Kirby Southeast Asia: Creating a brand to reckon with

09:20 | 04/01/2019 Companies

(VEN) - Over 10 years in Vietnam, pre-engineered steel builder Kirby Southeast Asia has established strong brand recognition and implemented over 1,500 projects. The world’s leading pre-engineered steel building (PEB) company is also one of the most successful foreign investors in Dong Nai Province with a total investment of more than US$17 million. Vietnam Economic News’ Phung Ky spoke with  Anup Kumar Dave, General Director of the Kirby Southeast Asia Co. Ltd.,   about the company’s achievements over a decade of its presence in Vietnam, and the direction of sustainable development in the country in general and Dong Nai Province in particular.

creating a brand to reckon with
Anup Kumar Dave, General Director of Kirby Southeast Asia Co. Ltd.

How would you assess the changes in investment climate in Dong Nai in recent years?

After more than 10 years of investing in Dong Nai, we have seen that the province is developing in the right direction, especially in the industrial sector. Many companies in textile/garments, manufacturing and food processing have moved to the province. The provincial officials are very active in attracting investment to the province, organizing many meetings between investors and various departments, and taking other steps to promote the province’s image with various incentives.

What are the advantages and challenges that Kirby has faced in doing business in Dong Nai in particular and Vietnam in general?

With its convenient location and connection to Ho Chi Minh City and other good conditions, Dong Nai offers us several advantages for investing and doing business here.

The biggest challenge for Kirby is manpower attrition and paucity of skilled workmen. We require good quality fitters and welders who have the right experience to handle complex fitting and welding requirements. To deal with this issue, we have set up our own Capacity Building Center where we train fresh graduates from local technical schools and get them certified from international agencies like Lloyds Register.

What are your future investment and hiring plans?

We have invested more than US$17 million in the current facility in the province. We keep investing every year and expanding the plants in our existing location. We also have plans to invest further in coming years. Besides, we regularly recruit people to meet increasing demand from customers. For the last three years, Kirby Southeast Asia has added more than 50 people every year.

What are the factors that make Kirby competitive and able to grow sustainably in Vietnam?

Kirby Building Systems is one of the largest pre-engineered steel building (PEB) companies in the world and is a 100 percent subsidiary of Kuwait- based multinational and multi-billion dollar business conglomerate - Alghanim Industries, one of the largest privately-owned companies in the Middle East.

Kirby pioneered the PEB technology first in the Middle East in 1976 and later in India in 1999. Our product range consists of pre-engineered steel buildings (PEB) applicable for factories, warehouses, metro rails, supermarkets, aircraft hangars, sports stadiums, auditoriums, etc.

Other products include structural steel, sandwich panels, storage solutions, Kirby Roof (KR), Kirby Wall (KW), Kirby Deep Decking Panel and Kirby Standing Seam Panel (KSS-600). Kirby has a total of five manufacturing facilities located in Kuwait, Ras-Al-Khaimah (UAE), Vietnam and India, with a total capacity of about 400,000 MT per annum.

We have over 10,000 employees and more than 78 sales offices located across six geographical regions, namely the Gulf Cooperation Council, the rest of the Middle East, the Indian Sub-Continent, Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Kirby has more than 350 certified builders globally for erecting steel buildings and structures. It engages in other trades and takes on turnkey projects.

We are known for doing complex projects including installation based on our competence and ability to complete diverse projects in time and in line with customer’s needs.

What are some of Kirby’s achievements in Vietnam after 10 years of officially operating in the country?

In Vietnam, Kirby Southeast Asia has been operating since 2008 with our factory located in the Nhon Trach 3 Industrial Zone, Dong Nai Province. Kirby has offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hanoi and at all South East Asian countries to facilitate the provision of best, fast customer service not only in Vietnam but also in other countries within and outside the region, like Thailand , Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Brunei and Australia. Our biggest achievements include building a reputed, recognized brand “Kirby” in the region and executing projects for all big local and multinational companies. Within 10 years, we have completed more than 1,500 building projects in the region.

What do you think about Vietnam’s business climate in general and the impacts of the country joining the CPTPP agreement and signing FTAs with other countries?

With the CPTPP and FTA we foresee more opportunities emerging for setting up manufacturing facilities especially in steel, power, textile/garment and food processing sectors.

Based on Kirby’s experience, what advice would you give others on doing business and investing successfully in Vietnam?

We have always followed the “Kirby Way”, where we focus on innovation, training of manpower and empowering people to enhance their engagement. This has helped us to improve productivity and business volume consistently. Moreover, we never forget the need to protect the environment while growing. We keep planting trees, install energy efficient equipment and deploy efficient manufacturing processes.

Phung Ky