Creation is our Business Philosophy
PetroleumMagazine interviews Sergey Volkov, General Director, SIE Glass Reinforced Plastic Pipe Plant LLC (Kazan)
-Mr Volkov, two years ago you’re already familiar to the readers of the Petroleum magazine with your enterprise, and hose interested we invite to read your interview- “Leader of new technologies”, published in the October issue of the magazine as of the year 2011. It is also posted on the magazine’s website on the Internet. Therefore, we will not focus on the history of the enterprise. The first question is the following: what important events happened in the life of your company, right from the moment of the last interview, taken two years ago?
-I will start with our milestone date: in February 2012 we celebrated 10 years of the Scientific and Industrial Enterprise Glass Reinforced Plastic Pipe Plant. Having started our operations with the production and supply of the tubing for the OJSC “Tatneft”, today the plant actively cooperates with all the leading oil companies in Russia and abroad.
In our work we use the best domestic and international experience in the field of composite materials and nanotechnology, as well as own scientific, engineering and technological developments. The brand GRP is known for all oilmen and global producers of the similar products. This brand works successfully competes with the world’s leading companies and virtually it has no rivals in terms of quality and price.
The plant’s products are unique according to their properties: they are rated for the higher working pressures up to 300 atmospheres and above, their absolute resistance to corrosion and chemical resistance to the aggressive environment of the oil fields, high reliability and durability. All these parameters are proved by many years of experience and customers’ feedback.
High quality of production and the company’s achievements in the technological area deserved by many national and international awards, among them: ‘The Best Enterprise of Europe’, the diploma for ‘The contribution to the Development of Russia’, in the category “Company of the Year-2009’, the prestigious European awards in the area of quality. The company was awarded with the prize of the Government of Tatarstan for quality.
So, we crossed a psychologically significant 10-year milestone, and the fact that the composite materials and nanotechnology turned into one of the primary drivers of the industrial development of Russia, the plant has the big plans for the future and we are confident in our performance. Today we are actively engaged in work on the expansion of production in our country; in 2014, we are planning to start a construction of the new plant, similar to the existing one. Preparatory work is held at present.
Just recently, in August 6, the Kazan Kremlin hosted a solemn ceremony of State awards of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan, where I’ve received a medal “For Valorous Labor” from the hands of the President of Tatarstan Rustam N. Minnikhanov. I consider this award not only as mine, but as a recognition of our entire team, who managed to build a unique, high-tech production for the last eleven years.
-We know that the competition in the market of GRP pipes is quiet serious. A consumer makes his choice, considering two parameters: price and quality. How do you maintain a high level of quality and provide competitive prices for so many years?
-The quality of our products meets the highest global standards. To meet such demanding requirement for the suppliers of oil companies, our company implemented a quality management system, certified for compliance with the requirements of the ISO 9001, ISO/TS 29001 API Q1 standards.
The SIE GRPP LLP’s activities in the market are evaluated by the high ratings and positive feedbacks from the oil companies, that use our products. The products received many awards of the Russian and international organizations, diplomas of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan. So, we recently received the international certificate of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM)- the Recognized Excellence.
In 2012, our plant made an self-assessment according to the criteria of the European award and it provided the inputs to the European Foundation for Quality Management. After direct evaluation by the EFQM assessors , the plant received a certificate, confirming that the management system of the company meets the standards of “Recognised Excellence” at the 5 -star level. The EFQM certificate “Recognised excellence” confirms the high level of management of the company in accordance with the model of perfection.
The model was developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management in 1991. The organization that represents the model of perfection in the best way, becomes the owner of the European quality award. This prize has been awarded since 1992, and it is a globally recognized symbol for the outstanding achievements of the company. The status of recognized excellence indicates that our enterprise improves its performance and increases the product quality, using the advanced global experience and implementing the best management technology, using the best materials.
