“Recently, we have been developing a culture of innovation as well as supporting exceptional R&D capabilities within Ducab. We see these capabilities driving operational excellence, outstanding customer service, and new product development.”
Founded in 1979 as a joint venture with BICC cables, Ducab is now jointly owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s Senaat. With six manufacturing facilities across four sites in the UAE, the company has a capacity of over 115,000 copper tonnes of the high, medium, and low voltage cables per annum. From the Burj Khalifa to the HSBC tower in Hong Kong, and from the New Delhi Metro to Manchester Airport, it has supplied solutions for many landmark projects across the world. In India, the company has focused on niche markets for cable supplies. Wire & Cable India interviewed Mr. Ashish Chaturvedy, Head of Marketing and Communications, Ducab, to gain insights about the company’s recent performance, product portfolio, key strengths, and new technologies.
Wire & Cable India: Could you shed some light on Ducab’s recent performance?
Ashish Chaturvedy: In the past year, we have been involved in many strategic projects around the world, supporting different industry verticals including transportation, defence, industry, construction, energy and many more. Our new standout project portfolio has been intense, as we worked and extended beyond our skillset.
One of the major achievements has been the recent brand relaunch which not only establishes the 6 core brand values but also underscores a new brand positioning with a revised tagline ‘Energy for Change’. This enables the Ducab group to gradually evolve from being a regional cable and wire manufacturer in the past to a more backward integrated and complete ‘energy solutions provider to the world’.
Ducab has proudly supplied over 90 percent of the wire and cable requirements to the recently concluded EXPO2020 Dubai, providing tailored, quick-delivery and turnkey solutions that benefitted contractors and suppliers even across the region. We have also been consistently awarded for our cost performance, product quality, and customer-oriented service, maintaining a fierce position amongst competitors in the world-class cable and metals sector.
WCI: What new developments have recently taken place in your company? Also, tell us about the strategies being adopted by DMB, Ducab’s subsidiary company to boost the future of the metal business.
AC: Recently, we have been developing a culture of innovation as well as supporting exceptional R&D capabilities within Ducab. We see these capabilities driving operational excellence, outstanding customer service, and new product development.
Growing from the UAE, Ducab Metals Business (DMB) supplies locally made copper and aluminium solutions at a global level, by also working with its subsidiaries Ducab Aluminium Company and Ducab Copper. Within DMB, we work to use exceptional feedstock and state-of-the-art technology, combined with our highly skilled workforce and world-class laboratory testing procedures, to support the metal business, providing unparalleled quality. We combine high-end manufacturing technology and process control systems, and at the same time, ensure that our financial strength is sustainable enough to offer the utmost innovative financial support solutions to over 45 countries across 6 continents.
At the forefront of our digital strategy, we incorporate advancements in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics and drones, and other IIoT solutions, benefitting both our business and our customers.
Our wire and cable products have been independently certified by the world’s leading approval authorities including the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC).
WCI: Being one of the leading cable manufacturers, what challenges do you anticipate for the wire and cable industry in times to come, and how do you plan to overcome them?
AC: We see challenges largely from external market forces—trends that also impact our partners and customers within the industrial value chain. This includes supply chain bottlenecks, volatility in commodity pricing, availability of specialised talent, and other relevant issues. That said, we have filled market gaps globally through our strong distribution network, and this helped strengthen our position and stay ahead. We have a positive outlook for the year and have seen opportunities for our business to expand as the regional and global industrial landscape shows signs of improvement. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has caused a lot of disruption to the supply chain of various supplies that find use in the cable and metals industry. Erratic commodity prices do not allow for valid predictions and thus pose a challenge to the electrical industry, among others.
WCI: What are your corporate targets for FY 2022-23? How are you making your presence stronger in Indian and global markets? Also, tell us about the new export markets being targeted by DMB.
AC: With our revitalised corporate vision setting a clear direction for our next chapter of sustainable growth, we see a clear opportunity to expand our business and position ourselves within new sectors and new geographies. Ducab is, in particular, increasing its focus on sustainable energy to drive further growth and international expansion. This includes providing the most innovative and sustainable energy solutions available in the market today, as the entire world is currently focusing on mitigating climate change through decarbonisation. We have also recently consolidated Ducab Group’s focus on delivering ‘Energy for Change’ and we aim to be a leading provider of world-class solutions to the global energy sector. India is one of the markets where we have seen increased interest, and the Indian market is one of the largest targets that we continue to give significant attention to.
