The bulk of Gorica Vehicles & Co.’s business is fabricating trailers and semi-trailers for 6x4 and 4x2 tractor head trucks and bodybuilding 8x4 trucks, in other words heavy vehicles.
This has traditonally been a strong market in Oman and P. Subramaniyan, GM for Gorica Vehicles Oman, arrived in the country six years ago to build up the business.
He explains: “When we came six years ago to this part of Ghala, we just had a shed — but we grew and developed from there and finally made a dent in the market.”
However, the situation brought about by the dip in the price of oil, which accounts for 80% of Oman’s GDP, has turned the situation.
“The trailer market in Oman at this point is quite sluggish, because there are no big projects being awarded by the government at the moment, so fleet operators are managing with whatever they have,” he admits.
Despite this, there is a significant avenue of growth rapidly opening up in the country for medium to light commercial vehicle bodies.
Where Gorica is finding work, in spite of the sluggish market conditions, is in the waste management sector. Here, as part of a government initiative, Oman is implementing a major programme of de facto privatisation under the public environmental services body Be’ah, or the Oman Environmental Services Holding Company, to subcontract waste management services across the country.
Subramaniyan explains: “They are bringing in awareness, and I’m glad that in Oman, after so many years, the awareness level is going up. They’re likely to bring in taxation for garbage as well. This is an essential service: the population is growing, it will keep growing and as the population grows, waste production is not going to decrease.”
Conversely, as it increases, Oman will need a better fleet, better awareness and for people to handle waste in a better way, and Gorica is adamant that the industry will only grow.
“We are doing work for international contractors that handle garbage collection and the movement of garbage into the landfill for the government. We’ve already worked with two or three such companies.
“One of our customers is a joint venture between French environmental services firm Veolia and Oman’s Al Ramooz National, which is going to manage the collection and transportation of waste in Buraimi and Ibri. We have also worked with Spain’s Urbaser — they are a major client for us that is handling the Barka-Mussanah area and we have a big fleet, almost 45 units, with them.”
Gorica has also worked with the Abu Dhabi’s West Coast and other European and Gulf-based waste management companies now jostling for waste contracts in Oman.
Beyond its regional fabrication facilities, Gorica’s role as a distributor for brand such as Palfinger cranes — including the hook loaders used in waste disposal — and Farid Industrie waste compactors allow it to provide a complete waste collection package.
Subramaniyan notes: “We are already providing similar equipment to waste management companies that need hook loaders to lift these open topped garbage containers. Palfinger is a major supplier.”