To reach the top of one’s chosen area of business is a monumental achievement in itself, requiring hours, days and years of dedication and commitment. But to maintain that position and to constantly challenge oneself to soar further and achieve more, is even more impressive. That is what one family has been continuing to do for two generations in the UAE, through their companies SPT Middle East General Trading LLC and Conchem Technical Services LLC.
Sudhakaran Polassery first arrived in the UAE in the year 1979 and managed to land a job as a sales executive at the Japanese multinational Mitsui & Co Ltd, Dubai. From those humble beginnings to today, more than four decades later, Sudhakaran is chairman of SPT Middle East, one of the leading plastic raw materials suppliers in the GCC region.
The company was established in 1996, winning over suppliers and customers over the years with its reputation for the highest quality of service. Today, SPT is associated with some of world’s most renowned manufacturers, including the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd and equally prominent customers who are leaders in their respective fields. In 2003, Reliance granted the company an exclusive agency to distribute PET resin in the region. In 2008, the company achieved a massive feat by being named Reliance’s number one agent in the world for PET resin, accounting for 25 per cent of the Reliance’s total export. Since then, the company has continued to maintain its position as one of the top three agents worldwide.
In the last year itself, SPT has doubled its sales force in order to penetrate the UAE and GCC markets further, plus expand its reach to the African and Indian subcontinent regions. The company is now poised for new strategic alliances with potential manufacturers to cater to new and emerging markets.
Sudhakaran’s son Abhilash, a chemical engineer with an MBA from the University of Washington, currently acts as Managing Director of SPT. After working as a business analyst at the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the US, and then working in the field as a chemical consultant with a major Australian multinational, Abhilash decided to join the family business and take it further and higher than before.
In 2017, Abhilash founded Conchem Technical Services LLC, a specialised construction chemicals and coating application company. The company has a management team with over 50 years of combined experience in the application of construction chemicals and coatings. The staff is NACE, SSPC, ACI and ICRI certified. Dealing with both government and commercial entities, Conchem has always provided service that combines reliability, quality of workmanship and value for money. It has an integrated management system combining ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001, which helps in maintaining and improving upon the expected standards of performance. Conchem currently works as applicators for some of the leading construction chemical suppliers in the world such as Sika, Mapei, BASF Master Builders, Fosroc, Jotun etc., and is often chosen as the preferred partner when it comes to large scale complex coating application projects. Within a short period of time, Conchem has successfully executed projects for reputed clients such as Emaar, Nakheel, Meraas, DEWA, Drydocks, Empower, DP Worlds etc. Conchem was also recently awarded the floor coating package for Al Shera’a DEWA’s headquarter, the tallest, largest and smartest Net Zero Energy Building in the world. Over the last 15 months, the company has tripled its workforce, due to the large number of projects added into their portfolio and the company’s confidence in the strong growth in the real estate and construction markets in the UAE. Abhilash now plans to diversify Conchem into the decorative and interior sectors.
On the occasion of the UAE National Day, Abhilash shared the following message: “I was born and raised in Dubai and despite being second-generation expat, never once have I felt like I don’t belong in this country. The UAE truly provides us with something special in terms of lifestyle and safety that no other country in the world can offer. Over the last year, the government’s handling of the Covid-19 situation has once again proved the exemplary leadership of this country, and we have managed to bounce back with all sectors thriving to a pre-Covid benchmark. I wish the UAE, it’s leaders, citizens and all residents a Happy 50th UAE National day, and I believe that this is just a beginning for the UAE, as a nation we have a bright future ahead.”