International maker of flooring and façade materials puts up presence in PH

Laticrete PH inaugurates its first local facility. In photo are (from left) Laticrete International Vice President Faisal Saleem, Laticrete Philippines President Ruben Ong, Laticrete International President and COO Erno De Brujin, and Laticrete International Chairman and CEO David Rothberg.

What do Zuellig Building in Makati, Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel, Ascott Residences, City of Dreams Manila, and One Shangri-La Place Mall have in common with Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Financial Tower, the US’ Team Disney Building, UAE’s Burj Al Arab Hotel, and China’s Shanghai World Financial Center?

These notable buildings’ facades and interior flooring were constructed using Laticrete products (including tiles and concrete adhesives). You could even be surprised that the global premium brand’s products were also used in some of the Philippines’ own historical buildings like the Ramon Magsaysay Building (constructed in 1967) and the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas or Folk Arts Theater (constructed in 1974) in Manila.

After more than six decades, Laticrete is finally cementing its presence in the country through Laticrete Philippines, Inc., which recently inaugurated its first manufacturing site. Located in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, the facility comprises a 1,300-square meter vertical plant, a 2,900-square meter warehouse, 1,800 square meters of road lots, and another 5,000 square meters of vacant lots intended for future expansion.

Local facility

Initially, the plant manufactures 14 of numerous LATICRETE products being marketed in the Philippines. These locally-made products include thin-set tile and stone adhesives and skim coating (products used to flatten a wall prior to application of paint). The facility is considered a milestone, as the cost savings brought about by manufacturing locally will help the premium brand be more competitive in the local market.

LATICRETE Philippines is the local counterpart of LATICRETE International, Inc., a 61-year- old family-owned construction solutions firm based in Connecticut, USA. LATICRETE Philippines was incorporated in 2015, and operates with the same structure, business model, and values as that of its U.S. counterpart.

“Every month, LATICRETE International sends people here,” revealed LATICRETE Philippines President Ruben Ong. “We have 100% support in all aspects of the business from the U.S. parent firm. They provide us with the template and we strictly implement and comply,” he added.

Laticrete Philippines President Ruben Ong

Replicating business practices
To ensure that the quality of products is uniform with the international brand, the Bulacan manufacturing plant replicates all processes done in other LATICRETE manufacturing locations like the U.S., India, Mexico, Singapore, and China. Although all raw materials are locally sourced, approval and guidance from the U.S. firm is always sought throughout the manufacturing process. All the equipment used in the plant were acquired and customized according to LATICRETE International’s standard specifications.

Ong also pointed out that the facility adheres to environment-friendly practices. The LATICRETE brand produces GREENGUARD-Certified Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) products. “The plant does not even produce toxic water. We buy cement from local suppliers and make sure that all our materials are recyclable, including our products,” Ong disclosed.

At the same time, the unique service orientation of the LATICRETE brand around the world is carried out in the Philippines. Aside from manufacturing and selling products that are of premium quality, LATICRETE is committed to providing solutions to all clients—from major property developers to end-customers.

Laticrete International Chairman and CEO David Rothberg

Unique commitment to service
“We provide technical support to customers from the design and planning stage to application and aftersales,” said LATICRETE Sales Manager Patricia Mejorada. “We assign technical staff to regularly drop by clients’ construction sites to check if our products are installed or used correctly.

We train customers to employ correct application methods so that they can get the most out of our products. As far as we know, we are the only player in the local industry that does that.”

As the company gains momentum, it plans to put up a second manufacturing facility in the near future. “We are looking at Cebu to cover the Visayas or Davao for Mindanao,” said LATICRETE Philippines Commercial Manager Albert Ong. According to him, the Bulacan facility can initially manufacture products that can cover demand in Metro Manila and nearby areas. “We are working to establish a solid customer base and sales for special items, especially the epoxy-based and polymer-based sealers, so that we can eventually justify the costs of producing them locally,” he added.

To learn more about the company and to view brochures of its products, click this link