Managing Director of BASF Central Asia, Mr. Krueckl Florian, answers the questions from the Kazakhstan Magazine.
How Kazakhstan’s market is prospective today for BASF and what industries are placed stake on?
Since almost 20 years we are active in Central Asia and in Kazakhstan. We started with a Representative Office and later on we founded BASF Central Asia LLP, a 100% group company of BASF – The Chemical Company. That shows our commitment especially towards Kazakhstan and in turn it tells you that we see steadily growth of the local market and of the diversification of the industries. Currently our main focus is on construction, agricultural, mining and gas treatment industries.
Please tell in detail how you have come to this business and how you have appeared in the chemical industry?
BASF – The Chemical Company offers great job opportunities for its employees around the world. Especially in the region of the group headquarter BASF is well known and attracts many people as an employer; so did it happen with me. It is great working for our company as we create solutions and products you use every day. So it is really an invisible contribution, but a visible success. Since almost 15 years I am working for BAS F and I had lots of really exciting assignments. The latest offer was to get my current assignment here in Central Asia and I am very proud to manage a company which offers all in once: big challenges and a growth track above the GDP growth in once.
Double the sales until 2020, fully comply with environmental, health and safety rules of the country and our company as well as fully respect our compliance rules.
For the existing business we have a superior position in the market already – our ambition to be always one step ahead of competition will remain and we will grow above market growth rates in a profitable manner. We will certainly increase our efforts to grow businesses according to our strategy where we understand the individual markets already.
Talking about new business fields, we first of all need to understand which industries at which steps of the value chain will be settled in our region. Having gained these insights we certainly will derive in collaboration with our valued customers their needs in terms of products, services and complete solutions. We always strive for excellence – so this is also valid for our customer relationships. We want to make our customers more successful.
What products in your opinion will become most popular in the near future in Kazakhstan?
Also in Kazakhstan we will certainly see the need to follow the global trends such as: growing & aging population, urbanization, energy demand & climate protection as well as globalization and developing markets. These trends are leading to the need for solutions in the areas of health & nutrition, construction & housing, energy & resources as well as mobility & communication. All products that are supporting these solutions will become attractive. BASF – The Chemical Company will certainly always find a solution for the customers working in these fields of the future.
How do you evaluate the level of competition among chemical enterprises in Kazakhstan?
It very much depends on the individual segments. As an example we perceive a tough competition in the construction chemical area where some competitors do choose a route to market strategy which is obviously based on extremely low prices in order to gain market share. The future might tell us if that is a sustainable business approach or not.
What changes are possible in this sector of the country due to creation of the Customs Union?
Wesee that the overall implementation is managed better and better by every day. From a strategic point of view one could argue that the chemical industry will invest in assets within the Russian Federation and can sell the products very easy to Kazakhstan. An investment in the Russian Federation might be for some companies of a higher attractiveness due to the higher local demand.
For our company Customs Union did not change much. Products we need to import are pre-dominantly from Turkey, Germany and Switzerland – so this Customs Union is not supporting us here. Our export business is going mainly to Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan, also here no support.
Wehave a well working target agreement and appraisal system in place for each employees of the company – from production to sales. That makes our goals very transparent for the individuals. More important is the frequent personal contact and discussion with the employees. The people need to feel that they contribute to the overall success of the company, independently what job they are doing – everyone counts at BASF.
Say what you think and do what you say. Furthermore I am always passionated about my jobs which leads me to keep a certain discipline to work on improving the company and become even more successful than we are already. Another aspect is the team that surrounds me – having an excellent and diverse team in place is of utmost importance to achieve the goals.