Spotlight on Rakesh Gaekwad, COO – Danway Electrical and Mechanical Engineering LLC [Danway EME]
Graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Manipal Institute of Technology in 1992. I have been associated with Danway EME for the last 30 years and during this period I have worked with the estimation and commercial department, managed major industrial and infrastructure projects, and presently hold the position of COO reporting to the Group MD & CEO on all matters related to the operations of the company.
Please describe your role at DANWAY EME as well as your industry expertise.
As COO, my job is to manage and oversee the daily business operations of the company, working closely with Business Units and Department heads to support the day-to-day activity of the company.
Three decades in the construction industry has broadened my knowledge and has helped me understand all aspects of the contracting business and connect with a variety of customers within the industry.
What motivated DANWAY EME to invest in MENA’s solar industry?
The MENA region is set to become a market leader in renewable energy. Driven by well-designed auctions, favourable financing conditions and declining technology costs, renewables are being brought into the mainstream. MENA region also boasts of the highest GHI in the entire world and has potential to power an entire continent provided we are ready to harness, store and use the full potential available on ground. We at DANWAY have great regard for the betterment of human living conditions along with caring for our Earth and its environment.
DANWAY has been in the energy business for more than decades and understands the requirements well, venturing into Solar seems to be a natural progression for us. We want to become one of the major solar EPC players and provide best in class services to our clients and with the recent announcement by the UAE to initiate finance of $4.5 billion to help African nations accelerate clean-energy projects, this has made matters even more motivating for us to venture in this business sector.
Can you tell us about what sets you apart from other competitors?
Danway has been in the power and energy business for more than 3 decades now and has built a strong engineering capability to cater to the requirements of its clients. Our brand has its presence across all countries in the MENA region and can provide in-house end-to-end solutions to its clients.
Being a local company, we have exceptionally valuable experience of local conditions, which enables us to provide the best solution and our large team of engineering ensures we complete the projects within a timeline and with the highest focus on quality. Our repeat orders by large companies have been testimony to our highest standards of quality and care for our customers.
Our Strong Engineering ability and knowledge of local condition combines with more than 3 decades of service to the power and energy industry sets us apart from competitors.
What’s a recent milestone DANWAY EME has achieved that you would like to share with us?
As of 15th August 2023, Danway EME completed 33 years, and from a very humble beginning we are now employing more than 3,000 employees across various offices in the region.
Our core business is to execute major power and industrial EPC projects and there are several milestones we have achieved throughout the timeline. However, maintaining a relationship with our long-standing customers and receiving repeat orders from them even after more than 25 years is a testament of our work ethic and culture, and we sincerely cherish this achievement.
Danway Electrical & Mechanical Engineering has been a proud recipient of the Prestigious TAQDEER Award [a Dubai Government initiative] in the last four consecutive cycles with a 4 Star company as its current rating. It has recognized Danway EME as one of the top 10 companies in Dubai for the best labour programmes and for the role in improving people’s lives.
What are your expectations for the MENA region in terms of growth and new opportunities for DANWAY EME?
In the Mena region, the is no dearth of reliable and affordable energy, but how to produce it in a sustainable manner is a challenge. It no brainer that MENA region has immense potential for producing renewable energy due to abundance of sunlight year around. This energy is green and sustainable and solves the issue of pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources.
As per International Energy Agency’s Renewables 2020 report, MENA is among the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in the world.
By 2050, MENA is looking to expand its energy share from renewables and increase by a factor of 15- 30 compared with 2020. Saudi govt has already announced that the kingdom will invest $150 billion in renewables, DEWA, MASDAR, ACWA are producing GW scale solar projects and so are the West and Central African Countries. The renewable market is starting to hot up like the SUN in this region and this is just the beginning of bigger things to come.
DANWAY is looking at this market with keen interest since long and does not want to miss on this opportunity and would like to be the enabler and partner with developers to set up these large-scale solar projects. Besides the large scales ground mount projects, there is an immense potential in rooftop solar and DANWAY is keen on working in the rooftop segment also.
How do you see the effects of the increasing adoption of solar energy on the MENA’s economy in the coming years?
The increasing adoption of renewable energy in the MENA region will have a positive impact on the economy in the future and help the local population as well as the government. If I must list few impacts that the renewable energy is going to have, I will categorize them into three fundamental areas.
Diversification of Energy Sources: Solar energy can reduce the dependence on oil and gas, which are subject to price volatility and geopolitical risks. Diversifying the energy mix can enhance the energy security, as well as create new opportunities for trade and cooperation.
Cost Savings and Revenue Generation: Solar energy can lower the cost of electricity generation, especially in remote areas where there is no grid connection, or it is too expensive and unreliable. MENA countries can generate revenue from renewable energy generation by exporting exporting excess electricity to neighbouring markets and by attracting foreign investments in renewable energy.
Social and Environmental Benefits: Solar energy can create jobs and improve the quality of life for the people in the MENA region, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, which can have positive impacts on health of the population and climate. People can live a comfortable life and take advantages of the modern technology and facilities by installing solar at their homes and elevate their living standard.
ABOUT DANWAY ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING LLC
Danway Electrical and Mechanical Engineering LLC has a long and successful history of delivering expert engineering projects and technical services across the project value chain. Today, the company operates as a fully owned subsidiary of AL NOWAIS Investments, a conglomerate established in the UAE that tenders diversified interests in Power, Water, Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy business sectors within the region.
With over 3,000 employees comprising 300 Engineers & Executives, 200 Administrative Staff and 2,500 Site Workforce as one of the most valuable assets. Danway can accept projects of any size. DANWAY has offices in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, KSA & also does projects in Africa.
As part of its vision to be an internationally respected Engineering and Contracting Company offering comprehensive solutions in the EPC field, DANWAY is actively planning to further extend its operations in Africa particularly in the Renewable Energy sector.
In addition to successfully executing various EHV Substations on turnkey basis and iconic Infrastructure & Industrial projects, Danway has worked in over 2 GW Solar projects in MENA region with various scopes and is currently executing a 20 MW Solar PV project with BESS in Africa and has many large-scale Solar PV projects under finalization. Danway has in-house capability to execute all types of Solar, Wind, Hybrid, Battery Energy Storage, Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia projects and has in-house manufacturing of structures and assembly of electro-mechanical equipment through its Group companies.