Its work on iconic projects regionally and beyond, including a presidential palace, is a ringing endorsement of the quality and efficacy of its offerings
Fila Surface Care Solutions, a leading international manufacturer of eco-friendly and cost-effective products, has been registering two-digit growth in the Middle East every year.
The company has been active in the region since 2012 and currently operates in 16 countries.
Francesco Pettenon, managing and commercial director of Fila Surface Care Solutions, says the company’s objective is not only to build revenues but also expand operations in this region.
“The UAE, Kuwait and Qatar are our major markets currently. Next year, we plan to expand our Dubai office with a new training centre among other facilities, while our plans for 2018-2019 include expansion towards the Far East,” he said.
He further said the company’s growth strategy was focused on publicity, especially targeted at architects, consultants and marble installers, who the company is training in surface care and protection.
Fila recently expanded its stain removing product range with the launch of Filano Rust and Filazero Sil. The first removes rust stains and the second silicone residue.
Other products in the range include Filano Spot for greasy stains, Filasr95 for coloured stains (such as those made by coffee) and Filamarble Restorer, the kit for restoring marble and polished agglomerates damaged by acid aggression, an ideal solution for renewing kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
“In the Middle East we are currently offering care and protection solutions for stone, agglomerates, ceramics, porcelain tiles, cement and micro-cement,” said Pettenon.
“Some of our most successful products in this market are Filamp 90 Eco Plus ecological stain remover, FilaPW10 pre-fixing protector, Deterdek descaler and Hydrorep, the invisible effect waterproofing protector.”
Fila is a market leader in surface care solutions. Products from its award-winning range are sold in more than 100 countries around the globe, from its main production plant in Italy and its six commercial branches in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US.
Products span from pre-grouting protectors, detergents and sealants to after-care maintenance and stain removal solutions. They are designed for the treatment of marble, granite, natural stone, porcelain, ceramics, terracotta and wood.
The company invests over 10 per cent of its annual turnover into research and development. From its research laboratories in its headquarters in Italy and its advanced laboratory in Fiorano – close to Italy’s best tile manufacturers – it experiments with new solutions and products, carries out quality control testing, and analyses and selects the best raw materials. It also collaborates with leading research bodies to always be at the forefront of innovation.
The company has been associated with a number of prestigious and demanding projects. Last year it completed stone protection works at the new presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, a project with a value of $490 million.
“We won international tenders for stone protection for all three phases of this project and our products now protect the exquisite interior marble, cladding and exterior natural stones of this grand development.
We used solvent-free solutions for the internal surfaces so they are not only stain-proof and water-proof but also food safe, while for the outside surfaces, considering the palace is close to the sea, we had to use solvent-based protectors and make sure all surfaces could withstand the sea air, UVs, dirt, rain and humidity, while keeping their natural ability to breathe. Our experts worked for five years on this stone protection project to offer the best long-term stone protection, and the result is outstanding,” said Pettenon.
Another significant project the company was associated with is the Hamad International Airport in Doha. The Fila team protected more than 28 different types of natural stones for this project. The airport interiors feature stones on wall and floors.
“The project was very demanding as we had to test our products on each type of stone to make sure they offered the best level of protection. But we love these kinds of challenges and it is one of the reasons why the Middle East is such an exciting region to work in. The scale and grandeur of the projects developed here is quite unique,” Pettenon said.
Other iconic applications include the Armani Hotel in Dubai, the award-winning Library of Birmingham and the Imperial War Museum in the UK, Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, Italy; Belmonte Castle in Spain, Changi International Airport in Singapore, and Venaria Reale, the biggest historical work site in Europe.