LAHORE - Aneel Butt recently conducted the interview of Sika chief executive officer (CEO) Naveed Bokhari for The Nation. He talked about his company, its services and related matters during the talk. The full interview of Sika CEO is as follows:

Q: Tell us about Sika and its products/solutions.

A: Sika AG is a more than 100 years old company with a much diversified history of catering the construction needs in all the five continents of the world. Sika has its own subsidiaries in more than 99 countries and 190 manufacturing facilities across the world. It provides most innovative solutions in construction, catering the demand from domestic to engineered infrastructures. Sika operates in seven target markets; concrete, refurbishment, flooring, sealing & bonding, industry, roofing & waterproofing. Sika believes in building trust which is the main slogan of the company. The company business has two major splits; construction and industry. In construction, we deal the demand on projects like Gothard Tunnel which is the world’s longest railway based tunnel while in Pakistan Sika has been actively involved in projects like Orange Line Train, Neelum Jehlum and BRTS, whereas in industry, we provide technologies which are shaping the new trends globally. We provide adhesives for automotive to make them lighter, safer and more durable.

Q: What about the construction market of Pakistan and its future?

A: Construction sector of Pakistan is growing fast; in fact infrastructure development is the backbone of any economy. In Pakistan there are not many brands of construction chemical companies. New technologies are shaping the world and we as nation are behind especially in the area of usage, know-how and technology, whereas Sika has a core philosophy of sharing knowledge and solutions for construction needs.

The construction solutions awareness with the effort of Sika is increasing. We have seen people inquiring the quality products on projects, for example, in hospitals and pharmaceuticals companies the users are inquiring for hygiene floors and wall coatings. Sika has been providing the same to contribute into a safer environment. Summing it all, Pakistan is an emerging economy with enormous potential, in construction from both residential projects to a mega infrastructure project’sperspective.

Q: How much difference Sika and other local brands have in price?

A: At Sika we believe in providing quality solutions and we charge prices for exactly what we provide. The biggest factor that differentiates Sika from any other product is the undying promise of providing our customers with the best through continuous innovation & development every day which stands out in the market. We provide quality solutions and consumers always choose quality over price. Secondly, I believe that we are globally interlinked; we have adopted international marketing strategies while localizing certain elements particular to Pakistani market which helps us create an edge in the market.

Q: Elaborate us about Sika research and development initiatives.

A: Sika’s success and reputation are based on its long-lasting tradition of innovation. At Sika we aim to provide our consumers with better solutions every day. Worldwide we have 1,400 employees in research & development (R&D), quality assurance (QA), and technology support (TS). Sika is also the largest manufacturer of one-component polyurethane sealants and adhesives worldwide. We have filed about 72 new patent applications every year and therefore Sika’s patent portfolio is constantly growing. Since inception we have filed more than 3000 patents in the field of construction chemicals. At present it comprises 682 unique patent families with more than 2,600 single national patents.

Q: 1)  How much Sika contributing in Pakistan construction industry?

A: Construction sector of Pakistan contributed 2.4% to gross domestic product in the FY2016. Although the figure is not very big unfortunately but, the housing and construction sector in Pakistan plays an important role in developing aggregate economy and reducing unemployment. It provides substantial employment opportunities as it contributes through a higher multiplier effect with a host of beneficial forward and backward linkage in the economy. Sika has been a part of this and now with the inauguration of new factory we hope to influence this figure even more.

Q: What are some of the projects where Sika products have been used?

A: Sika has a strong presence on various projects all across Pakistan. You name any construction activity, and we have a product for it. We have worked for Coca Cola Beverages Pakistan for strengthening of concrete beams. We have provided Duber Hydroelectric Plant with swell able water bars and concrete grouting admixtures. We have also provided sealant and bonding solutions for concrete at Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Plant, Rawalpindi. Our roof waterproofing technology has been used at Kohinoor Maple Leaf Group, Lahore. We are a provider or concrete admixtures and grouts at Emporium Mall under construction by Nishat Group. Sika has also contributed in several projects of national importance which includes Tarbela-4 hydropower, Sukhi Kinari hydropower, Karot hydropower, Patrind Hydropower. Our chemicals have been used in the rehabilitation of various dams & barrages like Jinnah Barrage, Head Sulemanki. In addition to these, Metro Bus project (BRTS), Orange Line, CPEC, Lowari Tunnel, IDAP Projects and Sahiwal Coal Power plant etc are also one of many projects Sika has worked on.

Q: How Sika is helping in CPEC progress?

A: Years of research plus decades of practical experience have enabled Sika to develop fully comprehensive systems and solutions to restore, rehabilitate and protect concrete structures. Sika offered globally recognized high quality solutions with European technology made available locally at the project. We ensured convenience of quality solutions and services to meet different requirements of the project. Our customer advice and support is second to none, from concept to successful completion on site. This is all based on more than 100 years of experience on large and small projects all over the world. Sika takes pride to have become a part of project of economic and national importance hence, contributing to the betterment of Pakistan’s construction chemical market.

Q: Sika has first LEED certificated factory in construction chemical sector of Pakistan. Tell us about LEED and its importance.

A: I take pride in the fact that our new manufacturing facility is the first construction chemical plant in Pakistan which has been awarded LEED Gold Certification by USGBC (United State Green Business Council). To brief you a little about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), it is an international rating system for buildings which evaluates the environmental performance of building and award points across several areas that address sustainability. Sika’s sustainable solutions enhance the utility of the project.

Sika is committed to reduce the risk and resource consumption. The strategic target of Sika is to focus on sustainable solution, energy, water/waste and occupational safety. Being a LEED certified building, Sika’s new factory will be resource efficient as a result of which it will be saving 20% energy and 50% of water efficiency in comparison to any other industrial facility in Pakistan. The vicinity has been built using 75% local indigenous building & construction materials. It has 30% better indoor air quality, having a substantial green area which will be providing our workers a safer and cleaner environment to work. By LEED certification Sika is successful to achieve its goals of having more value with less impact on environment, thus contributing to cleaner Pakistan.

Q: How many jobs Sika is providing after their factory launch in Pakistan?

A: This manufacturing facility will create 150 direct and 1000 indirect jobs by 2020.