Written on the 20 November 2009
HAVING established his business in the United Arab Emirates in 2007 and surviving a major crash in Dubai’s real estate market, Kane Black is now planning for serious growth with a fleet expansion and a brash move into Delhi.
The founder and CEO of Auscor Cranes has taken a positive approach to the GFC, seeing Dubai’s downturn in the construction industry as a time of opportunity rather than a challenge.
Despite a 20 per cent decline in overall revenue, Black has employed nine new staff and recorded an 8 per cent rise in net profit as he capitalised on the slow market to reduce the company’s overheads.
“The big change from last year has been that the rapid expansion that we were driving with Auscor Cranes was put on hold. It proved an excellent time to look at any shortcomings we had operationally that may have been glossed over during the boom,” says Black.
“However now that the market here has stabilised, our cost of capital and debt ratio has been reduced we are now looking again at expansion.
“We are currently in the process of opening a crane and equipment rental business in Delhi which will begin with a small fleet of 10 cranes and we will in 2010 expand our UAE fleet.”
The Bond University alumnus is more concerned with a ‘huge stream of very negative press lately’ than the economic climate of the middle-eastern business hub.
Dubai is not only dealing with the major crash in the real estate market but also claims of corruption in various business sectors.
“With this growth many organisations could not keep up with their own growth and hence checks and balances may have been lacking, contributing to the issue of corruption.
“The liquidity squeeze has reversed this situation, combined with government efforts to tackle culprits, we are seeing less of this menace.”
While Black is expecting his business to continue to boom in Dubai he is less optimistic about other major international markets.
“I do not believe that globally the worst is over, the next crisis will be the sovereign debt crises with governments such as that of the United States and the United Kingdom,” he says.
“As a global and Middle East trading hub, Dubai is a bastion of prosperity, openness, hope and peace in what is a very volatile region.
“All of the projects that had already started are still continuing. Indeed the work still ongoing here is phenomenal. While the UAE has put on hold or cancelled around 400 major projects. Still 452 were recently completed and a further 750+ major projects are active and ongoing.
“We are now also doing a lot more work in other states such as Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We are still making money here, business has stabilised and we have plans to grow.”
Although not planning on bringing his business back home in the near future, Black has similarly positive predicts for Australia’s economic future.
“I think as a safe haven Australia will offer an abundance of opportunities over the next 12 months for the savvy investors,” he says.
“I see many opportunities on the Gold Coast and indeed the rest of Australia. 2009 and 2010 will provide a multitude of opportunities in Australia for investors and entrepreneurs.”