National Customer Service Week - Day 3 | News | Siderise

National Customer Service Week - Day 3

#NCSW23 – Interview with Donel Dippi: Technical Manager for MEIAP


As Technical Manager for Middle East, India and Asia Pacific, Donel Dippi covers a lot of ground— both literally and in terms of the support he offers our customers. Responsible for testing, certification, and code compliance— in addition to supporting fire and facade consultants directly— we spoke to him about his diverse role and the types of support Siderise is offering its customers in these regions.


  1. What services do Siderise offer in the MEIAP region and how is it tailored to each country?

All Siderise products, wherever we supply them, are supported as standard by our comprehensive technical and site services. But, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. We must understand the relevant standards and guidance in each region, the preferred construction approaches and the culture too. For example, some regions and projects prefer to receive their support online— via email and video calls— whereas for others, the personal touch really matters, with site visits and in-person design meetings. Our distribution partners play a key role in helping us to deliver this for instance with their local knowledge and on-the-ground expertise, whilst overcoming any language barriers and enabling access to our products and systems.


  1. What about testing? How does Siderise champion higher standards?

Ensuring our products are comprehensively tested is also an important part of our customer offering. Of course, this is vital for meeting the requirements in regions where there are stringent code requirements around the performance of passive fire protection. However, it’s also important for us to take these test standards to developing markets too, sharing the reasons why they are used and encouraging best practice approaches used in other regions.


  1. What are the market trends you have noticed in the last 12 months?

Working across several regions, there is of course a lot of variances in how different countries construct their buildings. Nevertheless, there is a general, global trend of pushing for better fire safety standards. In already legislated regions, such as the UAE, we’re seeing huge leaps in the development of a more stringent building code framework.


Meanwhile, some regions are starting to work towards enforcing stricter national codes, such as the recent guidance from the Israeli Fire Brigade calling for the widespread application of Israeli Standards 2174. This asks that horizontal perimeter firestops used in curtain walling applications are tested to EN 1364-4 or ASTM E2307 standards. Even in places where direct legislation is lacking, we’re seeing higher standards being enforced on projects by international consultants. For Siderise, this means that we must not only be able to demonstrate the performance of our products and systems to these standards, but we must also be ready to support our customers, armed with up-to-date knowledge of the various Building Codes and best practice approaches. 


  1. What does good customer service mean to you?

It’s about supplying the right information at the right time for the customer, and always acting with integrity. We are frequently approached as experts in passive fire protection for the building envelope, and it’s our duty to act with integrity at every stage— from verifying product performance with third party testing, certification and listings, and working closely with fire consultants to ensure all our advice is appropriate for the projects we’re working on.


For me, the best evidence of our ability to do this is how many consultants come back to us time and time again. For instance, last week, I received an email from a consultant that I had worked with over a year ago in Saudi Arabia. These repeat enquiries demonstrate that we aren’t just giving our customers what they need to deliver successful projects, but that they view us as a trustworthy resource.