Interview with the Director General of Hackel Ros JSC
This winter, the construction of Hackel Ros plant will start at the Greenstate Industrial Park in Gorelovo. The company develops and implements innovative products in the field of lightning and surge protection, and also offers technical solutions for lightning protection of oil and gas, telecommunications, transport and other industrial and civil facilities. Among the JSC customers are the largest backbone enterprises: Gazprom, Transneft, Russian Railways, Megafon and others. We asked Andrey Kadukov, Director General of Hackel Ros JSC, how the site was selected for the new enterprise.
- Andrey Evgenyevich, tell us briefly the history of your company, when it was organized, what does it specialize in, please?
- The Hackel Ros company was founded in 2002 in St. Petersburg as a joint Russian-Czech enterprise with HAKEL (Czech Republic), acting as the official representative and exclusive distributor of HAKEL in Russia and the CIS countries. Later, the company's shares were bought back by Russian individuals, and today Hackel Ros JSC is a 100% Russian company.
The company manufactures surge protection devices (SPDs), switchboard products, components for grounding devices and lightning protection, insulation monitoring devices, etc. Since 2012, Hackel Ros began to produce its own products in Russia. And in 2014, when, in connection with the sanctions, a course was taken to substitute imported products, and our main customers demanded localized production in Russia, we started to produce most of our products here.
- Why did you decide to build a factory from scratch? Many manufacturers say it is cheaper and easier to work on rented premises?
- The main task is full localization of production at our own base in St. Petersburg. Now we are constrained by certain circumstances, since we are working on leased premises. It is difficult to develop when you are devoid of your own base. There are technical difficulties too, for example, technological equipment is difficult to fit into the existing premises; there are other restrictions, so we decided to build our own enterprise.
We want to switch gradually to the production of the entire product line, and for this we need a complete re-equipment, which is impossible and inefficient on rented premises.
- What part of your entire range of products do you manufacture now?
- Until 2012, about 10% of our entire assortment was produced in St. Petersburg. Now we manufacture about 70% of our products in Russia, while the rest is imported.
By the way, we work not only in Russia, but also in the CIS countries, in particular, in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
- Where are your manufacturing facilities located now?
- On Farforovskaya street, not far from the Lomonosovskaya metro station.
- And in Greenstate, what area did you acquire?
- About 1.1 ha.
- What is the state of your project? And what will be the total area of the enterprise?
- We have completed drafting the project and working documentation, obtained a building permit, decided on our general contractor and are almost ready to go to the site and start building. We plan to start construction works from February 2019.
The total area of the plant will be about 5,000 square meters. including industrial premises and offices. Here we will produce a fairly wide range of products. In the future, it is planned to design and build the second stage of production facilities.
- When are you planning to complete the construction of the plant?
- There is an optimistic scenario, and there is a pessimistic one, we expect it to take from one to three years.
- What enabled you to invest in your own production?
- We have been working for 15 years and can afford to invest earned free funds into business development. As a result of successful activities, it was possible to accumulate certain funds, and so far we are counting on them. Construction usually lasts for a year and a half, we’ll see how it goes, whether the situation in the macro- and microeconomics will allow us to manage our own capital or force us to take a loan.
- Who are the main consumers of your products?
- There are a lot of them, these are large backbone enterprises in oil and gas, petrochemical, transport, and construction sectors. Physical persons also buy their equipment from us, but occasionally.
- How did the site selection process go? What competing sites did you consider?
- We’ve spent three years to choose our site. We conducted quite lengthy negotiations with YIT since 2012, if I am not mistaken. Then there was a crisis that introduced certain adjustments into the plans of market players, as well as the value of land. After that, new opportunities began to emerge and YIT with its proposal became more interesting to us.
We examined many sites, mainly to the south of the city, since most of our staff employees reside in this direction. In addition, the south also features good transport accessibility with the ring road and its interchanges. YIT had the most interesting site in the southern direction, initially, besides, unlike the others, the company was open to dialogue and was ready to meet us halfway in goodwill.
- How many employees will be employed at your production facility?
- About 100 persons, although the facility is designed to employ a larger staff.
- How are you going to solve the issue of catering? Have you thought already about where and how to feed your staff?
- That question is still open. There are different options, we are studying them now. Closer to the start of construction, we will analyze what our employees want and what we can offer them, and we will find a compromise. If the regulations allow, then we will organize our own canteen, if not, we will look for other possibilities. Siemens has a canteen in the Greenstate Industrial Park, they may undertake to service us, but there have been no negotiations yet. It’s too early to talk about that.
-You have been to Greenstate more than once. What could be improved in terms of servicing residents in your opinion?
- We have not entered the construction site yet, but as for interaction during the design stage, YIT is beyond every praise. And I’d like to thank them for responding in the shortest time possible to provide us with everything we asked for. I can say nothing yet about what’s going to happen during construction and after the enterprise gets started. So far, everything is great though.