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Cable business gets tougher

Competition in the market is hotting up as contracts become scarcer

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Competition in the local cable market is hotting up as contracts have become scarcer, according to Nabil Zoghbi, export sales manager for Nexans.

Zoghbi estimates there has been a decrease of about 40% in cable-related contract activity, mainly in construction projects. However, the wider utilities sector continues to perform well for the cable industry.

“We concentrate on high-tech or special products, like fire resistant cables,” he said. “We concentrate on special cables, not manufactured locally, or big projects, where local companies do not have the capacity to supply the complete order.”

The company has been working with regional utilities, such as DEWA, where it has been providing both medium and high-voltage cables. Sourced from factories around the world, the company faces stiff competition as the size of orders have shrunk.

“We have tough competition in these areas,” said Zoghbi. “Until now DEWA demand was so high that none of the local manufacturers was able to satisfy it all. They were issuing tenders in huge quantities; five, six or seven thousand km of cables.”

This has changed and now Zoghbi feels the value of relationships is greater than ever. With many types of non-specialist cables effectively being a commodity, there are plenty of companies that can supply orders.

“This makes the personal relationship very important,” he said. “When you come along with a project requiring big quantities, we can mobilise more factories.”

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