Regal-Beloit Corporation recently executed a re-branding exercise. The company’s VP for the Asia Pacific region, John Thomas was recently in Dubai. Thomas and the company’s Director for the MENA region, Joe Thomas, spoke to B Surendar about the changes at Regal-Beloit and its approach to doing business in the region.
Why did you change the name to Regal from Regal-Beloit?
John Thomas: We wanted to take this opportunity to refresh our company’s brand image as well as simplify the commonly used name for our global teams, customers and partners to Regal. The official name of the corporation remains Regal-Beloit Corporation and our stock will continue to be traded under the RBC symbol on the NYSE.
What is the company’s view of the (GCC/Middle East) region?
John Thomas: While we continue to witness economic uncertainty in many of the major markets around the globe, we remain optimistic of growth potential for our products and the HVAC industry in the Middle East region based on the fundamentals of construction and infrastructure investment driving economic growth.
Joe Thomas: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seeing significant growth connected with construction. As a motor and control manufacturer, we have close working relationships with all the major manufacturers in the eastern, central and western provinces of the Kingdom, and look forward to supporting their success in the future.
Qatar will also be a very dynamic HVAC market going forward. There are over 200 five-star hotel construction projects being planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
What are your strategies vis-à-vis the region?
John Thomas: Regal is a company operating on six continents around the globe, focused on developing and providing innovative solutions to our customers and their HVAC systems. Over the last three years, Regal has doubled the number of new products introduced to our customers, and during 2011 alone, we introduced 50 new products and system solutions across our global markets.
Electric motors consume a significant portion of society’s electrical energy; so our innovation efforts are focused primarily on energy efficiency and enhanced performance in the application for the user. Even though the cost for electrical energy in this market is very affordable compared to other major economies, I am very encouraged by the local interest on topics of sustainability and energy-efficient building construction. We want to engage with our HVAC customers and design new products to be a part of this regional efficiency trend across the air conditioning and commercial refrigeration markets.
Could you elaborate on the customer service aspect of the business?
John Thomas: Customer Care is a top initiative across Regal, and we know that our customers rely on us to provide a high quality product, at the right time, and with industry leading reliability in the application. We are committed to continue to listen carefully to our customers’ changing needs and continue to improve our performance from our global manufacturing and design centres to meet or exceed their expectations. We recognise when we perform well for our customers, they win, which leads to our future success.
Are you keenly looking at Iraq to expand business?
John Thomas: From talking to our customers, we see the Iraq market as very promising with strong future demand for both consumer and commercial HVAC products. We look forward to appropriately supporting our customers efforts to expand their business is this growth market.