Photo: Kirby Vietnam
Mr. Anup Kumar Dave, General Director of Kirby Southeast Asia, tells VET about the company's performance in 2017 and the steel industry in Vietnam.
by Hong Nhung
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How do you view the development of Vietnam’s steel industry over the last few years?
The industry has progressed significantly over the last few years. Crude steel production is around 6 million tons now and is growing 16 to 17 per cent year-on-year. This is expected to increase in the future.
We have seen huge downstream facilities being installed for producing hot-dip galvanized cold rolled coils of 1.5 mm to 3.5 mm thickness, plain galvanized and color-coated cold rolled coils for roof and wall cladding, hot rolled plates and sheets for construction with 280 N/M2 yield strength, hollow sections for various applications, and hot rolled sections like angle and channels.
The significant development has been the ability of local producers to produce world-class quality. Huge efforts have been made to improve the standard of steel being produced in Vietnam and this has helped the export of semi-finished steel products immensely.
What are Kirby’s business targets in 2018 in Vietnam? What specific strategies will be adopted to bolster your achievements in the time to come?
We will continue to grow in the time to come. We added facilities over the last two years to scale up production and in 2018 and 2019 will add more equipment and factory space to produce structures requiring higher accuracies, especially for multi-story buildings and complex structures. We believe in investment in growing regions. Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general will continue to grow and so will our investment every year.
Can you tell us about the company’s business performance in 2017? What were the most significant innovations and achievements?
We are consistently growing at around 16 per cent year-on-year. In 2017, however, growth was not a significant matter. We designed, manufactured and installed many complex steel structures during 2017, which included a multi-story building and complex structures for the steel industry. We are known for value engineering, with huge experience gained from 70,000 plus buildings, and we understand our esteemed customers better than our competitors and work with them to offer the most economical solutions for their building needs. Besides Southeast Asia we also cater to some parts in Africa.
We have been in Vietnam for ten years and compete in Southeast Asia and have been among the first-timers in terms of products, from complicated high-rise buildings to the span and height of buildings. We employ more than 500 people directly and plan to add more. Since inception we have followed a policy of customer centricity and strongly believe in our people. We welcome gender diversity and transparency in our day-to-day working and trust in empowering our people.
What are the challenges for foreign pre-engineered steel manufacturers in Vietnam?
Besides steel price volatility, the challenges include rising labor costs and high workforce turnover, as well as productivity and waste reduction. We are working on employee engagement programs to reduce turnover and training them to overcome any challenges. We are also working on implementing systems to automate some of our key labor-intensive operations.
What facts and figures prove that Kirby’s products and solutions are favored by local companies and consumers?
The consistent growth and visibility of our brand across all regions in Southeast Asia show the preference given by our esteemed customers to our products. We have a consistent record of repeat orders and have the privilege of supplying products to a large range of customers. We accept the challenges in designing the most complex and difficult-to-manufacture structures under stringent quality norms and regularly meet extremely short delivery requirements due to urgency at the customer’s end. The trust customers accord us by always considering us as their preferred supplier is remarkable.
- hot-dip galvanized