Fosroc has made a name for itself over the past 60 years in bringing the most innovative and tailored constructive solutions to the architect, design and construction sectors, and continues to find differentiators through its dynamism and flexibility.
The ability to act locally despite being an international player in the market is a facet that the company has worked hard on since being established in the UK initially, and since being bought by holding company, JMH Group in 2003 and the organisation’s relocation of its head office to Dubai, Fosroc’s global influence and entrepreneurial flair has taken on new dimensions once again.
Chief Executive Officer, André Ladurelli explained: “In contrast to our competition, we don’t tie ourselves down to bulk chemicals upstream and trying to find a home for one specific material. We’re free to recommend the best technology rather than being driven by one particular response.”
Fosroc is now in a position to liaise and evaluate with its customers the most appropriate solution for what they’re trying to achieve, agnostic to the base chemicals behind it.
“We just want to deliver what is best to the customer and that’s what sets us apart from some of our peers,” Ladurelli continued. “We provide expertise in the little corners of what our customers are trying to do, providing peer-to-peer basis solutions for engineering problems to ultimately find a number of ways to create value for different partners throughout the chain.”
Locals run the show
A key aspect of Fosroc’s customer-focused strategy has revolved around international saturation and subsequent proximity to its clients, both current and prospective.
This is summed up the company’s ethos, ‘the locals run the show’, ensuring that varying climatic conditions and regional trends are prepared and accounted for.
“A lot of the success in the industry is about proximity to the customer and we’re very entrepreneurial in that respect,” Ladurelli said. “Different conditions call for different cements, aggregates and climatic considerations because it varies the way that different materials are going to perform.
“Our expertise is in delivering consistency of performance in these different circumstances.”
Manufacturing locally is core to the success of this ethos and has seen Fosroc expand over the years through the Middle East, into Asia and further into emerging markets, culminating in its headquarters in Dubai.
Overall, Fosroc now has a presence across 20 countries with the Middle East and India proving especially fruitful at present where the quality and technologies behind the company’s products have been very well received.
The company already has a keen eye on potential areas of further expansion though as Ladurelli explained: “We’ve got an active pipeline of new territories so we opened new operating companies last year in Vietnam and in Iraq. I was also in Myanmar recently where we’re looking to become the first British firm and the first construction chemicals company to manufacture there.
“Beyond that we’re looking very seriously around Central Asia, the Caspian region and Sub-Saharan Africa as the next ports of call.
“We act both locally and globally, in a joined up way, because contractors are operating the same way and that’s what our customers expect from us.”
High profile projects
Excelling in its work around the lifecycle of concrete, environmental considerations, the characteristics of its products and the technological complexities of fusing engineering and chemistry has subsequently led to Fosroc receiving numerous large scale projects in recent years.
This has included beating numerous international competitors to the high profile job of delivering strong concrete to the Worli high rise tower project, being built by Samsung in Mumbai.
Comprising both residential and commercial entities, a specific set of performance characteristics were required, and as Fosroc has proved time and time again, it is these niche specifications which the company thrives on.
“If you take the Burj El Arab Hotel in Dubai for example, it is built in the sea and has three layers of basement under water level,” Ladurelli said. “We gave them a waterproofing solution for that underground structure which after 10 years is still in perfect condition.
“We also provide specialty coatings for structures like car park decking systems as well as providing a range of sealants which you’re likely to see in numerous airports at present.”
The scale of the projects being entrusted with Fosroc are epitomised by a $1.2 billion hotel resort and enormous casino being built in Macau, which has similarly required an extensive waterproofing job covering the size of several football pitches.
Another feather in the company’s cap has been providing concrete and waterproofing solutions for an underground tunnel, providing the largest pre-cast element in Asia which has recently been sunk into the bottom of the Hong Kong bay.
While the industry success of Fosroc is all too clear to see, it is the work going on behind the scenes which Ladurelli makes special commendation to, primarily regarding business relationships; both with partners and especially employees.
“We are very flexible in terms of the way we design our solutions; typically our specification engineers will be sitting with designers working over the plans and how to adapt and solve problems simultaneously,” the CEO said.
“When things do become challenging or go wrong for our customers, we also then have the depth of competence knowhow to solve the problem with our extensive repair range as we go along and then address new or emerging requirements on the construction site.
Employees are hired with an expertise and expectancy to be able to engage with clients on a peer-to-peer basis and are given specific training and international experience to ensure that they reach their potential with a sense of pride and determination that is exemplified by the company’s aptly named Warrior Programme reserved for sales personnel.
All of this internal ability is complemented by the pivotal external customers partnerships though, as Ladurelli said: “In any given structure there’s a huge amount of detail required and it’s impossible for one individual to know it all. What you need is trusted partners who are experts in their given field and who understand what you’re trying to achieve in order to quickly and easily give you workable, sensible, quality solution to what you’re doing.
“Over the next five years, we have the opportunity to build on these customer partnerships to increase our strength across Asia and our entire existing footprint, while there’s also a big opportunity to test ourselves as sectorial specialists.
“There are a number of sectors where we’ll become increasingly active and it’s our focus to behave in these sectors in a consistent manner so that you get one Fosroc, everywhere.”