Aban Niroo Co. is their official distributor and business partner in Iran. The CEO of Interberg was invited by their Iranian counterpart to be a guest at this year’s International Energy Exhibition in Kish Island.
Carlos, CEO of Interberg, is 57 years old and has been in the battery business since 1983. He has the experience of working in one of the biggest battery manufacturers in the world bit left the American company in 2001 to establish his own company.
Interberg headquarter is in Madrid, Spain and they have to factories in China and India with more than 600 workers.
In an exclusive interview with ICTPRESS, he gave his views on Iran, the people, visions of Iran market especially after lifting sanctions and of course, their goals of their work with Aban Company. He said: My first contact with Iranians goes back to 7 or 8 years ago. I was surfing on the net to find some potential customers which I came across some interesting emails. I started answering back them and I found that Iranian people are very smart and innovative.
After a while I met Aban Niroo Company which I found that we have common goals, so our relationship became stronger.
When he was asked to comment on their line of business and why they chose to work with Aban Co., he said: We are a small company and we cannot build a direct relationship with big companies. For instance we cannot get into discussion with refineries so we try to find smaller companies such as Aban Company, because they speak the same language which makes things easy to understand each other. Besides that, technical knowledge is a very important factor.
One thing which makes Aban Company standing out among other competitors is that they have 24x7 support service.
When you go to a new country you have only two choices: You must invest big in that country, build the infrastructure, establish offices and start hiring people, so you have to be very rich in this case or you have to make a good relationship with a company which in our case, we found Aban Niroo.
He also talked about the importance of Iranian market and said: Iran is a big market which makes it a perfect opportunity for us. With 70 million people, Iran has a huge population with big technologies and so many educated people. When you face a country which has more than 60 percent of university students and 60 percent of this number are women who study in the technical section, so are facing an advanced country. This is something which so many of European countries dream to have. So Iran is a country with rich technical background.
Iran is a very powerful country in the region as well, despite having sanctions. If they are lifted, Iran can have a very good progress. Other countries in have only oil and tourism industry. So if they are taken away from them, they have nothing.
Carols insisted that: if I want to talk about why we chose Aban Niroo, I must say that we were looking for the best possible choice. They are exactly the one that we have always dreamed of. They know the product’s so you don’t need to explain everything to them. Sometimes, it’s very hard because starting to cooperate with a foreign company which doesn’t know anything about your products means that you are not good partners.
In working alongside with Aban, we have a clear goal in our mind: to become the number one company in the field of UPS and new types of energy. Solar energy is also another option and we are capable of meeting all of the demands regarding different types of energy.
During 4-day exhibition, the deputy minister of energy talked about Iran’s interest of having a good relationship with Spain to produce new and renewable energy. Regarding his comments, Carlos said: It can be either simple or hard. Because we have a relationship with Aban Company which is already perfect.
But from Spain’s point of view I believe that the Spanish government has only two options: they can be the second player and follow the US or be smart and intelligent and try to have their own policy. Iran is a huge market so losing it to other countries is a big mistake.
As we see, big countries like the UK, France, Germany and even the US are trying to get closer to Iran and it will happen. We must not stay there and just watch. But I can assure you we don’t wait for our government, although building a relationship with Iran is hard right now because of the UN sanctions.
But the Spanish government is keen to have a bigger cooperation with Iran. Hopefully the sanctions are going to be lifted in the very near future. But I insist that we don’t follow our government. We have been here since 5 years ago despite all of the sanctions and it’s still going on well. We knew that it was against the law but it was my personal decision because economic wise it was very good for my company and I think putting pressure on a country like Iran is not fair.
Regarding the role of new types of energy in developing technologies, he said: Iran has a good picture of the future of oil and gas industry. They know these resources aren’t going to last forever so they need to replace it. Currently, the cost of gas is very low and Iran has enormous resources.
They can use it for power, but what is going to happen in 50 years’ time? As far as I’m concerned, Iran’s plan to use new types of energy is a very intelligent move. It’s not because Sun is always there, because Iran doesn’t want to just import the energy, they want to produce it and create jobs.
If I’m not mistaken there is a law by the EU which says that 45 percent of energy must go towards renewable types of energy.
This number is Germany is 25 at the moment but they are working to reach the full capacity in 20 to 30 years.
Technical or economic issues are not impossible to overcome, the main problem are the governments.
He said: We want to be number one in Iran and our advantage is that we’re already here. We were here event at hard times. We and Aban are not new comers. The market knows that. Our aim is to become the main provider of UPS and batteries in the next 5 years.
We are also considering renewable types of energy, solar and wind power. But we don’t want to establish a power plant.
Our main field is off grid and we want to take it to the remote areas, villages, farm lands, personal homes and small offices. So anyone can use off grid. Those who want independent energy can take advantage of our service.
One of our products is solar energy portable devices which is in different sizes and it’s in modular form which makes it perfect and it can be used in farm lands to pump water. The cost of this tool comparing to others is very low.
According to ICTPRESS, Aban Niroo company had a very successful participation in the 12th international energy exhibition in Kish Island.