What did you start with? Was it easy to convince people to join your project?
Born and raised in Uzbekistan, I worked as a Sales Manager in the automotive manufacturing sector where I gained experience and learnt the fundamental of sales, production process, management, procurement and logistics. I moved to Dubai in 2006 and established my first company Gulf Auto Trading, a one-stop-shop for all vehicles need, trading worldwide from the MENA region since 2008. Following the success of my first project and the potential I had foreseen in the armored vehicles manufacturing industry, I then opened the doors of my next projects: Inkas Group in 2008 and Inkas Vehicles in 2012 – set as the largest armored vehicles manufacturing factory in Dubai to date.
I actually was approached to open businesses in the MENA region due to my professional reputation. I believe in the old fashion way: our customers are our friends, we build long term relationships – therefore I have always experienced a freedom that not many can afford.
Could you, please, speak a bit more about the new vehicles developed by your company?
During the first quarter of 2017, we have been focusing on the production of our APCs and luxurious commercial vehicles as we have successfully been awarded our 20th contract this year, including a large quantity in excess of 50 vehicles to be delivered to government in Africa.
Suited for SWAT, Border Patrol, law enforcement agencies and military operations and designed for Military operations in challenging combat zones, the Inkas Titan-D APC is the latest variant of the Inkas Titan range of military vehicles which includes the Inkas Titan APC, the Inkas Titan-V APC both built on the Ford F550 OEM chassis and the Titan-S APC which is a smaller version built on the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series OEM chassis.
We have developed two new Cash-in-Transit Vehicles with the latest Armored GMC Savana CIT vehicle being in high demand. In addition, luxurious commercial vehicles such as Mercedes, Maybach or BMW transporting the delegates and VIP guests have been produced in high quantity in 2016-2017 using the latest model of chassis.
We are now in stage II – design and manufacturing of a new APC, based on a shorter OEM Dodge chassis, more compacted and allowing up to 8 personal, available for pre-order.
What is your view of the changes in recent years with regard to armored vehicles market?
The market is in constant evolution: more threats, more organized combined with either new technologies or a back-to-basic approach witnessed in the past years in Europe. The attacks appear to be close to unpredictable in the way they are being carried away.
We saw new development of technologies in regards to certain protection levels, materials as well as the development of upgradable components in regards to the performance, stability and maneuverability.
Security systems such as vehicles surveillance, tracking and signal protection as well as ambushed detection systems are on the rise.
During the course of the past 12 months, the market has been seen the demand moving over the APC “Armored Personal Carrier” vehicles which are military vehicles in our focused regions comparing to commercial vehicles. We also noticed an increased requirements for CIT vehicles which is the reason we developed 2 new Cash-in-Transit armored vehicles in a matter of 6 months due to client requests.
We believe and have seen that being a one-stop-shop where we are able to source all requirements makes us more trustable within the market. This is a global trend we’ve seen and experienced with our clientele which is looking to deal with one company doing it all.
Do you plan to export new vehicles to Asia and Europe and did some countries show an interest in buying?
Our clientele is mostly based in the MENA region and Asia. We are expanding our target market with recent new projects based in Europe. West Africa is a market that has increased considerably within the past 12 months which has shown interest in our armored vehicles. We have the capacity to ship worldwide.
What kind of future do you foresee for INKAS Vehicles in general?
Inkas Vehicles main objective is to be the ideal one-stop shop solution for both Armored Commercial and Military vehicles, alleviating the procurement process of using several vendors as a result of speeding up the entire supply-chain process. With over 1000 vehicles designed and manufactured in its Dubai Head Quarter since 2012, Inkas Vehicles latest product have caught the attention of professional with successful pre-orders. We look forward for an exciting year ahead.
What could you advise your colleagues and partners, including us, in order to get better in our work?
There are many paths that can lead you to success. However I believe into the achievements: success can come and go – whether achievements are what will set you apart as it will remain forever.
I would recommend few key points to reach out to opportunities and turn them into a successful route.
Be grateful of your journey 2. Be determined 3. Have faith: go after what you want and believe in what you can achieve 4. Making a major decision? Think twice, don’t rush 5. Success is a roller coaster: be ready to accept the challenge of ups and downs that goes along the way 6. Your team and entourage is a must: you need to surround yourself with people you trust.
As I always say, if you want to go fast – go alone, if you want to go FAR – go together.