WACKER's long-term commitment to the Middle East & Africa
An interview with managing director Cyril Cisinski
Cyril Cisinski joined WACKER in 2000: “Even though I did not speak a word of German at the time and came from a completely different cultural background, it has now been more than 19 years that I work for WACKER.” He is still passionate about his job and excited about the future: “I am over 50 years old but I keep learning every day and every week that I work at WACKER and I will continue to do that.”
Today Cyril Cisinski talks about the history of the company, local challenges and how to approach them as well as the importance of communication, collaboration and education.
How did WACKER establish its business in the Middle East?
It started from the mid-1980s and through the 90s where we were mostly operating business in the Middle East through a selected number of distributors. WACKER made the first footprint here in Dubai in the late 90s by opening an office to scout the development of the construction market and its possibilities. As the business was growing and extending all across the Middle East, we established our first legal entity in 2009 in the Dubai Silicone Oasis freezone, where we are still located today.
What aspects of the company are global and which are still German?
Over the last 15 years this company became a truly global company. In the Munich headquarter like in any organization we not only meet German employees, we meet poeple from all over the world. WACKER is German in terms of technology, know-how and structure. Our strategy is to understand the region as well as the customers, to develop talents within the region and to establish a long-term commitment. WACKER is truly a global company but operating on German quality.
“What is important to us is for the market to recognize the sustainable aspect of our technologies.”
– Cyril Cisinski
What are the strengths of WACKER Chemicals Middle East & Africa?
Companies in the Middle East and Africa value WACKER as a competent solution provider. Many of these are from the construction sector. A commercial building in Cape Town is exposed to different weathering effects than a skyscraper in Dubai. The demands on construction materials differ correspondingly. Our experts in Dubai are familiar with the various conditions in the Middle East and Africa and know what components produce the formulations that are best for the region. It is not just the construction industry that relies on our solution expertise, however. We are also valued highly in the life sciences, personal & home care, adhesives, energy, electronics and textiles sectors.
What are some regional challenges?
We are covering 68 countries in Africa and the Middle East and they are extremely heterogeneous. This diverse market comes with economic and social challenges as well as different environmental and sustainability topics that need to be addressed according to the local needs. Since the culture and the way of doing business here differs from other regions in the world, we need to operate the business for this region from this region. It is important to understand each other. The multiculturalism of our organization reflects the multiculturalism that we find at the market place of our customers.
What do you value about the local people?
What is really exciting about working in such a region is the dynamic. People want to move forward. They are not weighted down by history so their minds are completely open. The atmosphere is very positive and enthusiastic. When they are given a task or a project to empower them, they take it on with a lot of excitement. The challenge they have to face is the difference in cultural backgrounds but this difference fades away as people work side by side with the same purpose, the same objective and as a team.
A conversation with Cyril Cisinski, managing director of WACKER Chemicals Middle East & Africa
What is the next big thing in your industry?
Your products need to keep pace with the times if you want to win over customers. By working together, we can pinpoint what suits you best. We are your innovation partners – with WACKER, you have a research-intensive company at your side. At our laboratories around the world, we pursue new developments in silicone and polymer chemistry. We are experienced in creating products that have the potential to be a market success. Regard WACKER as an innovation partner who develops new products together with you and strengthens your competitive position.
– Cyril Cisinski
Why do you think WACKER is rather good at innovating?
Great ideas are created when specialists discuss unresolved challenges. And that is precisely one of our strengths. To find the right answers, we provide our customers with a global network of technical centers and WACKER ACADEMY training centers. If you look at our local facility in Dubai, that’s a very dynamic platform for industry professionals. We are training more than 1500 people per year. Our customers interact face-to-face with our experts and their peers while working in state of the art laboratories. This close collaboration helps a lot to develop new solutions – which often go far beyond the product.
In what way?
A new formulation is only truly good if it harmonizes with the customer’s machines. For us, this means taking the production processes into account right from the start. What's more, we ensure that the new formulation complies with national standards, high-quality raw materials and local climatic conditions. While keeping this all in mind, we test the products in accordance with certified procedures. For some product innovations, we even set up pilot plants to test the new formulation under real-life conditions if requested by the customer.
What role does the technical center in Dubai play here?
It is pivotal to all our activities. It is where new products are developed and existing ones are adapted for local markets. This often yields ideas for other regions, too. Our customers in the Middle East and Africa can profit from the wealth of experience available through the WACKER global scientific community.
Beyond the Formulation
Successful new products focus on the entire supply chain. This starts with the formulation. What components fit together? In what mixing ratio? And at what cost? Our experts at the Dubai technical center are familiar with regional raw materials and can develop formulations that are ideal for your market. In doing so, they take account of your production methods, local high-quality raw materials and national standards. Your employees can profit from knowledge transfer at the local WACKER ACADEMY training center, where they will find out everything about preparing the new formulation, how it is processed, its application fields and marketing.