We are diversified in our export portfolio. DMB exports copper and aluminum value-added products to various countries, and we are working to increase our overseas market footprints further, expanding to markets beyond Europe, Africa and the US while the group continues to consolidate within the GCC markets. In the past year, DMB’s (metals) export revenue rose to AED 1.5 billion, exporting 70 percent of our output. We strive to maintain our market reputation as a leading global player in the energy raw materials industry, which will also support the expansion and diversification of DMB.
WCI: DMB clocked increased revenue in 2020-2021. What helped you to turn the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 into an opportunity?
AC: In the past years, and despite the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic effects, we saw a continued appetite for Ducab’s metals products, and have accordingly worked to fill market gaps globally through our strong distribution network. This helped strengthen our position and stay ahead during the pandemic. This prominently helped us identify the market opportunities in different countries globally, hence we plan to expand beyond the European, Asian, African and the US markets and increase our overseas footprints further.
Our wire and cable products have been independently certified by the world’s leading approval authorities including the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC). By attaining different ISO and OHSAS certifications for our operations, we believe our accreditations strengthen our customers’ trust and loyalty, who turn to DMB as the only copper and aluminium solutions provider, specifically in the Middle East.
We combine high-end manufacturing technology and process control systems, and at the same time, ensure that our financial strength is sustainable enough to offer the utmost innovative financial support solutions to over 45 countries across 6 continents.
WCI: Could you tell us a bit about the new technologies you have introduced or applied in the recent past?
AC: Ducab has recently rebranded its identity from being a regional cable manufacturer to an internationally operating, end-to-end, solutions provider to the energy sector. With this brand shift, the company has seen a rise in the market expectation for Ducab to look and behave more like the technology company it already is. Additionally, the agility in how the company behaves and highlights its innovation in products and services is also a growing need. With these in mind, Ducab continues to respond to wire and cable market needs by offering its 360 services, for example in engineering, procurement and construction. Being a one-stop-shop, Ducab is currently offering many EPC services and continues to work with many leading EPC contractors around the world. Additionally, since nuclear power cables are extremely demanding products within the electrical cabling industry, we have a rich supply record to the Barakah nuclear power plant, which is the first nuclear power station in the Arabian Peninsula, the second in the Persian Gulf region and the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World, consisting of four APR-1400 nuclear reactors. Another key example is the MBR solar park project, which Ducab has supported during all its phases, and was recently awarded the project to supply and install high-voltage cables for Phase 5 of the park.
WCI: Tell us about your product portfolio along with its key strengths and the industries served. Are there any new additions in your product range in recent times?
AC: Ducab is accelerating its expertise in traditional alternative energy systems and products to various partners at a global level, as part of our ‘Energy for Change’ strategy. We are reflecting this on Ducab Group’s three business units: Ducab Metals Business (DMB), Ducab Cable Business (DCB), and Ducab Turnkey Solutions. By working closely to develop these units, we commit to the highest international standards accredited by leading global organisations and continue to offer our specialised and high-end products and solutions across different industries. These include nuclear, solar, and wind energy and Ducab proudly champions these ‘Made in the Emirates’ products in the Gulf and across Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, and the Americas in 45 global markets. Moreover, through our new culture of nurturing innovative capabilities, we plan to infuse innovation within our new product developments.
Under DMB for instance, we provide a wide range of products that include custom solutions for aluminium rods, wires, and bare overhead conductors, CONTIROD technology for high-quality ETP copper rods and wires, tailor-made flexible copper conductors for cables, earthing and end-connections, and bare as well as tin-coated copper wire for cables, wires, and can-making.
By working closely to develop Ducab Group’s three business units: Ducab Metals Business (DMB), Ducab Cable Business (DCB), and Ducab Turnkey Solutions, we commit to the highest international standards accredited by leading global organisations and continue to offer our specialised and high-end products and solutions across different industries.
WCI: What is your idea for participation in CWF 2022? Do you plan to introduce something new at the exhibition?
AC: As a ‘cable partner’ of the event, Ducab looks forward to its participation in Cable & Wire Fair 2022 in India. The Indian market is one of the key segments we have seen increased interest from, we believe this opportunity will allow us to network and connect with local customers, users and industry players and competitors to understand the view of the market, which will support Ducab in strengthening its local position. The Indian market is one of the largest targets that we continue to give significant attention to, and Ducab is always on the lookout for new developments to improve its innovations. We aim to generate positive economic, social, and environmental impact from our operations, and this can be done via such important industry events as CWF 2022.