Paul Schuler (Sika): It will take time to return investments to Russia

Paul Schuler (Sika): It will take time to return investments to Russia
Tags: Photo source:

Member of the Management Board and Regional Manager EMEA of Sika company, Paul SCHULER, answers the questions of our magazine

— Mr. Schuler , will you please tell us about the your company’s strategic development plans?
— Our plans involve further development in Africa. In the last two years, we have entered nine African countries and so we now have nine new factories in the region. So we have a very fast operating speed. We have occupied almost the whole territory of South America – there is only one country which we have started production in, which is Paraguay. The rest already have their own facilities and production lines.

— Was launching an operational facility in Paraguay the completion of a development program?
— Yes, it was the implementation of our plan of development and growth in the region.

— Could you please tell us your global turnover for the last year?
— €5.1 bln.

— And what global turnover is planned for this year?
— Due to a higher evaluation of the Swiss franc, in Swiss francs we’ll be around the same level. On a local level and with a fixed share rate, we have 5.9% growth as compared with what we had last year.

— In terms of investments, where is Russia currently ranked among other countries?
— As Russia is a huge country, I think it is something like 5th or 6th.

— Is it your first time in Russia?
— No, I’ve been here four times before.

— A traditional question from our editorial office: apart from business, what do you like here, in Russia?
— What do I like in Russia? I think I very much like to work with Russian people. Travelling to Saint-Petersburg: getting to know all the history of this town, its beautiful old buildings – it was very nice to see them. Besides seeing historic Moscow and, of course, the Kremlin, it is very interesting to see Moscow City, its new buildings. On the other side there’s no surprise that I dislike the traffic jams. There is a lot of traffic around, which is common for very big cities.

— You’ve mentioned the Russian people, that you like to work with them – are there some chemical specialists or production specialists?
— In my job I do not work too much with the production specialists, I deal with strategic issues, but when I have a chance to peep at production… I like to see how they work, and I like people in top management, usually I work with the management. Besides our own company we visit a lot of customers, and it is very nice to meet other people.

— How do you estimate the work done by the Russian government to attract investments? Do they make it? What is your viewpoint on that?
— It is difficult for me to speak of this. I do not see much interest here, I only see – if I look at the press… I think it will be a long time before they attract the big money again.

— Thank you. And what would you like to wish Russian construction specialists in the coming year of 2016?
— Well, not only construction… I wish all the Russian people good luck in overcoming the current difficulties, and hope that politicians will find a good way to solve all these different issues, so that people can deal with their well-being and not worry too much about politics.

— Thank you for the interview, we wish you success.