Interview with Mr. Tufail Ahmed Sheikh – COO, Safe Mix Concrete Ltd
Mr. Tufail Ahmed Sheikh is currently serving Safe Mix Concrete Limited in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer. He has an extensive experience of ready mix concrete industry spanning an appreciable period of over nine years. He also has to credit a couple of years’ experience of working as Marketing Manager in Dewaan Salman Fiber Limited and has also served the same in company in capacity of Assistant Manager Marketing and Research for two years.
He is a thorough professional who has earned his Civil Engineering degree from NED University of Engineering & Technology and has done Masters of Business Administration from Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences.
Safe Mix Concrete Limited (Safe Mix) is engaged in providing ready mix services to its customers. It was incorporated in April 2005 and was listed on the then Karachi Stock Exchange in 2010. It is the only public listed company in the industry. With vast experience, highly qualified human resources and state-of-the-art equipment, Safe Mix endeavors to provide the best quality services to its customers. Safe Mix has successfully been able to provide its services to mega projects in Pakistan including Naya Nazimabad and Emaar to name a few.
PAGE: your views on construction activities in Pakistan:
Tufail Ahmed Sheikh: With the fall of interest rates, falling oil prices and ever-increasing demand from housing sector, construction activities have positive future prospects in Pakistan.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is further expected to boost the economy of the country and increase construction activity in the country. Respected Prime Minister has already inaugurated 193-kilometres long Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Motorway in Balochistan and further highways are expected to be constructed in Balochistan in the near future.
Diverting resources towards the under developed areas of Pakistan, construction of dams to cater the electricity needs of the country are all expected to increase the economy at a faster rate and increase construction activity in the country.
PAGE: How would you comment on the use of ready mix concrete in Karachi in construction activities?
Tufail Ahmed Sheikh: With increased construction activity in the country, the use of ready mix concrete is increasing in Karachi. However, preference is given by decision makers to conventional/unorganized method of concrete over ready mix concrete due to availability of cheap labor in the country, complex legal/documentation requirement for ready mix concrete and lack of proper monitoring by authorities as to compliance of safety measures.
However, I would like to give credit to Sindh Building Control Authority for introducing the mandatory use of ready mix concrete for construction of buildings ground plus five upper floors in Karachi. This would help to achieve the desired quality of concrete for safe, sound and stable structures in Karachi.
PAGE: Your views on the competition in ready mix concrete business:
Tufail Ahmed Sheikh: It is a highly competitive industry especially because ready mix concrete being provided is highly homogeneous in nature. With low cost of entry into the industry, many companies are entering into the market. The buyers have a wide variety to choose from. However, this has helped improved the quality of services in the industry.
PAGE: Your comments on the prospects for ready mix concrete business in the days to come:
Tufail Ahmed Sheikh: Ready mix concrete is highly being used all over the world. With increasing awareness of ready mix concrete and development works in the country the prospect of this business is good. Problems do exists due to availability of unorganized sector/conventional method of concrete but the government will have to take steps to align the unorganized sector with the ready mix concrete industry to fully reap the benefits of the ready mix industry. Nevertheless, in order to fulfill the growing demand in the construction industry, ready mix industry has a good prospect for the future.