Interview with Marcos Morte about Algerian market – BATIMATEC 2015
Coinciding with BATIMATEC, ICV magazine has conducted an interview with Marcos Morte, Director General of MORTE in which a review is made of the keys to success in the Algerian market MORTE :
Last year, around this time, we asked you some questions about your particular view of the Algerian ceramics market. Have things changed, one year on? How would you characterise the Algerian market in 2015, with regard to your activities?
For MORTE, 2015 will be the year in which we consolidate our presence in Algeria. The Algerian market is recognizing the value of trusting a company like MORTE, which not only offers the best product on the market, but also the most profitable. Not to mention all our experience and technology, and our continuous investment in R&D to offer effective solutions that are tailor-made to meet our clients’ needs.
We should also highlight the commitment of the entire MORTE team to ensuring the best results for our clients and to working alongside Algerian ceramicists to develop new products. We work closely and attentively with our partners to implement major projects that will make the Algerian ceramics industry a global benchmark.
Is Algeria still a key area of development for your companies? Do you think that, in recent years, the demand for ceramics on the part of Algerian companies has evolved in any way? And if so, how?
Algeria remains one of our key areas of development. Our activities in Algeria are increasingly more important and the country has become a strategic, consolidated market for our activities in North Africa.
Moreover, many of the large ceramics companies we work with were created by international engineering firms, with whom MORTE is collaborating on the introduction of cutting-edge technologies into production processes.
What were the most important projects you undertook in Algeria during 2014?
Last year, MORTE fitted out new facilities at AMOURI EL KHEMIS, MESSAOUDI PREST, DJEDEI, SFAPROMACO, TAGHASTE, STE ZIBAN TRAVAUX, BELHADI, ARBAL and PROGEC-MAC.
We also conducted various studies with a six-exit B8 mould for the BOUIRA Group, comparing the results obtained with MORTE moulds to those of the competition.
The studies showed that MORTE moulds offer 20% more durability and longevity, which translates to greater profitability for our clients.
As a result of these studies the BOUIRA Group placed an order for three new moulds with MORTE technology for its B8 and B12 products. The moulds were successfully delivered on time.
These studies are evidence of the lengths we go to at MORTE to achieve profitability for our clients, by searching for new, more wear-resistant materials that improve their levels of competitiveness.
From a technical perspective, what are the new trends with regard to the machinery used by Algerian manufacturers of bricks and tiles?
At MORTE we have not noticed any significant changes in this respect. In Algeria it seems as though the market is continuing to focus on B8 and B12, and although a few clients may also produce filler blocks, their catalogue of products is very limited.
At MORTE we believe that the development of new products whose specifications are designed to improve thermal transfer and noise insulation would significantly improve the quality of the homes built in Algeria.
Accordingly, our clients can draw upon the experience that MORTE has in developing these types of products for the European market. This experience could be an important factor in increasing the competitiveness of Algerian companies that are thinking about incorporating this type of product into their range.
This is not your first time at Batimatec. In your opinion, how has this trade fair evolved over the years?
To be perfectly honest, in 2014 we ended up not having a stand at Batimatec for reasons beyond our control. At the last minute, the event organizers wanted to move us somewhere else, where we would have been separated from our clients both physically and thematically.
Despite that, we did attend the fair, and we have taken note of how Batimatec is becoming an increasingly stronger presence in our sector; so much so that in 2016 the organizers should think about creating a trade fair specifically for the ceramics industry.
For you, what are the positives and negatives of Batimatec? What suggestions would you like to make to the organizers?
As we said earlier, Batimatec has become an enormous trade fair in which many different sectors of the construction industry are represented. For this reason, maybe it is time to think about having a specific event for the ceramics industry.
Sum up, in a single sentence, a new product you will be presenting at Batimatec 2015.
At Batimatec we will be presenting our new mould-washing machine, along with different types of moulds made from durable metal that offer 20% more production capacity than the industry average.
What is your current position regarding the opening of offices or subsidiaries within the country? Are you planning on expanding into other countries in the Maghreb region?
Since 2009 MORTE has been represented in Algeria by METALTECH, who offer our clients superb technical assistance. This translates to greater agility in terms of service provision, fine tuning and even repairing our moulds, thereby extending their useful life.
This way of operating, with a permanent presence in Algeria, is valued especially highly by our clients, and encourages us to continue adopting this approach while ensuring our Algerian clients receive the benefits of all the technological advances that are made at the parent company.
Who are your main competitors in the Algerian market? How do you position yourself in relation to them?
Our main competitor in Algeria is the same as in all the markets in which we operate around the world. What makes us different is that, from the very beginning, we have focused not only on selling moulds, but also on increasing our clients’ profitability through our products and solutions. The use of materials that are highly resistant to abrasion, modular construction that facilitates the replacement of parts, and our mould-washing machine itself: everything is geared towards increasing the useful life of our moulds while maintaining the highest quality standards at all times.
Looking beyond North Africa, do you think that Sub-Saharan Africa (which is home to numerous clay quarries) could be the next market for expansion? If so, which countries do you consider to be the most promising?
At MORTE we are certain that Sub-Saharan Africa has enormous potential in terms of the development of the ceramics industry in the countries that make up the region. However, this will always depend on the social, economic and political conditions in these markets, which need to be able to offer companies stability, and on the development of models that are socially sustainable.