As for the prices, we make all efforts to establish the perfect quality of our products affordable to the wide range of consumers. For example, our plant proposes the well casing for drilling of oil, gas and water wells. The selling price for the tubing is significantly lower than the prices of other producers. Therefore, those companies who recently placed their request for purchasing the pipes, now turned into our regular customers.
Due to the fact that we have established a high-tech production of tubing, we can provide the significant discounts for the wholesale batches of the tubing. The low cost of the pipes relates to the optimization of technological process with the use of nanotechnology, which makes the fiberglass pipes production simple and cost-effective process.
In addition to the production and shipment of the pipes, our company has an important advantage: we assist in the integral installation of the piping systems and we provide the warranty and post-sale service.
-What is the range of products that you can offer for your consumers? And what are your plans for the Kazakhstani market?
- The company “Glass Reinforced Pipe Plant” offers a wide range of the following products:
- well drilling pipes;
- line pipes;
- material and technical supplies;
- sewage pipes;
I should highlight that every year the glass-reinforced pipes of the GRPP find an increasing application in the oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan. For example, only at one of the facilities in the Republic of Kazakhstan, for the last 12 months, there were over 110 km of our tubing used for the site operations.
However, we do not limit ourselves to the simple pipe delivery. As part of a ‘full package’ policy, the plant controls all the process of pipe installation and it is engaged in training of staff. For this purpose we have the permanent specialists in Kazakhstan, whose work is coordinated at place by Mr. R.G.Nurgatin, the Deputy General Director of Scientific and Industrial Enterprise Glass Reinforced Plastic Pipe Plan LLC.
In April 2013, the Deputy General Director and Head of the Moscow Office of the Plant, Mr. R.S. Volkov, during his business trip to the fields of Kazakhstan, had acquainted with the process of lowering of the tubing, made by the GRPP. Among the observed there are smooth interaction and a high level of mutual understanding between the GRPP and Kazakhstani oil companies, whose joint professionalism ensures a maximum economic benefit, provided from using of the GRP pipes.
It is clear that any market is won in the battle. Now the market of CIS countries is dominated by American products. Since we have no such large volumes, we are not yet competing with the US companies. We say: let the Americans come, let them educate our consumer. They deliver a good product and they are able to convince. Finally, due to the large financial resources, they are able to offer the consumers the most attractive for its price. We are not afraid that they will take our market, because of several important advantages.
First of all, we are closer, we have better quality tubing, and it is our main product. For example, in Kazakhstan, in the past year, we massively changed the American pipes, lacking a proper performance. Moreover, a higher level of service for installation and maintenance of the pipes. The consumer learns about our advantages. The best advertising is word of mouth, from one client to another. We receive the customers, who used the American products and they come back to us even in five and ten years.
-In one of your interviews you said that your company followed another way-a philosophy of civilized capitalism, right from the outset. What do you mean and how, based on a similar business model, do you consider the future of your production?
- In my opinion, there are two distinct economic and management philosophies: one philosophy is associated with mining and their sale, the other one- with the creation of new products. Unfortunately, the domestic business is still dominated by the first philosophy. The Russian business evolved in the 90-s as almost exclusively, speculative trading. It still has the same nature. The companies are focused only on the profit side, trying to exploit an economic process and to get the benefits. But according to the standards of civilized capitalism, such business philosophy is unacceptable.
From the very beginning, our company followed the philosophy of civilized capitalism. It is what we are doing and we don’t allow a different approach. In order to operate successfully in our industry, we had to involve the science, to find our consumer, to create the service system for the pipes, to build a brand, based on excellent reputation. All 11 years of the company existence, we invested more than they earned. This way is long, complicated, strange and scary to many business people. But in my opinion, it is the only right way, leading to success.
Sergey A.Volkov, General Director, the SIE Glass Reinforced Plastic Pipe Plant LLC, recognized as “The Company of Year 2012”.
Doctor of Business Administration. Honorary Professor of the International University (Vienna, Austria).
Winner of the Socrates prize (Oxford, United Kingdom). “Man of the Year-2009” (Russia).
Winner of many international awards in the field of quality.