INTERVIEW with Mr. Jacobo Perez Polaino – SIKAApril 27, 2021
1. Introduce Sika company and Sika business/ project in Vietnam.
Sika has been serving in the Vietnam market since 1993 as a 100% foreign owned company, a subsidiary of Sika AG, Switzerland.
Sika Vietnam offers products and solutions for most construction and industrial applications.We always put the need of customers at the center of our business; our products and offering are tailored to meet local and global customers’ requirements.
We are reliable partners of designers, consultants, owners and construction companies. Our unique approach is based on the quality of our products and our excellent technical service.
As a leading supplier of specialty chemicals, Sika provides full solutions for most construction applications and projects.
Sika Vietnam has had remarkable successes in its 28 years of operation in the Vietnamese market, thanks to its innovative development and technology-leading products with outstanding quality. We are proud of what we have achieved and confidently move forward with the most optimistic view.
2. Introduce your Management team in Vietnam and if there is any Spanish, include him/ her profile.
Among 10 members of Management Team, we count 4 nationalities; Vietnamese, Philippino, English and Spanish. 40% of Sika Vietnam Management team are women.
I’m 39 years old and I married the Spanish lady. I took my Civil Engineering studies in Spain. After my graduation, I worked for 5 years in Spain. Following that time I joined the civil works in Hungary where I was working for 3.5 years.
In the year 2012, I arrived to Indonesia with Sika where I worked for 6 years. The first 3 years I was Key Project Manager and the following 3 years I also took responsibilities of Flooring and Roofing Manager. In early 2018, I was appointed General Manager of Sika Cambodia where I kept the role until March of 2020 when the company relocated me in Vietnam as General Manager.
3. How do you think EVFTA will benefit EU and Vietnam companies? Are there any new strategies that you’re adapting for this new situation?
EVFTA is definitely a step ahead for most European companies to develop Vietnamese market. In our case, 85% of our products are manufactured locally, what minimize our dependance on imported goods for Europe.
In the mid term, I do expect that the increased presence of European products will bring up the expectations of local customers and will help to position European companies as market and technology leaders in the Vietnamese markets.
Likewise, European nations will benefit of Made in Vietnam products, helping to reduce the single source reliance in China.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges in your industry? Following 2020 where COVID was present a all levels, in 2021 we are seeing how increase cost of raw materials and trade unbalances generated during 2020 are challenging the ability of private sector to meet customers expectations.
Inflation is also a major concern as lack of regulation of construction materials may push owners and contractors to select lower quality alternatives to avoid cost increases in their projects.
5. What do you expect from the Spanish Business Association?
Spanish Business Association should serve as platform for private sector to exhange ideas and agree on action plans that can bring mutual benefits for Vietnamese and foreign companies like.
In this aspect, training, advocacy, workshop with different public sector entities would greatly help members of the Association to reach to a larger audience and describe better their value proposition.
6. Future plans of Sika Vietnam.
Sika Vietnam has a very aggressive plan for 2021 to grow our business and claim additional market share in all different segments where we participate:
• Focus in infrastructure and our strategic partners
• Make every single home owner in Vietnam aware of how Sika products can make their house more durable and reduce maintenance and repair cost in the long term
• Customer first. Listen to your customer and be flexible to adapt our solutions to their needs
Sika Vietnam is also looking actively into expansiton and, M&A to enlarge their presence in the country and confirm our long term commitment to Vietnam. Sika is here to stay, Sika is here to lead the construction market!
Thanks to Mr.Jacobo for sharing his experience with us.