GRP Industries: Leading a legacy
Armed with passion for education and a drive to innovate, Suneel Aggarwal has dedicated his life to expanding upon GRP Industries' status as a leading manufacturer of composite products for equipment protection in the UAE and the Gulf.
CEO of GRP Industries Suneel Aggarwal's initiation into business came at an early age, as he witnessed his father and founder of the organisation, Sudesh K. Aggarwal, pioneer and launch the company to be one of the first UAE based manufacturer and developer of glass-reinforced polyester (GRP) products for outdoor equipment protection in the Power sector.
"My father is my mentor and has been so throughout my life. I was raised between Dubai, Sharjah and the US; and have always had a deep passion for educating myself as well as a strong drive of competition. These qualities drove me to curate my education for my career ahead and pushing me to distinguish myself over my peers," said Suneel.
As someone honed to join a family-grown business, Suneel, pursued the skills he identified would be required to add value to GRP Industries and take the company to new heights.
"Contrary to my peers who go about their education trying to decide which career to pursue, my journey was a bit different. It was very focused, it felt like a privilege and a burden, knowing precisely which direction I would be heading and a drive to make my mark on a successful business," he said.
And so, Suneel made his way to the US to pursue higher education and experience, and returned to the UAE with degrees in engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
During this course, and with opportunities to travel between the US and UAE, Suneel undertook various roles at GRP Industries for experience, ranging from production and sales to business development. With a desire to continuously acquire knowledge, which he continues till present, he further also explored accounting, finance, law and other courses beyond his college education, so he could diversify his skills around the several operations within a business.
"I aimed for a wide range of intellectual acuity in engineering, finance and business; merged with practical work experience at GRP Industries. So, after achieving my MBA degree at 27, I was confident and eager to get to work in taking the company to a new frontier," he said.
In 2008, Suneel took on the role as Chief Executive Officer at the company and since then, GRP Industries has never looked back. He has devoted his knowledge and acumen towards raising the company to a global platform.
"I often say that I have GRP running though my veins because it has been with me throughout my life and I carry a deep-rooted love for the company and close relationships with its people. This love motivates me to go beyond a professional capacity and dive deep into all aspects of our operations," he said.
To date, GRP Industries is the preferred manufacturer in the UAE for weatherproof protective products in the UAE catering to the power sector, and expanded into industrial sectors, such as water, oil and gas, as well as solar, telecom, mining and marine applications. Here, it offers products such all-weather enclosures and kiosks that certify protection against various outdoor elements, including rain, humidity, fire, static, extreme temperatures, UV rays, dust, corrosion, and even impact.
"As our history is rooted in the UAE, GRP Industries' expertise in climate protection and the specifications requirement is centered on the Gulf region, but we have expanded upon our product range and our supply lines stretch to different markets around the world. We design, certify and manufacture products catered to the range of climate conditions around the world, and are proud to have two million of our products installed in 34 countries in our 31 years' history," he said. Adding that the core business model is not centred around products but being a solution provider for outdoor protection requirement, with design and production of bespoke products with value-added services provided to customers.
Under his wing, GRP Industries expanded its operations across the UAE, Oman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, US, and has plans to continue its expansion. It established a wide distributor network in countries like Singapore, Italy, Iraq and the United Kingdom. The company's future plans are to have its products reach further parts of the globe by taking its sales online and empowering clients to design products digitally.
During his journey at GRP Industries, Suneel actively recruited to form the teams at the company, and takes great pride in his people and the team-centric organisation culture.
"These teams now make up new departments in design, procurement, estimation, logistics, production, and marketing. First, the goal was to have talented people on-board to form these teams. Then it was essential to invest financially and in effort to implement systems, software, training and procedures for these teams to collaborate and bring their best work forward, Next, we focused on our corporate mission, culture and giving our people opportunities to grow with the company," he added.
These initiatives have helped GRP Industries continuously improve on various fronts, including its value proposition it promises to clients, and creating a culture within the organisation that prioritises exceeding customer satisfaction, product innovation, teamwork, taking risks and accepting change; all while doing so ethically.
"We are always trying to do things better. It is a mountain climb without a peak, and the pursuit is the goal," he concluded.
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