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Rossen Papazov

AZERBAIJAN - Real Estate & Construction

Solid As a Rock

General Director, Holcim Azerbaijan OJSC

Bio

Rossen Papazov joined the Holcim Group in 2000. His career at Holcim started with his role as Assistant to the CEO position in Bulgaria. In 2004, he became the General Manager of Aggregates and Ready-Mix Concrete. Three years later, he became Marketing Director in Holcim Belgium and, in 2010, joined Holcim Romania at the same position. Effective from September 1, 2013, he took over the position of CEO of Holcim Azerbaijan. He holds a Masters of Finance/Controlling from University of Sofia (Bulgaria), and Business Administration from IMD in Lausanne (Switzerland).

TBY talks to Rossen Papazov, General Director of Holcim Azerbaijan OJSC, on domestic demand, new products and services, and road binding.

What is the role of Holcim in meeting domestic demand for cement?

In 2008, Holcim made a decision to improve the current production facilities and launched development of an up-to-date dry kiln line. Commencement of construction operations was approved the same year after the analysis of the feasibility project and expediency. Channeling $321 million into this project is one of the largest investments in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan. The new technology upgraded 80% of the production unit. With the new dry kiln line, production capacity of the plant increased by 30%. I believe that 2012 was the starting point for a new era in the cement industry of the entire South Caucasus region. The changes enabled Holcim plant to be one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly in the whole of Europe.

What are the new products and services presented for your customers?

Holcim Azerbaijan holds a leading position in the market with the introduction of innovations as a result of the careful analysis of customer needs as well as the demand of the local market. In 2015, we have introduced a new bag product, Garadagh Expert Bag, to the market. Garadagh Expert cement is mainly used in production of extra-strong concrete for reinforced concrete structures as well as insulating and paving materials. Furthermore, we have launched Garadagh Solid Plus cement product. Construction companies encounter difficulties in the protection of concrete structures at places exposed to ground and seawater, as well as sulphates in salt medium. The solution for this problem is Garadagh Solid Plus cement, which is produced using a special process. We should state that this cement product provides high durability and strength, prevents erosion, and protects the internal integrity of the concrete. It carries the highest strength class as a sulphate resistant cement. The quality management system fully complying with ISO 9001:2008 standard is applied to the production process of Garadagh Solid Plus.

Can you please provide further information about the Road Binders?

In 2014, we have started to develop a new product in Azerbaijan, Road Binders. This is an innovative global product, which is directly related to the road construction industry. With our solutions, road binders will increase the load bearing and durability parameters of roads. And we are sure that the application of road binders in Azerbaijan will strengthen our roads and increase efficiency. Holcim brought technical professionalism and expertise for production of these products in Azerbaijan. Laboratory tests were conducted in cooperation with governmental institutes and show that we can increase our load-bearing ratio by 50%. At the same time, we have conducted on-site industrial trials with customers. It also reveals excellent results for enhancing load bearing. All these create an opportunity for Holcim Azerbaijan to have a competitive advantage and cooperate with our customers on a long-term basis.

Apart from cement production and application, which social projects does Holcim Azerbaijan implement?

From the start of operations in Azerbaijan, Holcim has been actively involved in social projects. According to our strategy, we are not only supporting the families of our colleagues, but also community members. Holcim has developed various educational institutions and cooperates with local organizations for sustainable development of the community around our operations. An example of successful CSR initiative of Holcim Azerbaijan includes the Employment Center. This was opened in 2011 with the aim of improving the socio-economic situation of the Sahil settlement inhabitants by enhancing the education level and increasing access to the labor market. We have conducted various workshops and training in cooperation with local organizations. At the Employment Center, we create opportunities to access the job market. More than 270 people were employed, 1,200 people took part in various types of training and 70 people benefited from state support programs. Another successful initiative is the newly established Youth Development Center, which is a key asset in the Umid settlement. It provides opportunities to learn, lead, and develop. At this Center, various seminars and workshops are conducted, including English language and computer courses, and leadership programs conducted for the first time in this community.

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