Mr Geza Perlaki
September 30, 2019
This edition brings forth an insightful account of General Manager, Carmeuse (South East Asia), Mr Geza Perlaki. An avid believer of disciplined work-life balance, Mr Perlaki shares moments from his inspiring journey of nearly three decades. Today, when the manufacturing industry is on a roller-coaster ride, often visited by sudden high tides, Mr Perlaki is looking at the raw material market in South East Asia with a positive approach. Read his candid interaction with Stainless Post.
Who Is Mr Geza Perlaki? Tell Us About Your Educational Background.
To the world, Geza Emil Perlaki is a 48-year old Hungarian citizen who is happily married with 4 children. I graduated as a civil engineer from the Technical University, Budapest because I was fascinated by the marvels of construction and manufacturing. I was certain about pursuing a career in this direction from the very start. This led me to the Central European University, Budapest from where I completed my MBA.
What Are Some Of The Noteworthy Milestones Of Your Career So Far?
After an enriching experience of 4 years in a construction company based in Germany, and another 3 years in an infrastructure-related sales and marketing profile with a water, sewage, and natural gas plastic pipes business, I finally joined Carmeuse in 2000. In the last 19 years, I was entrusted with multiple roles here, like the general management in Hungary, the regional sales and marketing in Central Europe, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the South East Europe, business development in Asia, and general management in Asia.
In my current capacity, I am based in Bangkok, Thailand, and am responsible for operations of Carmeuse in the Middle East (UAE and Oman), India, and South East Asia (Thailand and the greater Indo- China region ). This comprises a workforce of 350 and a wide network of seven production plants with an annual quicklime output of 700-800kt, fetching the Company an annual turnover of USD 75 million.
What Are The Notable Changes And Trends Ruling Your Business? What Are Your Future Plans?
The lime business is driven by raw material availability and logistics. We are supplying to India from our bases in Oman and UAE, primarily due to the triple competitive advantage achieved here; 1) excellent limestone availability that is key to high and consistent product quality; 2) availability of natural gas that is a clean non-polluting fuel for calcination kilns; 3) efficient and low-cost logistics in India and South East Asia, that provide flexible access to nearly all key Indian ports including Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Vizag. This unique combination makes sure that we can provide a very high level of customer satisfaction via high-end products, customized logistical services, and increased of supply security.
Based on this efficient model, Carmeuse is continuously developing its production base. After investing in its own production plant in Oman (Carmeuse Majan) in 2014, and establishing a close partnership and an equity stake with another lime plant in Salalah (Associated Industries) in 2015, we started another production base under a Service and Management Agreement in the UAE (UMA Lime) in 2019. This base brings the network of production sites, serving the Indian market including Jindal Stainless, to three. In the near future, by end 2020, we plan to further expand the Oman facility with another calcination kiln.
When And How Did Your Journey With Jindal Stainless Begin? In Your Entire Gamut Of Customers, What Sets Jindal Stainless Apart?
I personally got to know Jindal Stainless in the early 2010s when I was still active in Business Development in Asia. Mapping the Indian steel industry for our initial market study in 2011-2013 made me visit most of the major Indian steel producers personally. This also included Kalinganagar area in Odisha, where we got in touch with Jindal Stainless. Later, after the establishment of the Oman facility, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited was one of our first customers. After that, we started our supply to Jindal Stainless Limited, Jajpur as well. We also went through a number of exercises with the Jindal Stainless management to jointly analyze the possibility of establishing and operating a captive plant in the Jajpur plant itself.
The steel sector is the largest consumer (by volume) segment of the quicklime market worldwide. However, for the most part, lime is considered as a commodity flux material. We are convinced that by providing high quality materials, that offer an overall lower cost to stainless steel customers by lower specific consumption, improved process parameters, higher metallic yield, and lower downtime, we maintain an exceptional total value proposition. Jindal Stainless is our partner in progress. As India’s largest stainless steel producer, Jindal Stainless is using a significantly higher proportion of flux than simple carbon steel mills. Also, it is immensely sensitive to quality. This makes Jindal Stainless an ideal customer in terms of an adaptive approach to the total cost of ownership we have towards markets.
What Is Your Message For The Young Entrepreneurs Out There?
First of all, it is essential for youngsters to choose their professions in life carefully. My advice would be to go with whatever you feel passionate about in your teenage years. You can only be good in something that you are genuinely interested in. The teenage is a period in life when fiscal considerations, impulses from the adult society, or other external factors are not yet blurring your vision. This also makes sure that you will find personal satisfaction in your profession. Second, do not try to be good at everything. Find your strengths and spend time playing them up. Third, as you cannot be good in everything, you need to be surrounded by a team that is specialized in other spots. You need to learn to delegate early, and have confidence in your team, motivate them and let them grow. Fourth, you can never be done with being at school. Believe me when I say this, you are sentenced to life-long learning and you should pursue this relentlessly. Fifth, develop a habit of managing personal finances. It will ultimately give you a sense of satisfaction and responsibility.