In the conditions of the falling economy, about two years ago, the Rauta engineering company appears and firmly occupied its place on the Ukrainian market; Rauta is successfully developing and not only constructing buildings, but also building up the European attitude towards doing business in Ukraine. Rauta founder and Director Andrii Ozeichuk spoke about how the company manages to develop in such strict competition, as well as shared Rauta development plans.
How did the idea of the name of the new company appear?
The key role in creation belongs to the experience of work in several construction and production companies. I was especially inspired with the work in the team of the Ukrainian representative office of the Rautaruukki Scandinavian concern.
The word “rauta” means “iron” in Finnish. Firstly, this reflects well the field of our activity – work with steel materials, and secondly – it confirms our desire to apply in Ukraine the state-of-the-art experience gained in cooperation with the Scandinavians.
Did you create the company jointly with the Ruukki Ukraine team?
Yes, the Ruukki Ukraine professional team is the core of our company, but we are growing, with new specialists joining to strengthen our team. Our objective is to become a leader in application of state-of-the-art solutions in construction, building the work of our company on the overall system of values, mutual trust, and respect.
Which are the results of Rauta’s activity for the first year of operation?
For the year 2015, the Company grew to the medium business scale. The annual turnover exceeded 21 million UAH net of VAT, with profit comprising nearly 1 million UAH. We reinvested the whole amount of profit into expansion of the sales network, training employees, participation in exhibitions, certification, and industry development through participation in the activity of the Ukrainian Steel Construction Center Association.
During this period, branches were opened in Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odessa, and a new branch has recently been opened in Rivne.
Which was the amount of initial investments into the business?
It took around 1 million UAH to launch the business. This money was required for office operation during 7 months till first significant projects appeared.
Thus, the payback period comprised approximately one year.
Which construction segments do you operate in?
Today Rauta is the exclusive representative of the Ruukki Scandinavian concern in Ukraine concerning commercial products.
We supply to Ukraine sandwich panels produced by Ruukki in Poland, facade structures from Estonia, and lightweight steel frames from Belarus.
For commercial buildings, we offer design solutions, which enable more rational operation of the usable area, optimize layouts, and reduce the construction timing. Our buildings are based on hot rolled and galvanized steel with steel and reinforced concrete floor slabs, while a broad range of facade and roofing materials certified to European and Ukrainian standards, is used for the building envelope.
Very quick delivery and construction timing is a peculiarity of such buildings. We can design and supply a full set of materials for construction of prefabricated buildings with area of several tens of thousand square meters within only 1,5-2 months, while assembly of such a building cna take only a couple months.
Why do clients choose you among many other companies?
The peculiarity of Rauta is in our comprehensive approach to construction, which optimizes the construction timing and cost for the client.
For example, at a new project of agricultural products warehouse in Odessa we managed to reduce the specific metal content in the building frame by 30%, from 500 to 380 tons of steel, thus saving over 3 million UAH of the client’s money.
Which novelties do you offer?
Among the materials new for Ukraine, we offer the Cor-Ten atmospheric steel – the unique stained steel, in which the oxidation process stops at some moment, thus turning rust into coating, which protects metal from further corrosion. This results in steel facade with velvet texture, which is not washed with water and preserves for ever its live noble brownish color.
Unique steel perforated facades comprise rainscreen panel or linear systems of ventilated facades, on which we can apply perforation in the form of any pattern desired by the client. Combined with night backlighting, such facades become “live”, making the building extremely beautiful.
We are also the only company in Ukraine, which offers sandwich panels with film coating, onto which any pattern can be applied as per the client’s wish, thus making the facades of industrial buildings more expressive.
Have you got your own production?
Currently we are working as an engineering company and using Ruukki production facilities in the Central European and Scandinavian countries. Rauta development plans include creation in Ukraine of modern production of steel bearing structures and facade materials.
Which is the period for implementation of these plans and how much money is needed to launch such production?
Launch of such production can require $ 5-20 million, depending on the list of products to be manufactured. In this case, such plans are part of the company’s long-term development, and the speed of their implementation will largely depend on the general business climate in Ukraine.
In your opinion, which trends will prevail at the construction market in the foreseeable future?
The general improvement of the business climate gives rise to expectations of the increase of the construction works volume on production, logistics, office buildings, as well as infrastructural projects.
Experienced clients are already beginning to understand that in the current conditions it is more profitable to construct a building according to the modern energy-efficient technologies to reduce the operation costs in future.
For instance, specialists from the NOVUS company, one of our permanent clients, calculated that in terms of energy efficiency, it is better to invest into application of sandwich panels with increased thermal insulation on the construction stage to allow further cost-saving on heating and air-conditioning. Such investments are recovered within only a few years.
Application of air-tight building envelopes for further decrease of energy consumption of buildings will be the next step in development of construction technologies.
Have you already got contracts with foreign clients?
We have had several metal supply orders from Poland, however we had to refuse from their fulfillment due to extremely tight schedule of products’ manufacturing.
The fact that prior to entering contracts, foreign clients study the Ukrainian products for a long time and conduct audits of production facilities, also causes certain difficulties. After that, such clients think for a long time, make trial orders and discuss things again. We are right in the process of such “acquaintance” today.
How are you planning to build up your work in future?
For me the most important thing in business is the possibility to provide people with comfortable buildings built using state-of-the-art technologies. At the same time, I consider mutual trust and respect within the team as the key factors for implementation of such an objective. When people working together every day, see each other as personalities rather than just professionals, the common culture of creation is formed. Such a company quickly adapts to variable conditions and begins to work more efficiently. We practise a similar approach in our work with clients, who, after the first cooperation with us, remain our partners on all their further projects.
Source: Ukrainian Steel Construction Center