimed that the products were specially made to suit the climatic conditions of the region.

The company, which established its base to cater to the UAE, India, Pakistan and Iran markets, said that it now exports its products to 25 countries, including the GCC states. “In the UAE, we were working on the Saadiyat Island projects and we are extensively involved in the St Regis project,” Dr Awan said. “Sahara Centre in Sharjah was one of our biggest projects.”

Talking of expansion, Dr Awan said that Napco had 70% of the market share in Qatar and supplied to Barwa City, Doha Land, Lusial and Pearl Qatar projects.

Ajit Abraham of Leminar added that it had opened an office in Qatar, and Napco would be part of it. “Our partnership with Napco is very healthy and it is one of our key brands. The UL classification has added value,” he said.


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