Resilience will see the metals industry through COVID-19

By: Mohamed Al Ahmedi, CEO Ducab Metals Business

COVID-19 has caused global disruption across all industries. The metals sector is no exception, with the pandemic having impacted all aspects of the supply chain – from sourcing raw materials through to import and export procedures for final products, as well as manufacturing and all administrative work that accompanies each step of the process. This slump, however, is not permanent; metal is a resilient commodity and will bounce back once global economies resume some degree or normality.

In general, the demand for commodities is low at present, especially for metals given that many non-essential manufacturing businesses are either temporarily closed or working at reduced capacity to accommodate social distancing and employee safety. Industry is, however, beginning to open up once again. Dubai for example has opened its doors to the world once more, and while we are still adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene standards, business is returning to normalcy across all sectors.

As an essential component of the UAE’s industrial sector and economy, Ducab Metals Business, along with all other divisions of Ducab Group, was allowed to operate throughout the national lockdown. To do so, we adopted a rapid shift in operational procedure across the company; employees who could work from home did so, while those working on the factory floor adjusted rapidly to precautionary working conditions to protect themselves and their colleagues. We introduced social distancing and increased disinfection measures in order to keep our people as safe as possible, while still meeting deadlines on our orders to deliver to our customers with the same level of experience they expect from us.

This method has proven successful for us over the last few months, and will likely influence future operations – not only for Ducab Group and Ducab Metals Business, but for fellow industry leaders who have remained operational during this unusual time. It goes without saying that shutting down operations is simply not a viable option for neither a business nor the economy it contributes to, therefore companies are finding new ways to be resilient. With no clear end in sight to the global disruption caused by COVID-19, we must all plan to follow our new ‘normal’ until it is no longer required. This will help to safeguardbusinesses, jobs, and economic contribution as much as possible – because all three are essential for the inevitable bounce-back once the novel coronavirus is under control.

As mentioned above, Ducab Metals Business (DMB) has remained operational during the lockdown. We officially launched DMB in March, consolidating existing divisions of Ducab Group – Ducab Aluminium Company (DAC) and Ducab Copper Rod Plant – under one dedicated umbrella, in alignment with the dynamic nature of our customers’ businesses. There is typically a strong demand for tailor made products, designed specifically to meet the unique needs of each project.Even though there is a lull in general infrastructure development and construction at this time due to the pandemic, there are still several critical projects ongoing. DMB is dedicated to supplying copper and aluminium solutions to our customers in India and across the world. This is especially important to us as we have a truly international clientele, with 75 per cent of our production exported to more than 35 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

DMB’s aluminium and copper products predominantly serve companies in the electrical manufacturing industry. We have the capacity to design solutions that will be manufactured in DMB’s existing copper rod and aluminium factories, both of which are based in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Our customers in India, in the utilities sector, automotive sector, and more, have long since relied upon the quality of product and service that can be expected fromDucab, and DMB will continue to build upon the lasting legacy we have established over the last 40 years.

DMB caters to customers’ needs in India with copper rod, aluminium rod and alloy products, with the same quality guarantee that Ducab has provided over four decades of operations. Over the years, products created by Ducab Group have been incorporated into numerous prestigious projects in India, includingDelhi Metro and Lucknow Metro, as well as supplying automotive harness made from Ducab’s copper to the majority of car makers in India.By adapting our operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to become more resilient and sustainable, we will be able to continue to supply quality products to power India’s growing infrastructure and construction sectors in particular.

Resilience and sustainability will prove to be keywords for the metals industry, and many others, once we emerge from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Competitiveness will play an essential role in recovery efforts, though this should never be at the cost of quality. Ducab is wholeheartedly committed to developing and manufacturing world-class products that deliver quality to the highest standards; sub-standard products are not only inferior, but have the potential to be hazardous in certain situations, especially in terms of cables conveying electricity.

We may not be able to precisely predict what turns the global economy may take in the months to come due to the changeableness of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact remains that the metals business will continue to be a critical component of all future developments, from infrastructure to construction to manufacturing. DMB, and Ducab Group are committed to serving our customers better regardless of the circumstances. We will continue to seek new ways in which to do so, such as by expanding our metals services offerings, while retaining the health and safety of our workers as a priority.